If I believed in God, I would believe he is infinite in his blessings.
And if I were devoted to such a religion, I’d have to believe that mashed potato was one of said blessings.
Until you have felt cold mushed potato in your palm being squished into a ‘cake’ then you have not felt a blessing. And the blessing is that they are all the better for being cold, meaning you can shape these and keep them in the fridge until you need them.
I understand not everybody likes Marmite. Y’all haters. And if you read a lot about food, you may have heard a thousand food writers talk about it’s gloriously deep and sticky umami-ness, trying to convince you it’s better than you believe it to be. While it is, I’m not going to be that kind of food writer.
If you don’t like it, don’t include it – that’s your loss, more for me, let’s move on.
If you don’t want Marmite in your potato cakes, maybe go for something like a few drops of Worcestershire sauce or some nutritional yeast or maybe even some soy sauce, just to give it a slight salty, tangy edge. And when it comes cheese, I stayed in the sharp, punchy division of the dairy, but if you want to just go for a generous grating of mature cheddar, then I’m not going to stop you.
We’re frying cakes of cold potato here, I won’t be militant about what you can include in them.
There’s a recipe for mashed potatoes here that you could make and let go cold for this, but I will say that any of the leftover Leek, Cheese & Potato Pie in its complete state is heavenly for this too. If you intend to go down that route, just omit the spring onions in the recipe below as the leeks in the pie will act in their stead.
Serves 4 – 6
250 – 300g cold mashed potatoes
2 spring onions
1 tablespoon Marmite or other yeast extract
A handful of any herbs – I go for parsley and chives
A grating of fresh Parmesan
1 tsp plain flour
- Put the cold mashed potatoes in a bowl and snip in the spring onions, spoon in the Marmite and toss in the herbs.
- Add some salt, black pepper, the Parmesan and the flour.
- Crack in the egg and using your hands – or a spoon if you’re feeling fancy – mix everything together until evenly combined. Don’t overmix though, just toss around until everything is combined and the egg is evenly distributed.
- Now take a small palmful of the potato mix and form into a round golf ball in your hand. Place the potato ball on a plate and gently push down on it with your palm, to flatten it slightly into a disk. Do this until all of your potato mix has turned into little potato hockey pucks on a plate. Put the plate of cakes in the fridge until you are ready to cook.
- When ready, preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Put the cakes on a baking tray and put in the oven for 20 minutes, turning them over halfway through.
- Remove from the pan to some kitchen paper and allow to rest for 5 – 10 minutes before scattering with some freshly chopped herbs (whatever herbs you put in them will be fine) and serving.
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