There are sweet people in the world.
A woman at Walgreen’s (Kathy, if I remember correctly) stops me while shopping with Lila for toothpaste and Neutrogena face wash. I’ve got coupons for you, she says, find me before you check out. Inevitably, as with all these trips, I grab a few more things. Lila and I try to find the right shade of orange nail polish, ultimately leaving the final decision for another time. We pick up a deep conditioner for that hair that goes all the way down to her waist and a couple other things.
As we walk toward the front of the store, Kathy calls out to us. You ready to check out? I can take you up here.
Alright. She pulls out a box of clipped coupons near the cash register and flips through the little pieces of paper filed alphabetically. She finds coupons for everything I’m buying. She saves me $6. This woman clips these coupons on her own time for customers, also going out of her way to make sure they get to use them. Isn’t that just so… nice?
I’ve got nothing here quite as unexpectedly selfless as Kathy’s move, but here’s something good for the weekend. Mashed Potato and Kale Cakes. From me (and Melissa Clark) to you.
This recipe is another way to enjoy beloved mashed potatoes, this time in crispy form.
Creamy, buttery comfort food left just a bit chunky with the potato skins still on. We could end here and call it a day. But let’s turn it into something new. Don’t skip the kale.
A few of these tender cakes with a salad or scrambled eggs on the side would make a very good light lunch or dinner.
The rouille that goes with them, a sort of doctored-up mayonnaise, is very garlicky. Garlic breath. Garlic fridge. You’ve been warned. But it is tasty and goes especially well with the mashed potato and kale cakes.
Be sweet! and surprise someone with these potato and kale cakes this weekend. You and your friend will be so pleased.
mashed potato and kale cakes
for the cakes:
1 1/2 pounds unpeeled russet potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
a few tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup diced white onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 pound kale, leaves coarsely chopped and stems removed and discarded
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
for the rouille:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, pressed (or minced)
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1/8 teaspoon paprika
pinch of cayenne pepper
For the rouille, whisk mayonnaise, olive oil, garlic, tomato paste, paprika, and cayenne pepper with a fork in a medium bowl. Season rouille with salt and freshly ground black pepper, tasting to see how you like it. Keep in the fridge until potato and kale cakes are ready.
Cook potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes, in a large saucepan of boiling salted water. Drain potatoes in the sink and return potatoes to the same saucepan. Add milk and butter, and mash potatoes until smooth. Season with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Move 3 cups mashed potatoes to a large bowl and let cool. Leftover mashed potatoes? Eat while you work.
Saute onion and garlic with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Bring the heat up to medium high, and add kale and thyme. Stir until kale wilts, about 5 minutes. Add cooked kale, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and ground nutmeg to potatoes and mix together. Let potato mixture cool for 30 minutes.
Scoop 1/4 cupfuls of potato mixture and mold into 1/2-inch thick patties, laying patties out on a sheet of parchment paper or on a cutting board.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add a few cakes to the pan and don’t move them for 3 to 4 minutes to let them get crispy and brown. Flip the cakes over carefully, and cook other sides until brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat with the rest of the cakes, keeping the finished ones on a plate lined with paper towels.
Serve 3 or 4 cakes per person with a big dollop of rouille.
Note: Rouille can be made a day ahead. Cover and keep it in the fridge. Potato and kale patties can be made up to 2 hours ahead and left at room temperature.
Makes 12 to 16 cakes to serve 4. Recipe from Melissa Clark via Bon Appétit.