Hey everyone, guess what I got for Valentines Day? Gastroenteritis, yay! Luckily I managed to make this lovely potato cake before I was so diseased, I had to be quarantined in our bedroom like a rabid dog. So with me incapacitated, Jamie was left with an entire potato cake to himself (lucky bugger) which kept him alive the rest of the week.
It’s funny though, I found that even when I was feeling very nauseated, I still couldn’t stop thinking about food. Even when I tried not to, my mind would somehow drift back to ‘so how many bananas do I need for a banana loaf?’ Cue wave of nausea… Oh yeah, can’t think about food… Something not food… What about plastic chairs? They’re pretty great aren’t they, awful to look at but very practical… I wonder if the bananas in the fruit bowl will be ready to use by Sunday… Damn it Corrie!
See, it’s official, I’m obsessed. Anyway, this potato cake is brilliant! Not only is it easy, it tastes great hot or cold, it’s a bit like a Quiche but without the pastry and waaaaaay better. I hope you enjoy it as much as Jamie did, I was too busy talking on the porcelain telephone. At least I’m nice and thin now, #silverlinings.
Broccoli & cheese potato cake
Serves 6 -8 / Hands on time 40 minutes / Total time 1 hr 20 mins / V
You will need: 9 inch round cake tin, food processor (if making your own breadcrumbs)
1kg potatoes (roughly 5 baking potatoes)
200g tender-stem or purple sprouting broccoli
1 handful of fresh parsley (or any fresh herb)
150g vegetarian mature cheddar cheese
50g vegetarian Italian hard cheese or Parmesan*, grated
4 medium eggs
Knob of butter (for greasing)
1 slice of brown bread for the breadcrumbs or a handful of shop bought
Dash of semi-skimmed milk
3 tbs Pomora extra virgin olive oil
TIP: You can use any vegetables you like for this, I recently made it with 200g of leeks instead of broccoli. If you decide to use a more robust vegetable, you’ll need to cook it first before adding it to the mixture. Quick cook vegetables such as broccoli, courgette, tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, sweetcorn, peas, asparagus can be added raw.
1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°fan/400°F/gas mark 7. Peel and cut your potatoes into big chunks and boil in a large saucepan until soft, around 25 minutes (it’s important to use a large saucepan as you’ll be incorporating all the other ingredients into it later).
2. Whilst the potatoes are boiling, you can get to work on preparing everything else, starting with your tin. Just as you would a cake, line your cake tine with greaseproof paper at the bottom and grease the sides well with butter. Put to one side.
3. Cut the storks off the broccoli and discard. Pull the remaining florets apart with your fingers leaving you with nice even-ish pieces (you don’t have to be to perfect about this.) Finely chop the parsley and put both to one side.
4. Grate the cheddar and the Parmesan. Take a small handful of Parmesan and put to one side, you’ll need this to sprinkle on top of your cake later. Crack the eggs into a separate bowl and beat with a fork until combined.
5. Blitz a piece of bread into breadcrumbs in a food processor for a few seconds (it really doesn’t matter what bread you use, I used a piece of old Irish soda bread).
6. By now your potatoes should be soft, so drain them and pour back into the saucepan. Add a dash of milk to help loosen them up a bit and start mashing (don’t try to get all the lumps out, they add a bit of texture). Season well with salt and pepper, give it a good mix and start to add the cheese, broccoli, parsley and eggs a bit at a time, stirring in-between (I added the egg early on as this seemed to help loosen the mixture).
7. Once all the ingredients have been incorporated, spoon the mixture into your cake tin. Spread it out and flatten the top with a spoon. Sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and the small handful of parmesan. Drizzle with 3 Tbs of extra virgin olive oil and pop in the oven on the middle shelf. Bake for 30-35 mins.
8. Once cooked, leave to cool for 10 minutes, score around the edge of the tin with a sharp knife and turn out. Cut into wedges and serve warm with a simple watercress salad. If refrigerating, cool fully before wrapping in a couple of layer of cling film and popping in the fridge. Cut into slices and serve cold – perfect for any barbecue.
If you’ve had a go at making my potato cake or any of my recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org
* Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiani) is always made using animal rennet, therefore it is not vegetarian. Substitute for Italian hard cheese if applicable.