Potato cakes are for the most part upscaled hash browns. These delights on the table come in so many variations and forms based on the country of origin and the chef's preferences. They are the perfect open palates for chefs to highlight their skills with the addition of creative and original ingredients.
This beautiful savoury cake is a perfect side or can be served as an appetizer. It is important to keep in mind that the cake must be served immediately after cooking, the crispness of the top contrasts beautifully with the soft inside, this is what makes the dish magic. This cake is lightly herbed and delicate, it accents the other dishes on the table adding that touch of comfort and warmth. I have added several variations to this recipe that I have tried with success. But you should also feel free to create your recipes.
Nigel slater is one of my favourite cookbook authors, food writers and broadcasters and one who has transformed English cuisine. He has received the very coveted OBE for his work in publishing and culinary services. I have a few of his many cookbooks. Seemingly simple cuisine that always is fantastic on the palate, like these potatoes, is a trademark of his cuisine.
For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.
1 1/2 waxy potatoes well-scrubbed and peeled if desired
6-8 scallions, finely sliced
3/4 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons parsley
3 tablespoons mint
1/2 tablespoon dried tarragon
Salt, to taste
1 teaspoon pepper
Grate the potatoes on a coarse grain into a deep bowl. Add the scallions, flour herbs, salt and pepper and mix well.
Beat the eggs lightly and add to the potato mix. Mix in well.
Preheat the broiler in the oven.
Add some olive oil to a large frying pan. Add the potato mix to the bottom of the pan spreading it out evenly. Fry on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes till the bottom is browned well. Place the top under the broiler and allow to cook for an additional 10 minutes till the top is a deep golden. Check that the potatoes are cooked all the way through. Serve immediately.
If preferred, you can sprinkle some Parmesan on the top for a cheesy version of this dish.
Indian: For a more Indian version, substitute cilantro and mint for the herbs and add 1-2 minced green chillies, 1 garlic clove, finely minced, 1/2 teaspoon each of ground coriander seeds, ground cumin seeds, a pinch of turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon garam masala. Mix well and cook as per instructions.
Italian: Top with Parmesan cheese and cherry tomatoes on top during the last 3-4 minutes of cooking.
Mexican: Add 1/2-1 teaspoon chipotle and/or ancho chilli powder, and top with roasted poblano strips and some Oaxaca cheese or cheddar.
Asian: Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 2-3 Thai chillies finely diced, and a few drops of fish sauce, and serve with kimchi or pickled vegetables on the side.