These cheesy potato cakes are stuffed with creamy garlic mushrooms, fried until crispy, and served in a garlic cream sauce - utterly irresistible!
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I think I may have died and gone to heaven. These cheesy potato cakes contain pretty much every one of my favourite ever ingredients - mushrooms, potatoes, cream, garlic, cheese... all combined into one perfect little package, and smothered in a creamy sauce. Perfection.
Cheesy potato cakes
These potato cakes do take a bit of effort to make - they're not difficult, but they're not super quick to make either. But believe me, they're more than worth it (or if you're feeling a bit lazy, keep reading for an easy way to make them more quickly!).
Add the creamy, garlicky sauce as well, and you've got heaven on a plate.
Lithuanian Dziugas cheese
To make these cheesy potato cakes, I used a cheese that I've never used before. I know! I didn't think there would be any cheeses I hadn't tried yet either.
Dziugas (or more accurately, Džiugas) is a cheese from Lithuania, which you can buy either in a block, or pre-grated in a bag - it's available in Sainsbury's and Selfridges, for those of us in the UK. It's similar to parmesan in that it's hard and full of that salty umami flavour, with a lovely mild nuttiness.
According to Lithuanian legend, the cheese was made by the giant Džiugas to celebrate marrying the love of his life. He gifted it to local villagers with the promise that it would bring them strength and joy!
(just in case I needed any more reasons to eat lots of cheese - extra strength and joy is always a good thing)
Since I was using a Lithuanian cheese, I thought I'd take my inspiration for this recipe from Lithuanian cooking - so this recipe is very loosely inspired by a Lithuanian dish called cepelinai, which is sometimes considered to be one of the national dishes of the country.
Before you tell me off for being inauthentic, Lithuanians - this is not an actual recipe for cepelinai. Proper cepelinai are boiled rather than fried, and are made from a mixture of both grated and mashed potatoes. I'm sure there are other differences too.
This is merely a recipe I dreamed up after reading all about cepelinai, and deciding that cheesy potatoes with mushrooms sounded like something that definitely needed to happen in my kitchen.
Creamy garlic mushrooms
To start with, you need to prepare the creamy mushroom stuffing. It's really simple - a classic combination of mushrooms, garlic, parsley, and just enough cream to bring it all together.
Even just this mixture alone is positively dreamy.
(I'm aware I sound like a 90s boyband fan, but you'll understand when you try them. Also, I am a bit of a 90s boyband fan)
Cheesy mashed potato
Next up, make the mash.
You need a fairly dry mash for this recipe, so I cooked my potatoes in the microwave - it stops them getting as wet as they would if they were boiled in a big pan of water. Just cook the potatoes whole, then scoop out the middles, and mash it all up with some of that tasty Dziugas cheese.
The mash should end up thick and fairly dry, almost like a dough.
The grated Dziugas cheese really lifts these mashed potato cakes and makes them extra irresistible - the cheese is nice and mature, so you don't need a huge amount to add heaps of flavour to the potatoes.
Stuffed potato cakes
Once your mash and your mushroom mixture are both ready, it's time to get stuffing! Just take a bit of mashed potato in your hand, add a spoonful of the filling, and finish with some more mash on top.
Once your mashed potato cakes are all formed, you're ready to get frying.
Fried potato cakes
I fried my cheesy potato cakes in a mixture of both butter and oil - the butter is there for flavour (everything is better fried in butter!), and the oil stops the butter from burning. It's a great team.
As the potato cakes are fried, the cheese melts down and creates an extra crispy exterior. Crispy cheese is the best.
In my opinion, very few things aren't improved by being smothered in a creamy sauce, and these potato cakes are no exception.
The sauce is basically garlic, parsley, cream... all yummy things.
I had a small amount of the mushroom stuffing left over after filling all my potato cakes, so I added that to the sauce too. If you don't have any left over, you can always add some extra fresh mushrooms, or sauté up some onion or leeks to add to the sauce instead, if you fancy. It's easy to adapt.
How should I serve these mushroom-stuffed potato cakes?
To be honest, we just ate these potato cakes on their own (with the sauce, of course!) for lunch. They're so ridiculously delicious that I didn't feel any desire to dilute my enjoyment by putting anything else on the plate.
They'd also be good served as a side dish though, so if you want to add some sort of protein and some extra green veg on the side, that would work well too!
