Monday, September 17, 2007

I'll keep trying
--Swedish Potato Cakes

Swedish Potato Cakes
The New York Times Menu Cookbook Copyright 1966

2 cups hot seasoned mashed potatoes
1 egg
1 tablespoon finely minced onions
1 tablespoon finely minced dill or parsley I used parsley
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
¼ cup butter

1. Mix the potatoes and egg and beat thoroughly until mixture is fluffy. Blend in the onion, dill and nutmeg and shape into six flat cakes.
2. Heat the butter in a large skillet and brown the cakes until crisp and brown on both sides.

When I was young the mom of my best friend made great potato cakes out of leftover mashed potatoes. Over the years, I've tried replicating her potato cakes but I always end up with a big pile of mush. Now that I'm a much more experienced cook, I thought I would take a stab at these again. Well, once again I got a big pile of mush. A very tasty pile of mush yet mush still the same. My husband usually passes on potatoes (which is why I had leftover mashed potatoes in the first place) but he ate these so I wouldn't call these a failure. An aesthetic failure but not a taste failure. I think I'm just lacking the potato cake gene.

I used the nutmeg here and it worked. I'm always afraid it's going to be overpowering but this small amount enhanced the recipe without taking over. I think my mistake was that my potatoes weren't hot - I thought that would cook the egg immediately but maybe that's what should have happened.

I think there's a way to make the weekend seem longer by coming up with the perfect ratio of busyness versus lazyness. I just wish I knew what that perfect ratio was. I didn't even come close this weekend - I stayed too busy. I still didn't get nearly enough done which is probably why it seems like it went so fast. I managed to squeeze in more cooking than I've been doing on the weekends lately. I've purchased many, many (many!) good cookbooks lately. That combined with the cooler weather just seemed to light a fire under me.

Blast From The Past: Venison Paprika from February 2006. Hunting season starts soon!

Question of the Day: Is there anything that you just can't seem to make right, even though you've tried several times?


ThursdayNext said...

I always seem to mess up making cakes that require a springfoam pan...don't ask me how. I just mess up butter amount, parchament paper size, etc. Feh.

Anonymous said...

You should try forming the mashed potatoes into patties, dip them into egg and putting a light crust of flour or breadcrumbs. Not so much that all you will taste is bread crumbs, but enough that it will help bind the cake together. Then fry in a bit of oil. The flour/breadcrumbs will give it a crust. Let me know how it works for you!

Red Dirt Mummy said...

Fried Rice is my bugbear. I have tried to make it heaps of times - followed recipes precisely, winged it, you name it. And everytime I come up with mush. Now I get hubby to do it or we just buy it!

Anonymous said...

i've never had good luck with poached eggs...

My dad makes these potato cakes - his mashed potatoes are usually on the "dry" side, which i think helps keep the cakes together. :)

DancesInGarden said...

Jello. Rice-a-roni. Packaged scallop potatoes. I just can't make pre-packaged food. It doesn't help that I find most of it gross even when they are made well LOL.

I used to make crappy mashed potatoes, but now that I cook the potatoes whole (unpeeled) in the micro and put them through a ricer, and warm the milk - and add a LOT more milk than I did before - they are pretty darn good.

Anonymous said...

My great aunt Judy made fab fried potato cakes out of left-over mashed potatoes. I just can't do it. Now I just make them from fresh (not precooked) potatoes - the Polish way. I guess that will be my way.

Love your blog - been reading awhile but never commented before.


Anonymous said...

That would be dumplings. They are fluffy on the outside and a hockey puck inside. I tried many recipes and finally one turned out good. It's been a while, so I need to look up the recipe again.

I make potato patties from leftover potatoes. I just add enough flour to make then stiff and more seasoning. In a cast iron skillet with about an inch of oil, I drop them by spoonsful.


MommyProf said...

Biscuits. Can't make fluffy ones to save my life!

Anonymous said...

I know it's almost a year later, but it all depends on how you make your taters. Too much liquid makes them run. When I know I'm going to want them the next morning, I even set some aside and replace some of the milk and butter with the water from boiling the potatoes. I think it's the starch that leaches out into the water from cooking. Helps the patties stay.