Mascarpone & Goat Cheese Potato Pancakes
(recipe serving size – 8 potato pancakes)
For the potatoes:
2 lb red potatoes, quartered
1 tb olive oil
1 tb butter
2 1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Herb bundle (4 basil leaves, 4 sage leaves, 2 sprigs Rosemary, 5 sprigs thyme)
4 cloves of garlic, smashed
4 oz mascarpone
4 oz goat cheese
1/2 cup half and half
Fill a pot with just enough water to cover the potatoes. Add the olive oil, butter, 2 tsp of salt, the crushed red pepper flakes, the herb bundle and garlic and bring the water to a boil. Simmer vibrantly until the potatoes are fork tender, about 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes.
Remove the herb bundle, strain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Turn off the burner. Add 1/4 tsp of salt, the mascarpone, goat cheese and the half and half. Mash with a hand masher, leaving some lumps. Allow time for the potatoes to cool enough for you to handle.
Using a 1/3 measure cup, scoop out your potato pancakes, forming patties roughly 3-4 inches in width and about 1/2-3/4 inch thick. Place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Cover snuggly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour until the potatoes have set.
For the breading:
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 tb of water
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt plus 1/2 tsp for after the potatoes have been fried
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Crack two eggs into a bowl. Add the water and whisk until the ingredients are incorporated. Place the flour in a second bowl. In a third bowl, mix the panko with the herbs.
One at a time, gently coat your potato patties with the flour. Dredge them with egg, making sure the egg mixture covers the patty completely. Coat the egg-covered patty with the panko, carefully turning the patty over to ensure the panko adheres evenly.
Set the panko-covered patties aside on a plate lined with parchment until your first batch has been coated.
For frying the pancakes:
1 1/2 cups of oil
In a large pan, heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat. This is a shallow fry, so there should only be about 1/4 to 1/3 inch of oil in the pan. Test the readiness of the oil by dropping a few panko bread crumbs into it. If they sizzle and brown without burning, your oil is ready. If the crumbs burn, remove the pan from the heat and lower your burner. Give the oil a couple of minutes to cool. Return the pan to the burner and test again with more panko until the bread crumbs do not burn.
In batches, add the breaded potato pancakes. Fry on each side for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown. Place the finished pancakes on a wire rack or paper towel to drain. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 tsp salt and serve while warm.
If you have any extra mascarpone or goat cheese, feel free to dallop some on your potato pancake before digging in.