You Say Potato, I Say Potato Cake
Last night was a late night. My wife had some girlfriends over and like any good get together it didn't finish up until the early hours. After the necessary clean up and settle down it was fast approaching a time we don't see very often anymore. As is almost always the case, a late night usually means morning recovery and a later start time. That was my morning today.
I was laying awake in bed after the sun connected with my face long enough to pry my eyes open. I adjusted to the light in my eyes and started thinking about what we had in the house that I could make for a late breakfast. My wife wasn't very hungry so I figured a quick and easy dish was in order and I knew I had plenty of potatoes to satisfy those requirements.
I never sacrifice weekend breakfast no matter how late or rushed I am so I started the coffee maker and got to work grating potatoes into a heavy tea towel before squeezing out all that excess water. It's amazing how a potato can transform once you shred it and lose all that liquid. It becomes soft and delicate, in a way. You can then make so many different varieties of potato cakes and they're all equally fantastic and tasty.
When a couple tablespoons of the potato mixture hits the hot pan with oil literally dancing the transformation is quick and nearly complete. It immediately sears and crisps the side that's pressed against the pan and the aroma jumps out of the pan and fills my senses. The finished product is crispy on the outside and yet so soft and luxurious inside. One bite after the other and always with the same result.
I make a mustard drizzle that's both sweet and tangy. A combination of Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, sugar, lemon juice and olive oil. I hold off the salt because the Serrano ham is salty enough and I find even saltier when fried until crispy. The mustard drizzle balances that saltiness and the consistency is just thick enough to hold on to the thick potato cake.
I've served these cakes with smoked salmon and beef, mixed with feta and goat cheese and this time tried it with the different texture the ham had to offer. I'll keep mixing it up because it keeps rewarding me with great flavour and great taste. Super fresh ingredients that stand out naturally.
I only started making variations of these cakes after discovering the genius of Bill Granger a few years ago and I can honestly say that it will always be a part of my weekend breakfast routines with my family across the ocean from where it all started.
|Potato Cakes with Crisp Serrano Ham and Mustard Drizzle|