Esther Dunne's Potato Cake Recipe
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Esther Dunne's Potato Cake

"Esther Dunne, for whom this potato cake is named, was a 19th century provision dealer with a shop at No. 57. Fleet Street, Temple Bar, Dublin. Using Esther's original recipe from 1850, the chef at Oliver St. John Gogarty Restaurant (58-59 Fleet Street), serves it as a starter drizzled with warm cranberry sauce, but it's also delicious with meat or fish."

1/2 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons warm milk
1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs (tarragon, thyme, marjoram)
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1/2 tablespoon ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 slice Irish traditional bacon, finely chopped
2 leaves cabbage, finely chopped
Flour, for dredging
Egg wash
1/2 cup bread crumbs, for dredging
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, for frying
1/2 cup whole berry cranberry sauce, warmed Mixed greens

In a saucepan, cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender, 12 to15 minutes. Drain and mash, recover, and return to low heat to dry out potatoes, 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from heat, add butter and milk and stir until smooth. Stir in herbs, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Cool slightly, 5 to 8 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small fry pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Stir in the cabbage and cook until wilted, 4 to 5 minutes. Add to potato mix and blend well.

Shape potato mixture into 4 evenly sized cakes. Lightly dredge in flour, pass through egg wash, then bread crumbs. In a large fry pan over medium high heat, heat the oil. When hot, add cakes and cook on each side until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately, or transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in a preheated 300F oven for 4 to 5 minutes.

To serve, place one potato cake in the center of a plate, drizzle with warmed cranberry sauce, and garnish with mixed greens.

YIELD: 4 Servings

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