Friday, March 15, 2019

Irish Blue Cheese Potato Cakes

In case all the shamrocks plastered all over everything haven’t clued you in, this Sunday is the day we (Irish and other folk) celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. As I may have mentioned, I’ve been collecting Irish cookbooks for quite a while, and wow, have they improved in recent years! The old standards are still there—Irish stew, Colcannon, boxty, corned beef and cabbage and the like—but also great seafood dishes and wonderful cheeses have appeared.

And don’t forget potatoes! I was trolling through a book of regional recipes collected by Margaret Johnson and came upon the recipe for potato cakes with blue cheese, that originated in a vegetarian restaurant in Cork. I wish I could say I’d been there, but every time I’ve driven in Cork city I get lost. I’ve never stopped to eat anything there.

But this recipe sounds both creamy and tangy, with assorted herbs and spices added, and it would make a great side dish.

Blue Cheese Potato Cakes


1/2 pound baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 Tblsp unsalted butter
2 Tblsp minced fresh chives
1 Tblsp minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tblsp fresh dill, minced
2 Tblsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
1 cup (4 oz.) Cashel Blue cheese, crumbled
     (or any other blue cheese you like)
1 egg yolk
1 cup all-purpose flour

2 eggs beaten with 1/2 cup milk
1 to 1-1/2 bread crumbs (you can add dried herbs, salt and pepper)
1 to 1-1/2 cups canola oil


Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 12-15 minutes, or until tender. (Note: be sure to use baking potatoes, which have a coarse texture when cooked and will hold together well.)

Drain and mash the potatoes.

Butter, garlic and chives
In a small skillet, melt the butter over low heat. Cook the chives and the garlic for a minute or two, until they are just soft. Stir the herbs into the mashed potatoes. Then stir in the salt, pepper, dill and parsley. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. 

Stir in the cheese and egg yolk (the cheese can remain lumpy).

Form the potato mixtures into cakes and refrigerate for 10 minutes to firm up. Dredge the cakes with flour and coat with the egg/milk mixture, then coat with the bread crumbs.

The crumbs make these nice and crispy
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the cakes and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, until they are browned.

No, the potato cakes are not gigantic--that's a Cornish
game hen on the left!
You can eat them right away, or save them until the meal. If you do save them, place the cakes on a baking sheet and reheat in a 250-degree oven for about five minutes.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream or crème fraiche if you like (but there are already plenty of flavors in the cakes).

I'm still polishing the next book, which doesn't have a title yet. I keep thinking "The Hole in the Wall Gang" (my homage to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), but it doesn't really fit, even though there is a hole in the wall in the story which plays an important part. Stay tuned!


  1. My potato dishes are a bit basic. These sound wonderful and I bet my husband and mother-in-law will love them!

  2. Boy, does this sound good!