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BASQUE CHEESE AND POTATO CAKES

Ingredients for 8 servings

2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached flour, more for dusting work surface
10 ounces Basque sheeps milk cheese, coarsely grated
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon smoked Spanish pimento
1 cup fine dried bread crumbs
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup olive oil, or more as needed

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover the potatoes with cool water in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook slowly until the potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes. Drain the potatoes and spread them out on a bake sheet. Place them in the oven to dry out for 3 minutes.

Pass the potatoes through a food mill and spread out again on a sheet to cool for 15 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a mixing bowl. Add one tablespoon flour, the cheese, egg yolks, salt and pimenton. Work the ingredients together with your hands, preferably, until well mixed. Form into a ball. Place the remaining flour, the eggs, and the breadcrumbs in separate pie plates. Lightly dust a work surface and roll out the potato and cheese ball ¾” thick. Use a 3” cookie cutter to cut cakes, about 16.

Dredge the cakes in flour, dip each in the egg mixture and coat them with breadcrumbs. The cakes can be held, refrigerated for later cooking at this point. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet. Saute the cakes for 2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper toweling and hold in a 225 degree oven until all the cakes are finished.


Adapted from The Basque Kitchen by Gerald Hirigoyen