BULVIU MALTINIAI (Fried Potatoes Patties)

To serve 8 to 10
3 pounds of potatoes, peeled and quartered

4 egg

½ to ¾ cup of flour

5 teaspoons of salt

6 tablespoons of butter for frying

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a 6- to 8-quart pot and drop in the potatoes. Boil briskly, uncovered, until they are soft enough to be easily pierced with a fork. Drain them thoroughly in a large sieve and force them through a ricer or mash them in a bowl with a fork. Beat in the egg, ½ cup of flour and salt, and continue to beat vigorously until the mixture is smooth and dense enough to hold its shape almost solidly in a spoon. (If the mixture seems too fluid, beat in the remaining flour, a tablespoon at a time.)

Gather the potato dough into a ball, place on a heavily floured surface and pat it into a thick rectangle. With a floured rolling pin, roll it into a larger rectangle about 1 inch thick, dusting it frequently with a little flour to prevent it from sticking to the rolling pin or board. With a sharp knife or pastry wheel, cut 2-inch wide strips down the length of the dough, then slice diagonally into 2 ½-inch wide lengths. Gently score the top of each diamond-shaped patty by making shallow lines down its length.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy 10- to 12-inch skillet set over high heat. When the foam has almost subsided add 6 or 8 of the patties and brown them 3 to 5 minutes on each side, turning them over carefully with a large spatula. Transfer the patties to a serving platter and cover them loosely with foil to keep them warm while you fry the rest of the patties, adding more butter to the pan as needed.

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