Potato Cakes [Can Be In The German Style]

This recipe is based on one that Alice's mother was taught at school in the 1940s.  It is meant to be a way of using up left-over mashed potato.  It is better when made with floury/baking potatoes rather than waxy/new/salad potatoes.

Makes 4 normal potato cakes or 2 potato cakes in the German style (more pancakey); multiply up as necessary.

Note: the quantities in this recipe are based on the boiled weight of potato, and a potato will only lose weight through being peeled and boiled; a 160 gm potato out of the bag will likely result in 120 gm of boiled potato.
Note: The dough made in this recipe freezes very well.  If you use a large baking potato, weighing more like 240 gm, that should allow you to make double the quantity.  Roll all the dough into balls and freeze the ones youíre not going to use straight away.  Get them out of the freezer about an hour before you want to cook them.

Ingredients

For every 120 gm of potato:

Method, Normal

  1. Peel the potato and cut it into four.
  2. Fill a medium saucepan half full of water and bring the water to the boil.
  3. Add the potato pieces and let them boil gently for 22 minutes; the potatoes need to be slightly over-cooked so that they are soft and just starting to fall apart.
  4. Drain the potato pieces and put them in a large bowl.
  5. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher, or with a fork if you don't have a potato masher (though that will be harder).
  6. Weigh the resulting mash and work out how much of the other ingredients you need for the quantity of mash you have.
  7. Mix the butter and salt in with the mash.
  8. Mix in the flour.
  9. Knead the mixture into a soft dough with your hands.
  10. Divide the dough into four pieces.
  11. Roll each piece into a ball in your hands and then squash each one into a flat, round, cake just under 1 cm thick.
  12. Heat a generous knob of butter in a frying pan and add the potato cakes.
  13. Cook them until the underside is browned; donít fiddle with them too soon as they are inclined to stick when not browned and so might break up.
  14. Turn them over and cook them on the other side, adding more butter/olive-oil to the pan if necessary.

Method, In The German Style

The method above is modified as follows:
  1. At step 10 divide the dough into two pieces rather than four; at step 11 you should end up with a rather larger potato cake of the same thickness and may need a fish slice to transfer it to the frying pan.
  2. At step 11 squash the somewhat softer potato cakes on a floured surface to avoid them sticking.
  3. At step 12 use olive oil instead of butter, completely coating the bottom of the pan, with the heat set to medium.  Place a cake in the pan and, while it is cooking, use the fish slice to lift it and swizzle the pan so that, as much as is possible, the cake floats, in the oil; otherwise the cake will absorb the oil in the middle underneath it and will not brown evenly. Turn the cake over after about 2 minutes and repeat on the other side.


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