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Crunchy Potato Cakes

Crunchy Potato Cakes
  • 8-10 ServingsServings


  • 3 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice
  • 1/2 pound celery root, peeled and cut into dice
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup best quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup potato starch
  • 3 egg whites
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil for browning
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal


1. Sauté the garlic over medium high heat in a large saucepan that is lightly coated with olive oil for 3 minutes until it is very fragrant but not browned. Add the potatoes, celery root and chicken stock. Simmer the mixture until the celery root and potatoes are completely cooked through and a paring knife will pierce them easily (about 15 minutes). The stock will have reduced down and been completely absorbed by the potatoes and celery root.

2. Mash the potatoes while still hot (this will make them fluffy). Add the herbs, olive oil, matzo meal, egg whites and potato starch. Mix thoroughly until the mixture sticks together. You may need to add a little more potato starch depending upon how moist your potatoes were.

3. Form the potatoes into cakes about 1 inch thick and 3 inches in diameter. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add olive oil to about ½ inch and heat it until it is 350. Brown the potato cakes in the oil until crispy and browned on one side (about 7-10 minutes) Turn and brown the other side. Serve immediately or transfer the cakes to an oven proof casserole.

4. The cakes can be reheated in a 350 degree oven.

Do Ahead tip:
Form the cakes and place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and cover them tightly. The cakes can be made up to 3 days and stored in the refrigerator. Place them in the heated olive oil and cook until crispy and brown on each side.

My son Ari loves these crispy, fragrant cakes, a perfect “soaker upper” for wine sauce. The secret of the crispiness is that I use egg whites and no yolks. Yolks make dough tender whereas whites make it crispy. I make these year round and serve them with meat, chicken or fish.