On our recent trip to the fairy-tale city of Prague, our guide gave me her recipe for potato cakes. This was something, she said, that she liked to cook for friends and family, when she had the chance, and was very traditional.
So, here's my interpretation of her recipe, which certainly goes well with the long thin sausages we brought back with us! It makes use of the food processor (toys for the boys!) and is therefore dead quick and easy.
Peel four or five large potatoes, and chop them into lumps. Toss the lumps into the food processor. Add five cloves of garlic, also peeled. (This makes the cakes quite garlicky - you might want to include less - or more!) Run the processor briefly to chop up the vegetables.
To the food processor, add one egg and three tablespoons of plain flour. Also add lots of freshly-ground black pepper and a little salt. Also, add a tablespoon (or more) of chopped or dried marjoram - I have some fresh growing in a tub in the garden. Whizz thoroughly in the food processor to form a slightly lumpy paste.
Heat vegetable oil in a large frying pan - use enough oil to fill the pan to about a quarter of an inch. When the oil is hot, use two tablespoons to put spoonfuls of the potato paste into the frying pan. Cook on one side for about four minutes, then use a spatula to turn over each cake - they should be cooked to a golden brown.
Cook for a further four or five minutes, then remove from the oil and drain using kitchen paper on a large warm plate. You may need to cook the cakes in batches, depending on the size of your frying pan, so keep the cakes warm until you have cooked them all.
Serve as a winter warmer with spicy sausages, mixed pickles (onions, sweet peppers and especially huge gerkins!) and/or a green salad. Drink Czech beer and, to quote our guide, toast your guests with Becherovka (the traditional Czech bitter spirit) afterwards!