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Mushroom Potato Cakes

These little potato cakes make a flavourful canapé or, made a little larger, starter or light lunch. The really clever bit about them though is that they have the yumminess of deep fried food, but are actually oven baked, so much easier and much healthier than their deep fried cousins. The trick is to quickly fry the panko crumbs in a lightly greased pan. It's as easy as that - and these little mouthfuls of deliciousness freeze too. A good one for any small family gatherings this Christmas, or larger gatherings later on and we all hope that's not too far away.

Ingredients - Makes approximately 20

250g potatoes

25g flour

60g mushrooms, finely chopped

25g onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tbs olive oil

Salt (smoked is good, but not essential ) and pepper

1 tsp dry sherry

1/4tsp dried thyme

5g parsley chopped

1/2tsp umami paste

Optional: 1/2 tsp truffle oil (and extra to drizzle)

For the coating:

50g panko crumbs

1 tbsp vegetable oil

25g Plain flour

1 egg, beaten and mixed with a good pinch of salt (see Tips page)



Peel and cut the potatoes into even sized chunks. Put into a pan of water and bring to the boil. Simmer the potatoes until they are tender.

While the potatoes are cooking, heat a non stick frying pan and then lightly brush some of the vegetable oil all over it. Sprinkle in the panko crumbs and drizzle the remainder of the vegetable oil over the crumbs. Cook, turning regularly until the crumbs are golden brown. Season and cool.

Drain the potatoes and put them back into the pan on a low heat to dry for a few minutes. Cool and mash (a potato ricer is brilliant for this).

Heat the olive oil in a pan and soften the onion.

Add the mushrooms, thyme and garlic and continue to cook.

Add the sherry and let it bubble for a few minutes. Finally stir in the umami paste and the parsley and continue to cook until all the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the truffle oil if using and cool.

Mix the first 25g of flour evenly into the potatoes, to make a dough like consistency.

Make small balls of the potato mix by rolling them in your hands (mine weighed about 12g each). Flatten each ball in the palm of your hand or on a floured surface, to make a circle about 4cm wide, wider if you can, but with no holes. Put a small spoonful of mushroom in the centre and draw up the sides to seal in the mushroom. Roll gently in your hands again to make neat little cylinder shapes.

Dip the potato cakes firstly into the flour, then the beaten egg and finally roll in the panko crumbs.

The potato cakes can now be stored in the fridge until needed. They will keep, covered, for a couple of days. Alternatively they can be frozen at this stage. cooked to serve straight away or frozen.

To cook from chilled: heat oven to 200°c. Place the potato cakes on a lined baking sheet and cook for 10 mins until piping hot - flipping them over half way is a good idea. Check seasoning and drizzle with a couple more drops of truffle oil if using.

To cook from frozen: heat oven to 190°c. Place the frozen potato cakes on a lined baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes. Flip over half way if time allows. Check seasoning and drizzle with a couple of drops of truffle oil if using.


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