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Recipe for Celia’s potato pancakes: canapés, starters, light lunch

Potato pancakes with cream cheese, smoked salmon and lumpfish caviar

Potato pancakes with cream cheese, smoked salmon and lumpfish caviar

We don’t tend to have a starter on Christmas day as I prefer to serve canapés if people are feeling peckish. Traditionally these are smoked salmon on thinly sliced brown bread. Danny is a bit picky about the sort of salmon that he likes, ideally the salmon should be wild and not farmed. But as we were having a budget Christmas this year I secreted a pack of farmed smoked salmon trimmings in the fridge and planned a different sort of canapé.

Initially I considered making blinis and asked on Twitter for a good recipe. Celia – of Purple Podded Peas fame – suggested potato pancakes. I was intrigued imagining pancake batter mixed with bobbles of mashed potato. Celia is a great cook so it was worth getting the recipe.
“How do you make those?”
“Take some cold mashed potato, add a thinly chopped shallot and one beaten egg. Mix well, divide into small pancakes and fry each side until golden.”
They sounded yummy and much easier to make than blinis.

Having saved money on the smoked salmon, I bought a small jar of lumpfish caviar and a tub of Philadelphia cheese and I was all set. I served the pancakes hot with a dab of cheese, a sprinkle of smoked salmon trimings and a little lumpfish caviar. They were unbelievably tasty, the cheese melting into the pancakes, offset by the taste of the fish. Mine were about 2”/5cm in diameter. At this size they would make a perfect starter or padded out with salad leaves for a quick and impressive light lunch. If they were made smaller they would be great party snacks.

I used a finely chopped spring (salad) onion (including some of the stalk) instead of the suggested shallot – which worked very well and added a bit of colour.

Recipe for Celia’s potato pancakes – makes 14 2”/5cm pancakes


800g of cold mashed potato
1 egg (beaten)
1 spring/salad onion sliced very fine
1 tablespoon of oil for frying


Mix all the ingredients together well. Put the mix onto a board and spread out with a spatula or knife to a thickness of about 1cm. Cut out the pancakes using a cookie cutter. Fry in oil until they are golden brown underneath and gently flip them over to fry the other side.

Serve with a topping of your choice. I tried these without the cheese and they were not nearly as good as the combination of soft cheese, salmon and lumpfish caviar.


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  1. Here’s hoping you have a fantastic 2012! xxx

  2. They look and sound delicious. A good variation on the usual blinis

  3. They look really good, and so easy! Mind you, they don’t have the wow factor of blini — jaws dropped round the table when I said I’d made them myself 🙂

  4. Toffeeapple

    There is absolutely nothing to dislike there and you have reminded me that I have a small jar of Lumpfish roe in my cupboard.

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