Potato Cakes with Irish Smoked Salmon

April 20, 2017

As a pretty pure blood blend of Irish and British Isles heritage, there’s no one that loves potatoes more than this girl.  Add the fact that my grandfather used to travel to a Canadian fishing camp and bring us back freshly smoked salmon that he has caught himself when I was a little girl, and I am a total smoked salmon addict.  I was the crazy 5 year old eating bagels and lox for breakfast when the other kids were tackling the Fruit Loops!

At cooking school, I ate local Irish smoked salmon on homemade brown bread (that we had made the day before in class) with rich Irish butter and a squeeze of lemon, almost every morning.  It was simple, it was delicious and luxurious, and I will probably never tire of it.  I love this recipe for brunch after a holiday – use your leftover mashed potatoes for an easy, elegant breakfast that is sure to crowd please!  Top the cakes with a poached for fried egg for those who avoid fish, or serve simply with creme fraiche and chives for our vegetarian friends.  If making the mashed potatoes from scratch just for this recipe, feel free to cook and mash the potatoes the day before to save time and energy the morning of.  Form the cakes and refrigerate, covered, until you are ready to cook the next morning.


Serves 8 | Recipe from Darina Allen of Ballymaloe Cookery School

  • 2 lb unpeeled potatoes
  • 2 oz butter (I use Kerrygold for everything)
  • 2 oz flour
  • 1 Tbsp chopped herbs (chives, parsley or lemon thyme – or a mix of all)
  • Half & half or whole milk
  • Seasoned flour (flour with salt & pepper – for breading before frying)
  • Creme fraiche
  • 4 oz smoked salmon
  • Freshly snipped chives
  • Clarified butter for frying (or half butter, half olive oil is fine)
  1. Cook the potatoes in their skins, pull off the peel and mash right away, adding the butter, flour and herbs. Season with lots of salt and pepper and add a few drops of whole milk or half & half if the mixture is altogether too stiff. Mix well. Taste and correct the seasoning.
  2. Shape into 1″ thick potato cakes. Coat in seasoned flour.
  3. Fry the potato cakes in clarified butter until golden brown on one side, then flip over and cook on the other side, for about 4-5 minutes – they should be crusty and golden.
  4. Serve on very hot plates. Top with a dollop of creme fraiche and slivers of good quality smoked salmon. Sprinkle or garnish with snipped chives and serve immediately.


For a fun idea, make a brunch “Potato Cake Bar” with a variety of toppings so people can make their own (again, great for post-holiday mornings when the hostess is tuckered out!).  You can also make tiny little cakes and top with salmon, creme fraiche or caviar for lovely hor d’oeuvres. Again, feel free to make the cakes ahead and fry up prior to serving. Keep warm in a low oven at 200 degrees F to buy yourself some time prior to guests arriving). Enjoy!!



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