My Failed (then saved) Potato Cake

PotatoCakeTurnedOutbfLOWe saw this cool idea for a Parmesan Potato Pancake on one of the food shows and thought, YUM!, so I set about making it.

I don’t know what went wrong.

Did I use too many potatoes, or the wrong kind?

Was my non-stick pan not non-sticky enough?

Did I simply not have the strength of my convictions when I flipped the sucker?

Instead of a crispy cake o’ Italian seasoned potato goodness, I got this pile o’ not-too-browned hash browns.


I HATE IT when that happens!

They tasted all right – but could have been a lot crispier for my tastes. They could have also used a touch more seasoning, in my humble opinion – but their blandness worked well with the barbecue spiced chicken I had paired them with for dinner.

02OnionsSautebfLOSOMETHING had to be done.

First, let’s start with our basic parmesan potato pancake, with thanks and apologies to Giada De Laurentiis.

•3 tbsp olive oil, divided
•1 onion, chopped
•1 clove garlic, minced
•1 tsp salt
•1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
•2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
•1 cup grated Parmesan
•1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Warm the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12-inch diameter) nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until tender and fragrant, about another 2 minutes. Season the onion mixture with salt and pepper. Transfer the 03PotatoesSeasoningsbfLOonion mixture to a large bowl and set aside. Reserve the pan.

Meanwhile, grate the potatoes in a food processor using the grating attachment blade. Use a kitchen towel to help squeeze out the water from the grated potatoes. Add 04SkilletbfLOthe potatoes to the bowl with the onion mixture. Add the Parmesan and the basil. Stir to combine and season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.

Warm the remaining olive oil over high heat in the same pan that was used to cook the onions. When the pan is hot, but not smoking add the potato mixture. Use a spatula to press the mixture down into the pan firmly and evenly. Turn the heat down to medium and cook the potato mixture until the bottom is golden brown and the pancake can move in the pan, about 12 to 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-low if the pancake is browning too fast in places. Place a large plate on top of the pancake and flip the pancake out of the 05PotatoCakeReadyToBakebfLOpan. Turn the heat on the pan back up to high. When the pan is hot slide the pancake back into the pan and cook until the bottom is golden and is cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes. Slide the pancake onto a serving platter, slice, and serve.

06BakedPotatoCakebfLO‘Slide the pancake…’ YEAH, right! But, I’m not bitter.

Quite frankly, I’d put too much work into these potatoes to consign the leftovers to Herman, our ever-faithful garbage disposer, so I thought a bit and came up with this:

I packed the leftover potatoes into a well and truly buttered baking pan and then whipped together and poured over all this combination:

•2 eggs
•1/4 cup whipped chive cream cheese

•1/4 cup light cream

•7 drops Cajun Power (or Tabasco) Sauce –
or to your own taste

Pop it in a hot 325º oven for thirty minutes, and we’re beginning to get somewhere.

Now this, is a potato cake.

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