Griddle Cakes (Potato Cakes)

I’ve lifted this from Matthew Drennan’s Best of Ireland and thrown in a few variations of my own. Griddle cakes are great for heating up a body on a cold wintry day. Being almost pure carbohydrate beyond the bit of fat in the butter and milk, these are great energy-givers, although I wouldn’t be running the 800 metres after a feed of these, as they do tend to be very filling. Just as with pancakes, you can be very creative with what you spread on griddle cakes (or dip them into): whipped cream, jam, butter, sour cream, cheese, savour sauces.

Makes 6

Ingredients

225 g/8 oz potatoes

115 g/4 oz/1 cup plain flour

1.5 ml/¼ tsp salt

1.5 ml/¼ tsp baking powder

15 g/½ oz/1 tbsp butter, plus extra for frying if you chose not to use olive oil

25 ml/1½ tbsp milk

Olive oil for frying

1. Cut the potatoes into small cubes. Place in saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 min, until tender (until a butter knife will pass through with ease).

2. Drain the potatoes and dry out over a high heat for 1 min, until all traces of moisture have evaporated. Mash well, leaving no lumps.

3. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until combined. (My favourite part. I love the buttery smell of my hands afterwards!)

4. Add the mashed potato and mix thoroughly with a fork. Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk. Bring the mixture together to form a smooth dough.

5. Turn out on to a floured board and knead. Roll out to a round 5 mm/¼ in thick. Either use cookie cutters to shape the dough (see accompanying pix) or, more traditionally, cut in half, then cut each half into three triangles.

6. Grease a griddle or large frying pan with some butter and heat until very hot. Fry the cakes for about 3-4 min, until golden brown, turning once during cooking, then serve hot.

Rainbow griddle cakes. Rainbow, pot of gold and erm . . . Easter bunny griddle cakes. Shamrock griddle cakes - nearly done! Shamrock griddle cakes a-fryin'! The dough!

 

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About ucronin

Born in the country town of Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland in 1975, I now live in Madrid with my partner and two young daughters and work in a research institute. While I was always a hungry reader and harboured vague notions of being a writer, as a young man writing was the furthest thing from my mind; after leaving school, I did a B.Sc. in Biotechnology in Galway's NUI, an M.Sc. in Plant Science in University College Cork and a Ph.D. in Microbiology in the University of Limerick, the plan being to dedicate my professional career to scientific research. While having written extensively within my technical scientific field, I had never contemplated becoming a writer of fiction until a road-to-Damascus moment on the N69 between Listowel and Tarbert, Co. Kerry in the summer of 2011. Since then, most of my spare time has been occupied with writing. In whatever other free moments I have, I like to listen to music, play the guitar and garden (which here in Madrid means a lot of watering of plants and spraying for red spider mite). My ambition is to become as good a writer as I possibly can, eventually freeing myself from the cold clutches of science and earning a living through my scribblings. The type of writing that excites me is honest, intelligent, well-constructed and richly descriptive.
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