It’s that time of the month again, when all the potatoes come out to strut their stuff. This month our gracious host is Diane over at Asthma Girl Cooks. Head on over there on Wednesday, September 17th, when she’ll be sharing the best and the brightest potato recipes on the blogosphere!

As August rolls to a close, I start craving apples. Living in NJ, we have some orchards around us where we can get fresh apples, right from the trees. For this month’s Potato Ho-Down roundup, I wanted to see if I could find recipes that combined apples and potatoes, so I went to one of my favorite recipe spots, the Food Network, and voila! there they were just waiting to be tried. I’m a big fan of Rachael Ray‘s recipes because the food is relatively idiot proof and comes out the way it’s supposed to regardless of what I do to it. I found this from her 30 Minute Meals show, and without further ado, I present Cicero Bethell’s Smashed Potato-Cheddar Cakes with Warm Cran-Apple Sauce.

Here are ingredients you will need for some of the most mouth-watering potato pancakes you could ever imagine – apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, whole cranberry sauce, apple cider, nutmeg, potatoes, salt, pepper, olive oil, milk, cheddar cheese, scallions, and paprika.
Let’s start with the apple/cranberry sauce. Core and peel three apples, chop into small chunks, and put into a medium sauce pan over a medium heat.

Add in brown sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, and apple cider. Stir occasionally and when the apples start getting soft, mash them a little into the sauce.

After about 15 minutes, when the liquid cooks off and the sauce thickens, take it off the heat and stir the cranberry sauce through.

Man I wish this blog had a scratch & sniff button because our kitchen smells SOOOO GOOD right now – cinnamon and apples – um, um, good!

Now, lets move on to the belle of the ball – the potatoes. Cut them into small chunks and boil them until they are fork-soft.

While they’re boiling, shred 2 cups of cheddar cheese

and finely chop 2 scallions.

Smash the potatoes – add the milk, butter, cheese & scallions and mix well. Try to refrain from eating all the potatoes at this point, which will be difficult because they are very good!

Form the potatoes into balls, flatten into pancakes and place into a pan over a medium heat with a pat of butter and some olive oil.

Cook for three minutes on each side

then serve with the apple/cranberry sauce.

Shown here with a slightly charred pork chop.
Smashed Potato-Cheddar Cakes with Warm Cran-Apple Sauce
3 Golden or Red Delicious apples, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 cup apple cider
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup prepared whole berry cranberry sauce, store bought or homemade
3 cups smashed or leftover mashed potatoes *
Water or milk, as needed to thin potatoes
2 cups grated Cheddar
2 scallions finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, eyeball it
Coarse salt and pepper
Drizzle vegetable oil
Butter pats
Paprika, to garnish, optional
Place apples, lemon juice, cider, sugar and cinnamon in a medium pot over medium high heat and cook down into a thick sauce, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cranberry sauce to warm though and combine.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Place potatoes and water or milk in a bowl and cover with plastic. Microwave 2 minutes on high to slightly reheat and loosen potatoes. Stir them up with the liquid to make them workable again. Combine cheese, scallions, and nutmeg with potatoes and adjust salt and pepper.
Add a drizzle of vegetable oil and a pat of butter to your preheated skillet, then score the potatoes and cheese mixture in half. Using the first half of the potatoes, make 6 (3 inch across and 1/2 inch thick) potato cakes and space them evenly around the pan. Cook the cakes until golden all over, 3 minutes per side, then remove and garnish with paprika, if using, and repeat with remaining ingredients.
Serve potato-cheddar cakes with warm cran-apple sauce for topping.
*To make fresh smashed potatoes, cook off 2 1/2 pounds of small new skin potatoes until tender and smash them up with some milk or stock and butter, salt and pepper to taste.


  1. noble pig Says:

    I think you’ve taken the Ho Down to a whole new level! This is unbelievable! Thank you for playing!

  2. Helen/Dudley Says:

    Official Taste Tester here – this is your best one so far!!!!!!!!!

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