potato pancake – Uptown Saint John style

If you’re looking for a heart healthy recipe, you’d best log off. I can’t be responsible for leading you astray! However, if you’re still there – OMG – these potatoes were, over the moon and back again, delicious!

I’ve mentioned my addiction to cookbooks. It’s currently topping two hundred... Every winter, I spend time rereading some of the dustier collections. I came across a sad, hard covered generic french cookbook whose pages have come loose from over use and age. As I carefully turned the pages I found a long forgotten recipe for potatoes. Thirty years ago, I wrote above the recipe “WOW”.

Those three letters brought back a flood of taste memory. I remember clearly my fascination with how delicious a dish could be made with just a handful of ingredients, as long as great care is taken. This was probably the moment I realized that the most important ingredient I would ever use would be ‘the love’!

Rather than offering you an adaptation of the truffade recipe found in my cookbook, I’ve created a unique dish using the same technique. I used russet potatoes, old cheddar cheese, anchovies and dried chilli flakes. I’m afraid as soon as you read the word ‘anchovies’ that you’ll turn up your nose. Resist! I promise there is no fishy aftertaste. The anchovies melt into the butter and olive oil mixture and add a deep salty flavour that works to lift the cheddar cheese to a whole new level! I’m really pushing our new level of trust...

Potato Pancake – Uptown Saint John Style

Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons butter
1 lb russet potatoes, thinly sliced
3 anchovies, finely chopped
½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup grated old cheddar cheese

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter into the olive oil.
Add chopped anchovies and chilli flakes and sauté for 1 minute.
Add the potatoes.
Season the potatoes with the pepper, cover the pan with a lid, and cook over low heat for 6 minutes.
When potatoes are fork tender, increase heat and press potatoes into the hot oil with a spatula to ensure the bottom is nicely browned.
Carefully slide potato pancake onto a plate, then invert back into skillet to brown the other side.
Add the grated cheese to the cooked potato pancake.
Cook the pancake over medium-high heat, uncovered, until the cheese has melted.
Remove the skillet from the heat, run a knife around the edges, and slide the pancake onto a serving plate.
Serve hot.

THE LOVE: It’s really important not to have your skillet too hot or you’ll end up burning the anchovies and scorching the potatoes while leaving them raw. Also, take your time and do the potato transfers with confidence. If the pancake comes apart, not to worry, just push it back together. Once the cheese is covering it, no one will know the difference!

printable copy

Thanks for reading.

  • These sound really OTT! I cannot wait to try them. Drooling here at 8:30 AM.

  • Sandy Erwin

    Your pictures look so amazing. This reminds me of a recipe I do in the oven but I use bacon instead of anchovies. I can eat it as a meal, I love them so much.

    • I’m with you! A little sour cream on top and I’m good to go…

  • Love the photos! Makes me want to do a better job when I take a photo for my blog. I don’t think my culinary skill rises quite to your level! Thanks for the inspiration! ~ Sheila

    • Hi Sheila,

      I popped over to your blog out of curiosity. Your writing is lovely! Thanks for sharing.

      • Thank you! I appreciate you stopping by and commenting! ~ Sheila