A friend shared this wonderful recipe with me and it has fast become a family favorite. Although the recipe calls for Manchego cheese, you can substitute an easier-to-find, less expensive substitute such as Gouda or Fontina. You can also use a softer cheese such as crumbled goat cheese, simply mix the other ingredients first and then fold the goat cheese in.
You can also shape them into large cakes (as shown here) or smaller, thinner cakes. I like the smaller ones the best.
Chive Potato Cake (Cafe Pasqual’s cookbook, circa 2003)
Makes 6 ‘large’ potato cakes or 12 small ones
- 2 whole bulbs garlic
- 5 medium-large russet baking potatoes
- 1/2 cup grated Manchego cheese (or gouda, fontina, etc.)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup minced fresh chives
- salt and pepper
- butter for frying
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Trim and roast the garlic cloves by cutting off tips, then placing the whole heads, cut side up, in a small baking pan. Fill the pan with enough water to go 1/2 way up the side of the bulbs. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.
- Place the unpeeled potatoes in a saucepan, add water to cover, and bring to a boil. Boil until tender, 25 to 35 minutes; test for doneness by piercing with a fork. Drain the potatoes and let them cool until they can be handled. Then, grate them into a large mixing bowl, skin and all, using the largest holes on a hand-held grater (I found that the skin easily comes off while grating).
- Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from their skins onto the grated potatoes. Add the cheese, egg and chives and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Form the mixture into 6 cakes 1 1/2″ thick or 12 cakes, 3/4″ thick. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or for up to 24 hours before cooking.
- Melt the butter in a 12″ inch skillet and fry the cakes until golden, about 4 minutes per side.