Potato Cake with Garlic and Parsley

January 29th, 2014

Potato Cake 1


This is actually part 2 of my previous post.  On the same evening that I made the Pork Tenderloin with Grapes, I made this Potato Cake with Garlic and Parsley.  They are both recipes from Mimi Thorisson on her blog Manger.  If I had been in my Lake Lure Kitchen this potato cake would have looked better.  It is because I have the perfect mold for it there.  View the following video to watch Mimi’s husband Oddur making this dish along with a steak and you will see what I mean.  Here is the link.  What I really needed to mold the potato cake was my Charlotte Mold.  I have had my tin-lined charlotte mold for many years and it comes in handy for many purposes.  Here is a link to one of my favorite desserts using it.

Charlotte-Mold 2

 But if you don’t have a charlotte mold, you can do as I did here in Florida and use a 2 quart round oven proof casserole.  I sprayed mine with olive oil spray.

Potato Cake 2

This potato cake was excellent. I used the duck fat that I bought in France last year in which to fry it.  The duck fat has been in my freezer just waiting for the right application.  There is nothing better than potatoes cooked in duck fat.  Here is a source if you would like to order it.  But you could also cook the potatoes in a mixture of butter and olive oil.  It was an added bonus to be able to saute the potatoes ahead of time and put them into the mold to be finished in the oven at our convenience.  The potato cake is just right for 4 people.  Just cut into pie shaped wedges and serve.  The cooked garlic and parsley on top are the finishing touch and make for a beautiful presentation.  Your friends will love you.  And for all of you guys out there,  Oddur Thorisson’s video on a perfect date night dinner would be a perfect recipe for a Valentine’s day dinner.


5 large potatoes
6 garlic cloves (sliced fine)
2 handfuls of chopped parsley
1 tbsp butter
8-10 tbsp duck fat
Salt & Pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Start frying on a medium heat the sliced potatoes with one tbsp butter for 8 minutes. Pour 8 tbps (or more if you wish and according to your taste) of the duck fat onto the potatoes and continue frying till cooked and golden. You’d be surprised at how fast it cooks with duck fat. Flip potatoes constantly. Add salt. By 20-25 minutes they should be cooked. Put potatoes in a small cake mold and press gently with a potato masher or a large spoon so the potatoes take a good shape. You don’t want to mash the potatoes, just press them. Place in the oven for 5-8 minutes.  While in the oven, fry the garlic in the potato pan until it is just browned.

Take the potato cake out of the oven, remove from mold and place on a serving plate. Put the chopped parsley and fried garlic on top. Serve immediately.

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Bubble and Squeak

October 31st, 2013

I created this quintessential version of British pub fare out of necessity.  I had leftover mashed potatoes and a half of a head of Savoy cabbage just waiting in the crisper.  The British dish of bubble and squeak is said to have been named after the sounds that the potato and cabbage mixture makes as it sautes.  Our trip to England a few years ago was an impressive experience on many levels.  But the food was not one of them.   However there are many dishes that the British do well.  I love Jamie Oliver’s Steak and Guinness Pie that I blogged about here.  I did a French version of Shepherd’s pie on this post.  Bangers and Mash are right up my alley.  And now I can wholeheartedly recommend Bubble and Squeak.

What is not to love about buttery mashed potatoes paired with sauteed cabbage.  If you leave it in the skillet for a while it will develop a nice brown crisp exterior.  I did not cook my mixture to a crisp, but loved the way that it is easy to mold it into a round disc of goodness.  The cabbage lightens the potatoes without being intrusive.  As a matter of fact, I would call this a perfect marriage of ingredients.

This went particularly well with the pork roast I had made.  British food may not be my favorite cuisine, but you have to give them credit for their imaginative food names.  How many of the following can you identify:  Sussex heavies, brewis, covach, water souchy, buckings, solloghan, whipped syllabub, oon, rumbledethumps, inky pinky, baps, haggamuggie, snoodie, clod, claggaum fadge, blaaad, curlie-murlies, or fairy butter?  For now, I am sticking to bubble and squeak.

So bubble, bubble, toil and trouble.  Happy Halloween everyone.  The above picture was taken at a recent visit to Replacements LTD, a wonderful warehouse and showroom for your favorite china patterns and more.

BUBBLE AND SQUEAK (Adapted from Gourmet Magazine)

1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 pound Savoy cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cover potatoes with cold salted water and bring to a boil, then boil, uncovered, until tender when pierced with a sharp knife, about 18 minutes.  Drain in a colander.

