Wednesday, 17 May 2017


These cheese and onion potato cakes came about when I was trying to make a vegetarian version of a fish cake on Good Friday this year. I wanted to make them really special and so with some leftover cheese in the fridge I set about making a delicious potato cake with an amazing melt in the middle cheese filling in the centre that would explode over the plate once you cut through the golden panko breadcrumb coating. They take a little work to make but trust me when I say that it is really worth the effort. Who knew potatoes could be so exciting!

First of all, you'll noticed that I've add some spring onions to the potatoes to add some freshness and a bit of bite to the potato cakes. You can leave them out if you wish or if you want to replace them with another vegetable make sure it's not something full of water which may cause the potato cakes to fall apart.  Mushrooms would be a no no but some peas or sweetcorn could work. Whatever you decide to do make sure you season with oodles of salt and pepper otherwise your potatoes will just be uber bland.

The cheesy filling in the centre of the potato cakes is what really makes them shine. Try and use the best Parmesan (vegetarian versions are available!) you can find to give the filling some oomph. If you don't want to use Parmesan, then use a cheese that will melt really well into the sauce like a Cheddar or Red Leicester. Don't use anything like mozzarella as it will make the sauce claggy and it won't ooze out the potato cake when you slice through it

I've used fresh oregano in the sauce as well. Fresh oregano can be hard to come across if you don't have a large supermarket or whole food shop near you so if you can't get hold of then use dried oregano or try another fresh herb like parsley or coriander instead.

Now it's time for the recipe. Have patience and follow the steps to get yourself four perfect potato cakes. When heating the oil in your pan to fry the cakes you can test if your oil is at the right heat by keeping it on medium and then chucking in some of the panko breadcrumbs and they should brown between 2-3 minutes.

Cheese And Onion Potato Cakes

500g Peeled And Chopped Floury Potatoes
4 Finely Chopped Spring Onions
Salt And Pepper To Season
15g Butter
150g Plain Flour
160ml Milk
1/2 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 Tsp Lemon Juice
25g Grated Parmesan
2 Tbsp Chopped Oregano Leaves
1 Beaten Whole Egg
75g Panko Breadcrumbs

  1. Begin by placing the potatoes in a big pot of salted boiling water and boil the potatoes for 15 minutes before draining and mashing the potatoes until totally smooth. Chuck in the spring onions and season generously with salt and pepper. Leave to one side to cool.
  2. Whilst the potatoes cool, make your cheesy sauce by placing a small pan on the hob at a medium heat and adding in the butter and 15g of the plain flour. Whisk until the butter has melted and combined with the flour to form a smooth paste. Add in the milk in small batches, whisking continuously asyou do until a thick and smooth white sauce has formed. 
  3. Add in the Dijon mustard, lemon juice, Parmesan and oregano and mix stir everything through until will combined. Remove the pan from the hob and leave to cool.
  4. Once both the mash and cheese sauce have both cooled, take the mash and divide into 8 equal sized pieces. Take one piece of potato and roll into a ball before placing on a wooden board. Flatten the ball with your palm and then make a little dip in the centre (don't make a hole straight through!).Spoon in 1 heaped tbsp of the cooled cheese sauce, making sure you keep it away from the edges of the potato.
  5. Take a second piece of potato and roll into a ball and flatten before carefully placing this over the first cheese filled piece of potato so that all the cheese is covered. Carefully shape the two pieces of potato together to seal the edges making sure none of the cheese sauce squeezes out of the side. Place on a large plate and leave to one side.
  6. Repeat this process with the reaming pieces of potato andcheese sauce until you have made four perfect little potato cakes. Cover the potato cakes with film and pop them in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Once the potato cakes have rested, pop your oven on to 200 degrees (180 fan). Take 2 plates and tip the beaten egg onto one and on the second plate mix together the remaining plain flour and panko breadcrumbs. Place a frying pan on the hob with enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan so it's about 2cm deep. Heat the oil on a medium heat until hot.
  8. Take your potato cakes out of the fridge. Take one cake and quickly dip it in the beaten egg making sure all the potato is covered. Be quick though as the potato will get soggy and unmanageable if you mess around for too long. Next, dip the egg covered potato cake into the flour and breadcrumb mixture until all the potato cake is covered in breadcrumbs and flour.
  9. Place the now breaded potato cake in the pan of hot oil and fry on one side for around 3 minutes until golden brown and then carefully flip the potato cake to fry the other side for 3 minutes until that side is also golden brown.
  10. Remove the potato cake from the pan and pop onto a non stick baking tray. Repeat this process with the other three potato cakes until you have 4 seared golden brown potato cakes sat on the baking tray ready to go. Pop them in the oven to bake for 15 minutes.
After the potato cakes have baked remove them from the oven and serve straight away as you want that golden brown breadcrumb coating to be at optimum crispiness so that when you crunch through it the gorgeous herb cheese sauce in the centre oozes out all over the plate. You can then use the beautifully seasoned mashed potato body of the cakes with the little fleckles of spring onion dotted around inside them to mop up that punchy sauce. It''s naughty and messy but it's ever so tasty. Serve it alongside some fresh vegetables for a great vegetarian alternative for a Sunday roast. It's certainly something to make you go "Mmmmmm!"

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