Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Potato Cakes

Potato Cakes
Dorcas Annette Walker

For some reason when I am snowbound or get cabin fever during the winter- feeling like the walls of my house are caving in from having to be indoors so much- I start scrounging around in my cookbooks and recipes for something different to cook. The other day I came across an old recipe for Potato Cakes. As soon as I began frying up a batch in my kitchen last Saturday morning, my husband grabbed a plate and fork and proceeded to hover close by until a sizzling hot Potato Cake was finished. There is nothing like eating a homemade Potato Cake right from the skillet. If you are feeling hungry and want something filling whip up a batch of my old fashion Potato Cakes.

Potato Cakes actually refer to many ways of making fried potatoes. Here in the United States the term is commonly used for frozen hash brown potato patties that are available in supermarkets and served by many restaurants. In England and New Zealand potato scallops or potato fritters- a regular cheap item in fish and chip shops- are usually thick slices of potatoes dipped in batter and fried. Irish potato cakes are typically mashed potatoes mixed with baking soda and fried while Scottish “tattie scones” uses flour, are fried on a griddle, and served with breakfast or topped with baked beans. Southern Australia potato cakes are a sweet dessert made of mashed or sliced potatoes with other ingredients baked in the form of a cake or an actual cake recipe using potato flour.

My Potato Cakes are a type of home-style fried potatoes in the form of a pancake that are delicious as a weekend brunch with bacon, sausage, and eggs or eaten by themselves. For variety you can use unpeeled potatoes, leftover mashed potatoes, add shredded cheese, mushrooms, or chopped veggies to make a well balanced meal. For lower fat content drain fried Potato Cakes on paper towels for a couple of minutes before eating. Either way you like them these crispy Potato Cakes are filling and lip smackin good. Preparation time for my Potato Cakes is about fifteen minutes and this recipe serves eight large man-size cakes.

Potato Cakes

4 large potatoes peeled and shredded
1 small onion diced
½ c self-rising flour
2 eggs
salt & pepper
2 tb shortening or bacon grease

Heat up shortening or grease in an iron skillet until it sizzles when you flick a drop of water on the pan. In a medium bowl mix together the shredded potatoes, onion, flour, and eggs. Drop large spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the hot skillet and mash flat with a wide turner or spatula. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Using medium heat let the Potato Cakes brown for five minutes, flip over, cover the skillet, and then let the other side brown for another five minutes. Serve hot and garnish with ketchup!

Weekly tip: To save time use a food processor to shred the potatoes then immediately rinse all the parts of the food processor in hot soapy water and drain to save up washing up later!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at:

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