The classical image of the poverty-stricken student living off baked beans, with pride and clothing similarly frayed, may not apply to most of us here at Imperial, but still we must appear so to our debt-a-phobic parents. In this section I’m planning to introduce all of you to some war inspired recipes that are perfect for mornings where a trip to the shops is impossible without substantial amounts of analgesia.
Having been in this position last week, with nothing more than potatoes and dark sunglasses in my possession, I turned to Ireland for salvation and was rescued by a delicious Potato Cake recipe.
Since then, in far more able condition, I have played with a few embellishments; the versatility of this humble staple being music to my mouth. So here is the main recipe and a few alterations which worked, but feel free to experiment, as there’s not much that can go wrong with these.
Traditional Potato Cakes
· 200 g plain flour
· 200 g warm mashed potato
· 75 g butter
· a big pinch of salt
· two glugs of milk
· a few slices of bacon (optional)
Boil the potatoes in slightly salted water (remember Thermo - this speeds things up) for 20-25 minutes or until the skins start to crack and the potatoes become soft. Mash ‘em, skins on.
Sift the flour with the salt into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub through until completely mixed. Whack in the mashed potato, add salt, then knead thoroughly before adding milk a glug at a time until it forms a soft sticky dough.
Spread some flour onto a chopping board and pull your dough into 4-5 patties, form a ball then press down each side into the flour.
Heat some oil (leftover bacon oil is best!); fry on medium heat until brown on both sides. Serve with oodles o’ butter, bacon and tomato ketchup!
Herbed up Potato Cakes
· 5 small shiitake mushrooms
· a heaped teaspoon crushed ginger
· a clove or two of garlic chopped and crushed
Simply add these ingredients into the mashed potato for more flavoursome potato cakes!
Salmon Potato Cakes
· 170 g plain flour
· 350 g warm mashed potato
· 350 g cooked salmon (tinned for ease)
· 75g butter
· a big pinch of salt
· juice of ½ lemon
· a teaspoon of crushed ginger
· a teaspoon of dill tops
· a tablespoon of fresh parsley
· a beaten egg
Add the salmon and herbs to the mashed potato. Once the patties are formed, cover in flour, dip in egg and into breadcrumbs. Pop in a (200°C) preheated oven, turn occasionally, wait to brown and Bob’s your uncle: Salmon Potato Cakes!