put a large pot of water on to boil. scrub 6 small potatoes; I like the red ones. Quarter them and plop them into the water at a rolling boil. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until soft. Drain and return to the pot if your pot can stand the up-coming beating or dump into a heavy bowl.
add three tablespoons of butter to the potatoes. Sprinkle liberally with sea salt and pepper and herbs; pick about 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme if you have it, but this round I just used dried thyme and basil, about a teaspoon each. Drizzle with about a ¼ cup of heavy cream. Using one of the most fabulous inventions of all time—the hand potato masher—mash mash mash. Save a few lumps for texture, having left the skins on helps some bits hold together (plus – pretty!).
shred about ½ a cup of hard cheese like parmesan or gruyere would be nice; we had some schmany delectable cheese I cannot remember the name of now. Beat an egg or, to be really decadent, an egg plus one yolk. Stir in half the egg and most of the cheese, just saving some for decorative pre-table topping, into the potatoes with a wooden spoon. Set aside the egg in a shallow bowl and whisk in a little cream. In another shallow bowl, spread panko flakes or bread crumbs.
form the potato mash into patties, dredge quickly in the egg/cream, press a few sage leaves into it – or one big dramatic one- then press the patty in the breading, flip and press the other side. Fry. A few minutes on each side, going for golden brown. Transfer to a toweled plate to rest and drain excess oil.
you can fry two or three potato patties at a time, just be sure not to crowd the skillet. Dredge out any escaped bits of breading before they burn and taint your oil. This does not have to be a deep fry job; using just enough oil for things not to stick creates plenty of golden fried goodness to satisfy.
these are freaking amazing. I cannot imagine what they would not be good with, but here are some ideas: oniony, garlicky sautéd greens like kale or collards; veggie sausage (which I like to pepper a lot and eat with maple syrup) and a fried egg; red lentils with plain yoghurt and hot pepper sauce; fried apples’n’onions…oh, yes- with sour cream. I love fall.