Saturday, October 8, 2011

Potato Cakes

You know how you get an idea in your head and you can't stop thinking about it until you see it through?  Potato Cakes, Mate... Potato Cakes.  In my mind they were going to be like the ones you get up at the corner shop, deep fried to golden perfection.  But I don't deep fry.  And therein lied the challenge.  I was also feeling quite ravenous for no reason because I wasn't hungry.  I was on a mission and I had to complete it.  Though unevenly browned, these puppies turned out great.  Fairly simple too!  Mashed spuds + flour + butter/oil for a light fry and viola!  Light fry folks, not deep fry.  This is just the first of many attempts.  Delicious, yes.  Perfect, almost.
So very yummy...

4 servings, approximately

1.5 lbs of mashed potatoes--weighed after mashing.  It was approximately 4 medium red potatoes.
1.25 cups of AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
enough milk to moisten (about 2 TBS worked for me)
2 TBS margarine + 1-2 TBS vegetable oil for frying, divided.

1. Boil water in a large pot, enough to cover up the chopped potatoes.
2. Boil the taters about 20 minutes til softened.
3. Drain and mash the taters (keeping the skins on if you choose.  Vitamins!).  I didn't use anything else, just a potato masher and herculean strength.  I'm just that good.  I even bent the metal masher! And then I bent it back.  Oh yeah, I really am just that good.
4. Add in the flour, baking powder and salt.  Mix really well.  It becomes very stretchy, reminiscent of biscuit batter. 
5. Add in the milk, about a tablespoon at a time and mix well.  You don't to make them too moist.  They have to be malleable and able to hold their shape. Otherwise you have runny potato batter for potato pancakes, which isn't altogether a bad idea. 
6. Heat 1 TBS of margarine and 1/2 tbs of vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.  The margarine helps them achieve the golden brown look, the oil prevents the margarine from burning.  It's quite a scientific process. While it's melting and heating, take a small handful of "dough" and roll it into a ball in your hand, then mash it down to about 1/2" thick.
7. When the margarine has melted and the pan is hot, add the potato cakes, probably just two at a time unless you have a large enough pan to accommodate more.  With a hot pan they only take about 1-1.5 minutes to cook on each side.  Remove from pan and sit on a paper towel to absorb some of the oil.
 8. Enjoy with non-HFCS ketchup! Yum!!

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