Delicious side dishes that the entire family will enjoy are hard to come by, especially if one believes the television commercials! Here’s one that takes a little time but is worth the effort. And it’s quite easy to adjust to a particular taste – the dill can be replaced by one of a dozen herbs or spices. Potatoes are the type of food that can be enjoyed with a multitude of preparations. I made the mushroom stuffing several days in advance, prepared the mashed potatoes for the cakes a day ahead so it cooled overnight (no one wants to try to form hot potatoes into disks!), and then assembled them on the third day. They take very little time to assemble and fry so plan accordingly. About 15 minutes before my protein was ready, I started and had them fried and salted just as the ribs were coming out of the oven.
First prepare the mushrooms. In a 12″ skillet heat over medium high:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion minced (the food processor does this very quickly and easily)
8 ounces chopped mushrooms (again, a mince is best although not required)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
When the mushrooms and onion are soft and slightly browned, about 5-7 minutes, remove from heat and add:
1 large stem dill, chopped (fronds only)
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of red pepper flakes (or a dash of hot sauce) [Optional]
Set aside to cool. Peel and dice:
2-2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
Cover with cold water and boil until soft. Depending on the size of the dice, this could take 10-30 minutes. Once cooked, drain the water and mash the potatoes, being sure to remove all lumps. DO NOT ADD ANY LIQUID TO THE MASH POTATOES.
In a large soup dish or pie plate (or paper plate), mix together the dredge:
1/4 cup all purpose gluten free flour
1 tablespoon tapioca flour
Salt and pepper to taste (about 1/8-1/4 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
To assemble the potato cakes, in the palm of a hand, scoop:
1/4-1/2 cup mashed potatoes (depending on the size cake desired)
Flatten until about 1/4″ thick and then make an indenture in the middle. Add about:
1-2 tablespoons mushroom mixture
Cover with about 2 tablespoons-1/4 cup scoop of mashed potatoes, spread to cover the stuffing and then lightly seal the edges of the disk to form a cake. Roll in the dredge mixture and set aside. The mixture should make 6-8 medium sized cakes.
Heat in a large skillet over medium high heat:
1/2 cup olive and avocado oil (the avocado oil has a much higher smoke point than the olive so a combination works best)
When shimmering hot, add the cakes to the oil and lower heat to medium. Fry on each side until well browned, about 3-5 minutes per side. Remove to a paper towel and salt to taste. After a minute remove from the paper towel so that the cakes don’t get soggy. Serve immediately. Garnish with chopped dill or scallions.
TIP: When I next make these, hopefully when my grandson comes to visit, I’ll add some crispy bacon bits to the mushroom mixture!
TIP 2: I think I’ll also try this recipe with sweet potatoes but it will need different handling since they are quite moister than russet potatoes. Flour will need to be added to the sweet potatoes before shaping. I’ll give it a try and let you know how it works out.