This dish closely resembles the potato latkes that my grandmother made. We prepared something similar when I worked in France, but as one large cake that also included mushrooms. I like this version a number of ways: on its own, as a side dish, and with cold smoked salmon and sliced onion. My favorite, though, is as little pancakes straight out of the pan and slathered with sour cream, as my grandmother made them. If duck fat isn’t available, I substitute olive oil. ~ Vitale Paley
Recipe: Potato-Mushroom Cake
Summary: from The Paley’s Place Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from the Pacific Northwest
- 6 tablespoons duck fat, plus more if making individual cakes
- 1 large fresh porcini or king oyster mushroom, coarsely diced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound Alby’s Gold or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 large shallot, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the duck fat over medium heat.
- Add the mushrooms.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Sauté until soft and lightly colored.
- Drain on paper towels and set aside to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, add the cooked mushrooms, potatoes, shallot, garlic, egg, and 2 tablespoons of the parsley.
- Season liberally with salt and pepper.
- Pulse 8 to 10 times until the mixture is pureed.
- To make one large potato cake:
- in a 10-inch nonstick skillet, melt the remaining duck fat over low-to-medium heat. Pour in the pureed potato mixture and spread it evenly to the edges with a rubber spatula. Cook the cake, undisturbed, until the edges turn light brown, about 5 minutes.
- Place a large shallow platter or flat pot lid over the pan and flip the pan so the cake falls onto the platter.
- Gently slide the cake back into the skillet, place it in the oven, and bake until the potatoes are completely done and the cake gets springy to the touch, about 30 minutes.
- Slide the cake onto the serving platter and slice it into wedges.
- Sprinkle with remaining parsley and serve.
- To make individual potato cakes:
- Melt duck fat in a skillet over medium heat. Drop in small dollops of potato batter and brown 2 to 3 minutes per side.
- Repeat until all the batter has been used up, adding more duck fat as needed.
- Serve hot or at room temperature. Serve with sour cream or with cold smoked salmon and sliced onion
Number of servings (yield): 6
*Reprinted with permission from The Paley’s Place Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from the Pacific Northwest by Vitaly Paley and Kimberly Paley, copyright © 2008. Published by Ten Speed Press.
From our September October 08 Northwest Palate
Photo Cameron Nagel