Potato Farls

March 3, 2012

My friend Theresa introduced me to Potato Farls while I was living in Ireland. I am eternally grateful to her! I LOVE Potato Farls. But what are they you might ask. Potato Farls are a type of bread where potato replaces a portion of the flour. Traditionally served with breakfast, they are pan-fried, usually in butter.  Although they are more typically found in Ulster and Northern Ireland, we were still able to find them in the Republic where we were living. The type that we most commonly would buy were square pieces of potato bread, lightly floured and about 1 cm thick. They usually came in packs of four.

A package of farls

But let me tell you that technical definition does not do them justice. They are spectacularly tasty and will put most hash browns to shame! Don’t get me wrong, I love all potato dishes. But Potato Farls hold a special place in my heart. Of course when I came back to the States, Farls were scarce to say the least! So I had to figure out how to make some of my own. After searching about and quite a few attempts, I came up with a recipe that I’m very happy with. Mine are definitely different from the type found in Ireland that I was used to, but are indeed quite welcome in this farl-less land. Some of the differences between mine and the Irish variety are that I’ve added cheddar cheese to mine. I also cut mine out with a 2″ biscuit cutter, rather than sticking to the square shape. I’ve found that they are much crisper this way than either the square form or the triangle shape that you get when you cut a circle of dough into quarters. But feel free to shape these little gems anyway you like. I guarantee that you will love them any way they’re served up. These farls are very easy to make. You mix left-over mashed potatoes with some flour, salt and pepper and knead it until it forms a dough.

Rolled out farl dough

Then you roll it out to 1/4″ to 1/2 ” thickness. Use a biscuit cutter to cut out the individual farls.

Farls cut out and ready to fry!

Cook them in a greased frying pan until golden brown.

YUM!!!

 My husband and I love these Potato Farls so much that we look for excuses to make mashed potatoes (as if anyone would need an excuse…) and then make way more than necessary. Like I will buy a five-pound bag of potatoes and cook them all when I’m only making dinner for two. Yes indeed, I’ve now started freezing my farls so that I will always have some ready when that Potato Farl craving calls. Try a batch of these with your St. Patrick’s Day breakfast.

Farl-licious Breakfast

You won’t be disappointed though might possibly become addicted…

Potato Farls

yield: 8 farls

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup cold leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1/2 all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oil or butter in which to fry farls ( I often use bacon grease)

Directions:

Place left over potatoes, flour and shredded cheese in bowl. Mix by kneading until it comes together into a soft dough. I usually use my hands to do this, spoons never seem to get the job done easily.

Roll dough out on lightly floured surface to a circle about 1/2″ thick. At this point, you can choose to fry the whole circle and cut it into quarters once it has finished frying. For smaller round farls, using a 2″ biscuit cutter, cut out farls, re-rolling farl dough as necessary.

Heat oil or butter as you wish in a frying pan over medium high heat. ( I usually use bacon fat to fry them in, but of course, butter is lovely as well! Also, I prefer to use a cast iron pan, as the farls seem to come out crispier when I do.) Once pan and oil are nice and hot, add farls to pan.

Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste over the Farls and cook until golden brown and then flip and cook the other side in same manner.

Enjoy!

*I will often make up a big batch of farl dough, cut out the farls and then freeze the uncooked farls, so that we can have farls at hand even when there hasn’t been any mashed potatoes about. Generally, I don’t even bother defrosting them when we’re ready to cook some up, but just pop them right into the pan frozen. That being said, they do tend to cause the oil to splatter and pop more when frozen so be cautious!


Happy New Year!….Better late than never…….

January 23, 2011

Bah-Humbug! Is it over yet?

Wow! Here we are post-Thanksgiving, post-Christmas, post- St. Stephen’s Day, post -Farl Week (more on this later) and post- New Year and not even one “post” from me since Halloween. Where does the time go? So quite a bit has happened since I last bothered to blog. Christmas as usual was a whirlwind. We were busy with events leading right up to Christmas Day on which Jay and I hosted both sets of parents for dinner. This year we did a bacon wrapped beef tenderloin roast with horseradish sauce, potato and leek gratin, garden greens with champagne vinagrette and yorkshire puddings, topped off by Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes with a side of vanilla ice cream.

Bacon Wrapped Terderloin with Roasted Mushrooms

Yorkshire Puddings

Dinner is served!

Molten Chocolate Cakes about to be plated & paired with ice cream

For whatever reason, this meal was significantly less stessful to prepare than those in the past. Perhaps I’m just getting more experienced in dealing with all of the small kitchen disasters one can be faced with when preparing for a dinner party. All in all, very enjoyable. The following day, St. Stephen’s Day, our parents returned for brunch. My brother Russ, sister-in-law Jen and their kids Riley and Jason stopped by as well. We had plenty to eat: two tarts-a ham and a bacon, scones-chocolate chip and currant, strawberries and cream, bacon cheddar biscuits, almond coffee cake, sliced ham with buttermilk mini biscuits, etc.

