Saturday, February 26, 2011

Potato Cakes

I've had some notable culinary triumphs as of late: potato cakes and granola bars.
The potato cakes are my favorite. It all began with the five pound bag of potatoes sprouting in my cabinet. I knew they needed to be used, but wanted to do something other than just bake them. A bit of thinking, pulling random ingredients out of the fridge, and mixing it all together, and there were my potato cakes!

The basic recipe:
Lauren's Potato Cakes
3-4 mushrooms, thinly sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
handful fresh baby spinach
5 medium potatoes
1-2 cups mozzarella cheese
sour cream (to top)

Begin by baking the potatoes until tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. While the potatoes cool, I start the mushroom mixture. In a saute pan, combine mushrooms, garlic, and a little bit of olive oil. When the mushrooms have cooked down to my satisfaction, I add the spinach and put a lid on the pan to wilt it.
Once the potatoes are cool they must be shredded. The first time I made these guys I ran the potatoes through my cheese grater, and didn't include the skins. The second time, I carefully chopped the potatoes into small pieces, including skin in the mixture.
Put the potatoes in a large bowl and add the cooked mushroom mixture, stir well to incorporate. Add cheese, and mix well. Form small patties from the potato mixture, giving each a light dusting of flour. Heat some oil in a your saute pan, and add the potato cakes when it is hot. Brown on each side (4-6 min each). You can then transfer the cooked cakes to a paper towel to get rid of some of the excess oil, or just eat them right away! I found that as my technique improved there was less oil that soaked into the cakes while cooking. I top them with a little bit of sour cream and chow down. Very good.

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