I feel like this recipe is one we've all eaten before. You've probably made a version of this before, because you're in the advanced class and I'm in that class where you get to go to lunch early, and nobody talks about it when you eat dirt on the playground. You have parties a lot, in that class, and buy only stickers at the book fair. Gumnut Cottage. I'm in Gumnut Cottage, and if you recognize that, I'd just like to say you're not a Bogan. Year 7's are so hot.
But if you haven't, let me blow things up. I hope you've tasted something like this before, where instead of sectioning things off they're piled on top of one another. If you've ever watched 'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives', and I make a point to whenever I can, then you'll recognize this sort of thing, where food is transformed into piles, recognizable ingredients meld together to form something that might be the cause of a plotline on E.R. or Grey's Anatomy, the Diner Disaster - "Basically, six eggs, a tin of Fancy Feast, some corn nuts, velveeta and green chiles, Guy."
But the beauty of this version is that you can make it at home, like I did the other morning before dealing with a bleak, grey day of snow and whipping winds. And even better, you can make it with leftovers.
There is no real recipe - I'll lay out ingredients and steps, but I imagine that any substitution, every addition will only make this better. Fry the egg, swap out the bacon for sausage, poach the egg and top with a dilled sour cream and some capers, use sweet potato or yam instead of the russet, you're fine.
I'd like to think this would be an excellent holiday breakfast - for one, you're only limited by the amount of ingredients on hand, and how big or small a pan you'd like to use. Make a huge one and cut it into wedges, make individual ones for 3 or 4 people (if you have 3 or 4 small skillets - I do, and I'd like you to not make fun of me for it), make a single one for yourself and eat it all up, like I did the other morning. The perfect cure for the morning after a holiday party, I plan on making these on New Years Day.
Potato Cakes with stuff on them
- First, fry 1 piece of bacon until crisp in a well-seasoned or nonstick pan. Set aside.
- Grate a little bit of cheese, maybe 1/4 cup or so. I used a sharp cheddar.
- For 1 potato cake, as pictured above, I used 2 very small baked russet potatoes (you could also use 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup leftover smashed potatoes - but they need to be on the dry side), coarsley smashed. Season with salt, pepper and parsley. Crumble half the strip of cooked bacon into the potato mixture, and mix lightly.
- Dump the potato mixture into the hot skillet (I cooked this, on an electric stove, on medium-high heat, '7' or '8') and flatten into a cake. Cook, undisturbed, for 2-3 minutes or until a peek under the edges shows you nice, crisp golden brown bits. Using a fork or spatula, flip sections of the cake, trying to get as much uncooked potato against the hot skillet as possible - it is fine if not all of it makes it. Continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes, until golden brown when checked, and smoking hot. Slide onto a waiting, warm plate. Tent loosely with foil.
- Now, drop a small bit of butter into the pan. Crack an egg into it, and scramble fiercely with a fork or spatula, seasoning with a little salt and pepper to taste. Or just fry the egg, whatever you like. Slide on top of the potato cake, and top with the cheese - you can invert the now-empty but still hot pan on top of your creation to melt the cheese, or slide under the broiler for a minute, until melty.
Top this, the potato cake, egg and cheese with half an avocado, sliced. A dollop of sour cream, more pepper and that last bit of bacon, crumbled, on top won't steer you wrong. Serve with hot sauce or ketchup, and toast.