Heat butter in a 10-inch heavy nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then saute cabbage with salt and pepper, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add potatoes, mashing and stirring them into cabbage while leaving some lumps and pressing to form a cake.

Cook, without stirring, until underside is crusty and golden, about 10 minutes.

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A Smoked Brisket and Potato Casserole

September 22nd, 2013

My husband has been obsessed with a new toy recently.  It has been fine with me because I never have to do any work to get the main dish on the table.  For a full week we have had such dishes as smoked butterflied chicken,  thick cut grilled steaks, pork ribs and this excellent smoked brisket.  Here is a picture of his new obsession.

It is a ceramic Kamado grill.  It is not a Green Egg, more like a Brown Egg.  We got such a deal on it that all thoughts of holding out for a Green Egg went out the window.  Plus it is made exactly the same.  David is very happy with it.  I took this picture after he took the brisket off of the grill.  All of the temperature probes were left dangling.  But notice that the gas grill has been shoved aside and the Kamado has pride of place under the umbrella.

David cooked the 4 pound brisket for 8 hours.  What you see is not burned.  That is the bark that develops after a long slow smoking on the grill.  If you are not smoking a whole brisket which can weigh from 10 to 12 pounds, the cut you should use is the second cut, sometimes called the point or the deckle.  Most supermarkets sell the first cut, or flat.  It is leaner, but is also tougher.  That is why most people braise a brisket in liquid.  You can find the second cut at specialty stores such as The Chop Shop in Asheville.  Or you can ask your local butcher for this cut.  All you will ever need to know about cooking a brisket on the grill and the recipe that David followed can be found on this website.

With the brisket I wanted to make a special potato dish.  I adapted a recipe from David Rocco for a potato cake.  Mashed potatoes are cooked in a casserole with bacon, sauteed onions and Parmesan cheese.  They are topped with cracker crumbs.  The potatoes were perfect with the brisket.  Here is the recipe.


8 medium potatoes, peeled
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
6 slices bacon, chopped and cooked crisp
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
3 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cook potatoes in water to cover until tender.  Drain.  Place butter, cubed into a large bowl.  Using a potato ricer, rice potatoes into bowl over butter.  Add milk and mash together.  When partially cool, add beaten egg.

After bacon is cooked, place on paper towels.  Discard all but about 3 tablespoons of bacon fat.  Add onion and cook until onion is slightly browned.  Add bacon, onion and Parmesan cheese to the potatoes and mix together.

Place potato mixture into a greased casserole dish.  Mix crushed crackers with melted butter and sprinkle over the top.  Bake in 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until cracker crumbs are golden brown.

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Austrian Potato Salad

January 17th, 2013

I have always been aware of French potato salad, hot German potato salad and good old American potato salad.  But Austrian potato salad is a new one to me.      I know now that Wolfgang Puck has a wonderful recipe for warm Austrian potato salad.  I found this particular recipe because I could not sleep.  Sometimes we insomniacs get up in the middle of the night to read in the hopes that it will lull us back into sleep.  I finished the last 20 pages of the novel I was reading and still wasn’t tired.  There was a stack of  old Cooks Illustrated magazines sitting on my book shelf, so I dragged them out hoping that another half hour of perusing their pages would do the trick and send me back to bed.  I found the recipe for this potato salad and became intrigued, as I always am by any potato recipe.  But the question that nagged at me was – “What makes Austrian potato salad different from German potato salad?”  Or American for that matter?

The difference is American potato salad is mayonnaise-based.  German potato salad has bacon in it.  Austrian potato salad is lighter; using very little fat.  Instead it uses the starch from the potatoes by mashing a few chunks into chicken broth to form a thick and velvety dressing.  It still has the tang of vinegar and a crunch with cornichons and diced red onions.  Unfortunately, when I made it the next day I did not have cornichons.  So I substituted the pickled red onions that I had made in my previous post.  Also instead of chives, I used parsley.  The dish is forgiving of these substitutions.

Traditionally Austrian potato salad (erdapfelsalat) is served with Wiener Schnitzel.  We had it with grilled barbecued ribs.  I highly recommend it.  Sometimes insomnia is a good thing.



