Home-style potato cakes with baked beef tomatoes

Home-style potato cakes with baked beef tomatoes

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About this recipe: Potato and leek cakes, flavoured with tasty cheese and fresh herbs, make a satisfying vegetarian meal served with big baked tomatoes and accompanied by a simple leaf salad. Use a floury, main-crop potato, such as King Edward, Desirée or Maris Piper, and mature Cheddar or another hard grating cheese with plenty of flavour.

Norma MacMillan

Ingredients
Serves: 4 

  • 900 g (2 lb) floury potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 large leek, about 225 g (8 oz), sliced
  • 2 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 85 g (3 oz) mature Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 5 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • plain flour for shaping
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 85 g (3 oz) fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
  • 4 large beefsteak tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp garlic-flavoured olive oil

Method
Prep:35min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Ready in:1hr 

  1. Cut any large potatoes into halves or quarters. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the potatoes. Bring back to the boil, then turn down the heat and cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Add the leek to the pan for the last 5 minutes of the cooking time.
  2. Drain the vegetables thoroughly, then spread them out on a tray and leave them to cool. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F, gas mark 7).
  3. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them and put in a large bowl with the leek. Crush the potatoes with a fork. Add the milk, mustard, cheese, parsley and thyme, and mix well together.
  4. Divide the mixture into 8 portions. Shape each into a rough ball, then press on a floured surface into a flat cake about 9 cm (3½ in) across and 3 cm (1¼ in) thick.
  5. Set the potato cakes on a clean tray or platter. Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle over half the breadcrumbs. Turn the potato cakes over and coat the other sides with egg and breadcrumbs. Transfer the potato cakes to a lightly greased, non-stick baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, place the tomatoes in an ovenproof dish, cut side up. Brush with the garlic oil and sprinkle over any remaining breadcrumbs.
  7. Turn the potato cakes over carefully with a flat fish slice or palette knife. Put the tomatoes into the oven with the potato cakes and bake for a further 10 minutes or until the potato cakes are golden. Serve hot.

Each serving provides

A, B1, B6, C, E, folate, niacin, calcium, copper, potassium, zinc, B2, B12, iron, selenium

Another idea

Make rosti-style potato and spinach cakes. Use 675 g (1½ lb) potatoes and cook them, unpeeled, in boiling water for just 8 minutes. Drain and cool. Meanwhile, soften 1 chopped onion in 1 tbsp sunflower oil for 2 minutes. Add 1 tbsp chopped fresh root ginger, 1 tbsp cumin seeds and 1 tbsp medium hot curry paste, and cook gently for a further 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 225 g (8 oz) baby spinach leaves and 3 tbsp water, and cook gently for 3 minutes or until the spinach has wilted. Tip the mixture into a large bowl. Peel the cooled potatoes and grate them into the bowl. Add 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Use 2 forks to mix together. Heap the mixture in 8 mounds on lightly oiled baking sheets and press down flat. Bake in a preheated 220°C (425°F, gas mark 7) oven for 15 minutes, then turn the cakes over and bake for a further 10 minutes. Serve with a minty yogurt raita, made by mixing 150 g (5½ oz) plain low-fat yogurt with ¼ cucumber, finely diced, and 1 tsp concentrated mint sauce.

Plus points

*Potatoes are a valuable source of starchy carbohydrates for everyday meals. They can also be a useful source of vitamin C – not so much because of the amount of this vitamin in the potato, but because of the quantity of potatoes that are eaten. Cooking potatoes in their skins and then peeling them afterwards helps to preserve the vitamin content.
*Potato cakes are often fried in oil or butter. Here they are baked to produce cakes that are equally tasty but with a lower fat content.

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