Cakes cakes potato cakes ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

17 March 2009

Cakes cakes potato cakes

I wasn't remotely intending to make something seasonal, since St Patrick's Day is one of those holidays that floats unseen over my head, but this year I was in New York, home of Tammany Hall, the draft riots of 1863, and the annual St. Patrick's Day parade. This last goes up 5th Avenue, and has a huge media/public speaking stand at 5th and 64th, about a hundred yards from my office. It was impossible to ignore.

So yeah. Uh, I like potatoes, and I accidentally made something very potatoey and warm and delicious right before St. Patrick's Day. If only I'd also accidentally used corned beef, cabbage, and green beer.

Yogurt mushroom potato cakes

boiling potatoes
butter/olive oil
salt, pepper
frozen/fresh peas
plain, good yogurt/soy

This takes three steps as I did it, but you can just as easily (well, more easily) either mix everything together and serve as a massive bowl of mashed potato and vegetable, or serve the two components separately. Then you could either forgo yogurt completely or use it as a garnish. It's mashed potatoes and vegetables: you can do whatever you want.

Boil and mash potatoes; saute vegetables; mix; fry into cakes.

Put a pot of water on to boil while you scrub and peel your potatoes. I think I used three or four medium yukon golds. Throw the peels into the freezer to make soup with later, then chop the potatoes into small cubes. When the water boils, add a pinch of salt and your potatoes. Simmer covered until cooked through. Drain your potatoes and mash them roughly with some butter, salt, pepper, and plain, pungent yogurt. You could also use sour cream, cream cheese, or a soy dairy thing of your choice. I would also say goat cheese if I hadn't gotten the worst food poisoning of my life from goat cheese, such that for months I haven't even wanted to think about it. Moving on.

Warm some olive oil or butter in a nonstick saute pan. Peel and mince some garlic, then toss it into the pan. Let it soften slowly while you slice a couple handfuls of mushrooms. When garlic is soft, throw the mushrooms in as well. Season with lots of paprika and a little salt, stir to mix, and cook for five minutes or so, letting mushrooms express their juices. When your mushrooms are getting close to done, and beginning to turn golden, add some peas. I used the end of a bag in the freezer, which ended up being about 1/2 cup of peas. You can defrost them under warm water before adding if you feel like it; I didn't. Cook until peas are hot through and any extra liquid in the pan has evaporated.

If you want to use other vegetables, you could try pretty much anything that's good with potatoes: shredded carrots, corn, green onion, winter greens, or finely minced cabbage.

If you want just mashed potatoes and vegetables, stop now and eat them. Otherwise, mix the pan of veg directly into the potatoes. Wipe out the saute pan, add a little dribble of olive oil, put the heat on medium, and whack in a couple spoonfuls of potatoes. Cook for about five minutes on each side, or until they attain a nice golden-brown crust. Keep your finished cakes warm on a plate in the oven while you cook the rest.

Voila: potato cakes. Eat them with a lot of salad.

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