Good eating. These are a really good side dish as well as a really good light main course. What I like about these cakes is that the potatoes are left unpeeled. Choi leaves, rapini, mustard greens are good subs for kale. If, when combining the ingredients for the cakes, you don’t think the cakes will hold together, add a lightly beaten egg. Serve these with some doctored mayo (mayo with spices), mustard, ketchup, hot sauce, or combinations (mayo, mustard and ketchup are a favorite combo of mine).
1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes, scrubbed, peels left on, quartered
1/4 milk, potato cooking water, broth or stock
5 – 6 T butter or oil, or a combination, divided
salt and pepper, to taste
1 c finely chopped leek, onion or scallions
1 large or 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
5 – 6 c finely chopped kale leaves
1 T fresh herb, or 1 t dried herb
ground nutmeg, to taste
1 egg, lightly beaten, if necessary
1/4 – 1/3 grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, optional, but adds a nice flair
1. Cook potatoes in (salted) boiling water until tender. Drain. Return potatoes to saucepan. Add liquid, 2 T of the butter or oil, some salt and pepper. Mash (or smash) until smooth. Take 3 cups of potatoes and put into a bowl. Allow to cool. (Reserve any remaining potatoes for another meal).
2. Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter or oil in a large skillet. Add leek or onion and sauté for about 5 minutes Add garlic and cook another minute. Stir in kale and herb. Combine and cook, stirring, until kale has wilted and is tender, about 7 – 8 minutes, depending on how finely chopped the leaves are.
3. Transfer kale mixture to the bowl of cooling mashed potatoes along with some ground nutmeg (not too much nutmeg). Combine. Let cool for about 30 minutes. Try shaping a 1/4 c into 1/2″ thick cakes. If it’s crumbly, return it to the bowl and add in the beaten egg. Try again, the egg should help the cakes maintain their shape.
4. Use the remaining butter or oil to cook the cakes in a skillet, 3 to 4 minutes until the bottoms are crispy and brown, then, flipped over, another 2 to 3 minutes longer. You can also bake them in a 400ºF oven on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet for about 20 – 25 minutes, flipping them over halfway.