Brunch Table

Riley makes a selection

Kids really make Christmas, so there was big excitement for all involved. After spying some squirrels outside who were enjoying their St. Stephen’s Day peanuts, Riley and Jason were ready to get down to opening some prezzies.

On Squirrel Patrol

Riley really loved a princess castle that her Pop-pop and Granny gave her.

Wait..it was Riley who loved her castle right? My what big boots you have Riley!

Strawberries and Cream in a castle

Jason gets some help with a prezzie

He gets into the swing of things

Everyone joins in the fun

Perhaps some had a little too much fun...

Quite fittingly, we discovered that there is an actual Ridgeway Brewery in Oxfordshire England. We purchased a few bottles of their Christmas Ales. Splendid. Hope to visit it in person some day.

Ridgeway Ale

Overall, a very merry Christmas! Want to see more pics? Please click on Christmas/St. Stephan’s Day photos to view our entire gallery.

Later in the day, we had a few friends stop by as well for a very “chill” St. Stephen’s Day wind down. One particular highlight of the evening was that Peter, Jenn and Guiliane stopped by with the newest addition to their family-Eliana Camille-only 17 days old!

Eliana Camille Alcantara

How is that for adorable huh? Jenn is the photographer here. As you can see, she is awesome. Her business website, JLAphotos, is currently undergoing an upgrade, but make sure you check back soon. For those of you who can’t wait for a further peek at her gorgeous photography, take a look at her personal blog. She has many fantastic shots posted there. I particularly love the way she is able to really capture the personality of the children she photographs by having them just be themselves. There are few stiff, posed photos. That being said, she does do some awesome portrait type photography as well. Take a look at her work here on Fishnets and Photos. These HOT photos pay homage to the pin-up girls of yesterdays. Great for bachelorette parties or maybe a memorable Valentine’s gift for that special someone.

Jay and I both received some awesome prezzies as well. Too many, I’m ashamed to say, to mention here. However, I thought I would take the opportunity to show off a couple. Jay purchased these two fellows for me from a place called Motley Mutton.

Pajo Sheep

Tarquinn Squirrel

They are needle felted wool creations. Needle felting, for those who are not familiar with the process, is basically sculpting a form with wool. First you roll or bunch carded wool into a shape and then poke the wool with a barbed needle. This action causes the wool to become tangled and intertwined. The more the shape is stabbed, the tighter the twined wool. What Motley Mutton achieves with this process is amazing! Definitely take a look at this etsy store, her stuff is just adorable! I’m hoping to learn how to do this….I’ll keep you posted.

Speaking of prezzies, Gimlet was very happy with this giant, peanut butter rawhide bone.

Lucky Dog!

Jay is really pleased with his new EBOW. What is an EBOW you may ask. It is a piece of musical equipment which makes his guitar sound a bit more like a violin. Take a listen here:

With all of the Christmas festivities done, Jay and I looked forward to Farl Week. Farl Week, for those who don’t know, is the week following Christmas. During that week, for every single breakfast I prepare potato farls from our Christmas Dinner leftover mashed potatoes. You may have noticed that our Christmas Dinner this year did not include mashed potatoes. Not to be cheated out of Farl Week, I made up a batch on Christmas Eve and stuck them right in the fridge so they’d be ready on December 27th! A potato farl is basically a potato pancake, fried in butter or bacon drippings….YUM! I first became a fan when I had them in Ireland. There you can just buy them pre-made from the store. Those farls are basically shaped like a slice of bread, which is nice because you can put eggs and bacon on top of it and fold it over for a little breakfast sandwich. I cut mine out with a biscuit cutter and add a little shredded cheddar cheese to the mix. The recipe is easy: 1 Cup leftover mashed potatoes, 1/2 cup flour, salt and pepper to taste, cheddar cheese (or any other cheese you prefer) if you would like. Mix it all up, roll it out, cut into biscuit shapes, or I have even fried the entire farl round and cut it into wedges when it was done. I think I prefer the biscuit shapes though because they are a bit more crispy.

Rolling out the farl dough

Biscuit shaped farls

Frying 'em up!

Awesome Farlicious Breakfast

There were many awesome treats to be had over the whole holiday season and I assure you my waistline is happy that Farl Week only lasts one week. Farl Month would be a nightmare….a delicious nightmare…but…We’ve definitely tried to get back into the working out/ watching what we eat daily routine. However, I have recently come across some fantastic recipes and I’m sure we’ll have to take a break from the diet drudgery to try them out. Check back soon (Promise I will be better about the posting frequency…..)

Gimlet scarfs a snack


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