When I first set out on this little mission I thought I would have enough ham leftover for the twelve days of Christmas ham posts I intended to write about. But, as the ham stocks have dwindled away to a shadow of their former self already, I think you’re only going to see the good end of another few of these posts at best.
These little packages of cheesy, hammy, potatoey love were a revelation. When this idea popped into my head the heavens opened and the holy angels sang… and danced. They were fully rocking out to some old Marvin Gaye. Getting their groove on. I suspected that’s what would be going on up there.
My smart brain got down to business and nurtured the evolution from the timeless ham and cheese sandwich, working out the finer details of how said ham and cheese sandwich would reach my mouth in a crisp bread coated, soft potato centered, bronzed bodied form, and straight into the history books as a retro classic.
And then it was onto condiments. I have said previously that I am a lover of condiments and this was not a lie. Condiments are my real-life favourite, so you could understand my elation when my same smart brain realised that both piccalilli and mayo have a loving home on a ham and cheese sandy so we should possibly combine the two like some kind of mongrel tartare and serve it with our cheesy ham potato cakes. OH DEAR GOOD LORD. What a revelation this was!
Try it. That’s all I can say.
CHEESY HAM POTATO CAKES
(Serves 4 – 6 but 4 is probably best because the are quite delicious)
3 cups of mashed potato (I got that from 2 large potatoes)
2 – 3 cups diced Christmas ham
1 cup grated Wensleydale or good cheddar or something that looks like cheese
½ onion, small dice
1 tablespoon of your favourite mustard
Salt and pepper
A crumbing station (flour, egg wash and breadcrumbs – bought or whack any leftover bread in the food processor to make your own)
Oil for frying
Piccalilli mayo to serve (recipe below)
• Combine all ingredients except the crumbing station, and mix thoroughly
• Check seasoning
• Form mix into 15 – 16 potato cakes. You can press them into a small cookie cutter if you want them to be perfect (you could make these half size for a cracking finger food)
• Crumb the potato cakes by first dredging them through flour, then egg wash and then breadcrumbs
• Heat a good splash of oil in a pan over medium heat. Add potato cakes and fry for 2-3 minutes each side or until golden brown
• Serve with piccalilli mayo and a nice little salad of things you found in your neighbours garden
½ cup good quality mayo or aioli
½ cup piccalilli, mustard pickles or cauliflower pickles – the yellow stuff
• Combine in a bowl and mix thoroughly
• You’re done
• Pat yourself on the back