Aside from eggs, I think potatoes are one of the most versatile ingredients you will find in any kitchen. I have an endless list of go-to favourites that I can whip up from Potatoes depending on my mood and the occasion. And Chilli potato cakes happen to be one of my favourites
Mashed potatoes, which should be soft, creamy and smooth, always reminds me of my childhood when I would try to shape the largest potato mountain that I possibly could; chips, the crispier the better, are an indulgent treat; gratin, thinly sliced potatoes in a rich luxurious sauce, is an even bigger indulgence only to be eaten on special occasions (too much cream for everyday consumption); and don’t even get me started on crisps – I could write an entire dissertation on my love of crisps.
Luckily, I am not alone in my appreciation for all things related to the edible tubor. A good friend of mine has a similar potato addiction and, as she likes cooking just as much as I do, is often trying out new recipes that include our favourite ingredient. On a recent visit to her house, she offered to cook me up a new and exciting version of a particular favourite of hers – the potato cake. She can talk endlessly about her love of this particular dish – the crispy outside protecting the cushiony soft inside.
This particular potato cake was really different she informed me. How different can it be, I demanded to know, isn’t a potato cake just a potato cake? She was pretty emphatic in her response so we concluded I would have to give it a try to be fully convinced – I of course, was not going to argue with this particular conclusion.
She had originally eaten this dish on holiday and then was so enamoured that she tried to recreate it when she returned home, although unsuccessfully. Luckily, she then came across a recipe in a cook book that was such a close match she couldn’t believe her luck. This potato cake was special because it wasn’t made with mash, as most are, but with grated potato. Isn’t that just a rosti I wondered, but I didn’t want to risk her deciding to no longer cook so decided to keep that line of thought to myself.
The addition of herbs also differentiated it from the normal patty – she used mint and although any is fine, I do think that coriander would possibly be too overpowering. I decided to add a hint of chilli (hence the Chilli Potato Cakes), just because alongside my love of potatoes is my love of spice, and a bit of chilli pepper can only ever make a delicious dish better!
I must admit that she was completely and utterly right – since trying these potato cakes for the first time I too fell in love with them. I had to practically beg her for this recipe, and as I am not any where near as protective as her, I am sharing it with you all, so that you too can convince your friends that you can never have enough of chilli potato cakes!
OTV Cuisine: Chilli Potato Cakes
Makes 8 potato cakes
- 500g potatoes
- 1 onion
- 30g butter / oil
- 2 eggs
- small handful of fresh parsley or mint, chopped
- 100g cheese (I used crumbled feta)
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt and black pepper
- 3 tablespoons oil
- Peel and grate the potatoes
- Slice the onion very thinly and fry in a little butter to soften
- Lightly beat the eggs and mix with the chopped herbs (parsley or mint), the cheese (I used feta), flour and cayenne pepper
- Then add the potato and onion
- Season and mix well
- Flour your hands and make flat patties out of good dollops of the mixture (about 2 tablespoons each)
- Fry these gently in oil (I used olive oil) on both sides for 5 – 7 minutes until golden brown
- Remove from the pan and serve immediately
Recipe: Adapted from Sarah Raven
Photos: see captions