2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 4 large), peeled, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
Table salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 small red onion, chopped fine
6 cornichons (pickles), minced (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
Ground black pepper

1. Bring potatoes, broth, water, 1 teaspoon salt, sugar and 1 tablespoon vinegar to boil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until potatoes offer no resistance when pierced with paring knife, 15 to 17 minutes.  Remove cover, increase heat to high (so cooking liquid will reduce), and cook 2 minutes.

2. Drain potatoes in colander ser over large bowl, reserving cooking liquid.  Set drained potatoes aside.  Pour off and discard all but 1/2 cup cooking liquid (if 1/2 cup liquid does not remain, add water to make 1/2 cup).  Whisk remaining tablespoon vinegar, mustard, and oil into cooking liquid.

3. Add 1/2 cup cooked potatoes to bowl with cooking liquid mixture and mash with potato masher or fork until thick sauce forms (mixture will be slightly chunky).  Add remaining potatoes, onion, cornichons, and chives, folding gently with rubber spatula to combine.  Season to taste with salt and black pepper.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Hachis Parmentier – French Shepherd’s Pie

October 8th, 2012

The first time I ever had Hachis Parmentier was in a French restaurant that had just opened in our home town in North Carolina.  It was almost twenty years ago.  My love of French cooking was already established but I had never heard of this dish before.  I loved the earthiness of the minced beef filling and the fluffy mashed potatoes flavored with Gruyere cheese.  It was like an amped up version of cottage or shepherd’s pie.

When I bought Dorie Greenspan’s new cookbook, Around My French Table, last year I bookmarked her recipe for this casserole.  What intrigued me about her version of hachis parmentier was the option of using cubed steak instead of chunks of beef.  She also included sausage in the minced meat for the filling.

But the real star of this dish is the mashed potato topping.  The potatoes are lighter than normal because they use more milk and cream.  Also the Emmenthal (French Gruyere) cheese give them such lip-smacking flavor, that I was in danger of devouring the whole dish by myself.

There are a lot of steps to putting the casserole together, but they can be done in stages.  Believe me, it is worth your time.

HACHIS PARMENTIER (Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Around my French Table)

1 lb cube steak cut into small pieces
1 onion,sliced
1 carrot, cut into 1 inch slices
1 celery stalk cut into 1 inch slices
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
2 sprigs parsley
1 bay leaf
5-7 black peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups of water

Add all of the ingredients into a large dutch oven, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for
about an hour and a half until the meat is tender and the broth is flavorful. Skim off foam in the early stages.  Remove the beef from the broth and set aside. You can also reserve the vegetables if you’d like to use them or discard them.  If you want to use them, cut them into small dice.  Strain the broth through a sieve and reserve for the next step. You will likely have more bouillon than you’ll need.

1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 lb of sausage, removed from casing
Beef from the bouillon step, cut into very small pieces by hand plus vegies if using
1 cup of bouillon cooking liquid
1 beef bouillon cube
1 teaspoon tomato paste
Salt and ground pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. When your pan is hot, add the olive oil, followed by the sausage.
Break the sausage up into small pieces as it cooks. As soon as it is just barely cooked through, add in the beef, vegies and the tomato paste and combine. Add in the bouillon and the bouillon cube. Depending on the amount of meat you have you may need a little more or less than a cup. Cook to allow the boullion cube to dissolve.  You want the mixture to be moist and bubbly but not soupy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a casserole dish (see Putting it all Together below). You can also reserve mixture in the fridge until you’re ready to make the final dish.

2 lbs potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup milk
1/4 half and half
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 cup of Gruyere cheese or Emmenthal cheese
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon of butter to dot on top

Place the potatoes in a cold dutch oven or large soup pot and cover with water by a couple of inches. Add a
generous pinch of salt, then bring to a boil over medium high heat. Keep at a slow boil until the potatoes are soft. Drain and transfer back into the pot (the warm pot will keep your potatoes warm) and mash with a potato masher or run through a food mill. Add in milk, half and half, and butter and mix until the consistency is smooth. A whisk is helpful here. You want your potatoes to be a little more moist than you would for stand-alone mashed potatoes.


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spoon the filling into a 2 qt.casserole dish (Dorrie recommentds a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate).  Press the filling down with the back of the spoon, making it even and flat. Spoon the
mashed potatoes on top of the filling and spread evenly over the whole surface. Make sure to “seal” the edge of the casserole with the potatoes. Sprinkle the cheeses evenly over the top of the potatoes, then dot with the butter. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.  I turned on the broiler at the end of the cooking time to brown the top better.

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© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.