Colcannon Cakes with Smoked Salmon (Fried Mashed Potato Cakes)

When I was in culinary school in Florence, I took a class called "Regional European Cuisine," in which we worked our way through the traditional dishes of various European countries. It was one of my favorite classes, and a nice break from my mostly Italian program.

One of my favorite dishes from the Irish chapter of the class was Colcannon--a traditional dish of rich, creamy mashed potatoes mixed with cooked kale or cabbage. This dish was a revelation, and one that I ended up recreating often back in my apartment during this financially lean years. 

(I specify financially lean because ca diet of potatoes and butter does not an otherwise lean girl keep.)

Though traditionally thought of as a Halloween dish in Ireland, I decided to use it to create an appetizer for my St. Patrick's Day party, turning the already delicious on it's own colcannon into crisp colcannon cakes (basically fried mashed potatoes!). I served these topped with cool, tangy yogurt and a piece of smoked salmon.

Eugene, a fan of all things potato and cured fish, was in Heaven! 

Note: If you have leftover mashed potatoes, you can skip ahead and just mash these up with the veggie of your choice to make the colcannon cakes. Though not traditional, this also works with cooked carrots, peas, or just about any leftover veggie. I'm sure bits of bacon or ham would also be fantastic! Oh and sweet potatoes instead of the regular kind would be killer. 

Click here for more St. Patrick's Day recipes and ideas! 

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Colcannon Cakes with Smoked Salmon
Make about 10 cakes, depending on size

3 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and boiled until tender
6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked chopped kale or cabbage (spinach or other greens would also work)
1 large egg
1 cup all purpose flour
Coconut oil or vegetable oil, for frying
For serving: Greek yogurt or sour cream, smoked salmon

Mash the boiled potatoes with butter and cream until smooth. Season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Mix in the cooked kale or cabbage and the egg, stirring to evenly distribute. Cover and let chill in refrigerator at least one hour or overnight.

When ready to cook, place flour in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Use your hands to shape the chilled potato mixture into round patties, and pat into the flour, coating on all sides. Repeat with rest of potato mixture.

Coat a heavy nonstick skillet with a layer of oil and heat over medium-high heat. Fry the patties in batches, 2-3 minutes on each side until golden and heated through. Place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

To serve, top each cake with a dollop of yogurt and a piece of smoked salmon.

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