Or, they'd make an elegant appetiser for a dinner party - just give everyone one potato cake each, nestled in a little lake of creamy sauce, and your guests will definitely be impressed.
How can I make these potato cakes quicker to make?
Personally I think the effort involved in making these cheesy stuffed potato cakes is more than worth it. But, I do appreciate that they're not the quickest of my recipes (you might be more used to seeing me post 20 minute dinner recipes!). Luckily, there is an easy way to make these potato cakes much quicker to prepare - make them unstuffed!
The creamy sauce that I served with my potato cakes is actually really similar to the mushroom mixture I used to stuff them - it's basically just thinned out with more cream. So if you can't be bothered to stuff each potato cake individually, just make plain potato cakes, and add all of the mushrooms to the sauce instead.
Your potato cakes won't look as impressive when you cut into them, but they'll still taste just as incredible.
Can I prepare these potato cakes in advance?
Yes! You can make the mashed potato, and form the potato cakes, earlier in the day, or even the day before you need them.
Even when fully cooked, they reheat pretty well in the microwave, so don't worry if you have some leftovers after cooking them.
But, if you're serving these potato cakes to guests, and you want the quality to be truly top notch, it's best if you shape the potato cakes, then store them in the fridge, and fry them up just before serving - this will ensure that the golden coating stays nice and crispy!
However you prepare them... you really can't go wrong. These mushroom-stuffed cheesy potato cakes are truly irresistible.
Mushroom-stuffed cheesy potato cakes
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- 3 large potatoes (~ 1.4 kg / 3 lb in total)
- 2 tablespoon oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, diced (or ½ large onion)
- 6 mushrooms, sliced or diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Few sprigs fresh parsley, finely chopped (or ~ 1 teaspoon dried parsley)
- Black pepper
- 2 tablespoon cream (I used double / heavy cream)
- 100 g (~ 1 cup) finely grated hard cheese, e.g. Lithuanian Dziugas or vegetarian parmesan-style cheese
- 1 tablespoon butter
For the creamy sauce:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoon cream (I used double / heavy cream)
- Few sprigs fresh parsley, finely chopped (or ½ teaspoon dried parsley)
- Black pepper
- 3 tablespoon water
- Wash the potatoes thoroughly, and prick the skins a few times with a fork or a sharp knife. Place all the potatoes on a plate, and cook in the microwave until they're completely soft. For me, this took around 23 minutes in total (they were big potatoes!), turning them over halfway.
- Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan, and add the onion, mushrooms and garlic. Cook over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add the parsley, plenty of salt and pepper, and a dash of cream, and mix well. Set aside.
- When the potatoes are cooked, cut them in half to let the heat out, and leave them until they're cool enough to handle. Then scoop the middle of each potato into a large mixing bowl (or sometimes the skins will just peel right off). I ended up with around 1kg / 2.2 lb mashed potato in total. Add the grated Dziugas cheese (vegetarian parmesan-style cheese is a good alternative), and mash thoroughly until smooth. The mashed potato will be quite thick and dry, almost like a dough.
- Take a small handful of the mashed potato, and squeeze it gently into a ball. Flatten the ball into the palm of your hand, creating a little dip in the centre, and add approximately 1 heaped teaspoon of the mushroom mixture. Take another small handful of potato, again form it into a small disc, and place on top. Gently squeeze together the edges of the mashed potato discs, sealing the mushrooms inside. Place on a plate, and repeat with the remaining mashed potato. If you run out of mushroom filling, make some plain potato cakes - and if you have some mushrooms left over, add them to the creamy sauce that you'll make next. I ended up with 9 potato cakes in total.
- When you've formed all of your stuffed potato cakes, heat another dash of oil with some butter in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add a few of the potato cakes, but make sure you don't overcrowd the pan - I cooked 3 at a time. Cook for a few minutes each side, until golden brown and crispy.
- To make the creamy sauce, melt a little more butter in a frying pan (you can use the same pan you used to cook the mushrooms previously). Add the garlic, cream, and parsley, along with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes - you can thin the sauce out with a dash of water or vegetable stock if needed.
- Serve the potato cakes with the creamy sauce. As a main course, you'll probably want to serve 2 or 3 potato cakes per person, but 1 each will be plenty if being served as an appetiser.
Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.