(Clockwise, from top): RUSH, Co. Fingal, Margaret M. Johnson; MINI POTATO CAKES, Sribaz/Dreamstime; TEMPLE BAR MARKET, Dublin, Margaret M. Johnson; MIDLETON FARMERS MARKET, Co. Cork, Margaret M. Johnson; GALWAY FARMERS MARKET, Galway, Margaret M. Johnson. From Delicious Ireland, “Mash & More”

             I assume I speak for anyone reading this page that potatoes are your favorite side! I grew up loving potatoes, but when I first visited Ireland in 1984 I was surprised to find not one but possibly two or three types of potatoes offered with my meals. And guess what, I think I ate them all! In my newest cookbook, Delicious Ireland, you’ll find lots of recipes for potato side dishes in the chapter “Mash & More,” as well as other potato-based dishes scattered throughout other chapters: potato and celeriac soup, potato-based lamb croquettes, and smoked salmon fritters, to name a few. To add to your own collection of personal potato favorites, order a signed copy at irishcook.com.

BLUE CHEESE POTATO CAKES

Makes 12

Boxty, a popular potato cake, is an authentic dish and one of Ireland’s most popular traditional foods. This variation comes from Denis Cotter, the chef-proprietor of Paradiso, his vegetarian restaurant in Cork. Laced with a healthy amount of Tipperary-made Cashel Blue Cheese (imported by the Kerrygold brand), he would generally serve them with a flageolet bean dish or a vegetable stew, but non-vegetarians love them served with meat or fish.

1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

2 tablespoons minced fresh dill

2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Salt

Ground black pepper

4 ounces crumbled Cashel Blue cheese

1 egg yolk

Flour, for dredging

2 eggs beaten with 1/2 cup milk, for egg wash

Breadcrumbs, for dredging

Vegetable oil, for frying

Sour cream or crème fraîche, for serving

  1. In a large saucepan, cook the potatoes over medium heat in boiling salted water for 18 to 20 minutes or until tender; drain and mash. Stir in the butter, chives, dill, parsley, and nutmeg; mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool completely.
  2. Stir in the cheese and egg yolk. (The cheese should remain in uneven crumbled lumps scattered through the potatoes.)
  3. Shape the potato mixture into 12 cakes; refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm.
  4. Lightly dredge in flour; coat with egg wash; coat with breadcrumbs.
  5. In a large skillet, heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook the cakes for 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until browned and crisp. (Cakes can be prepared up to this point, placed on a baking sheet, and reheated in a 250ºF oven for about 5 minutes). Serve with a dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche.

 

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