Potato Pampushki With Cheese Filling

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Reviving leftovers is a skill and an art worthy of attention. I don’t know about you, but most dishes, with some exceptions of course, are not very exciting to eat the next day.  It is such an accomplishment when you can bring something to the dinner table that nobody could ever guess was a re-created leftover and looks elegant and tastes amazing. 

Ingredients
  • 2½ cups mashed potatoes
  • 1½ lbs of potatoes, about 4 medium-sized (preferably Yukon Gold)
  • salt, pepper
  • ½ cup farmer’s cheese or ricotta
  • 4 oz Mozzarella cheese, grated (you can use any cheese that you like)
  • fresh parsley and chives, minced
  • 2-4 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • oil, for pan frying
Instructions
  1. Peel the raw potatoes and grate on a box grater. Squeeze out all the moisture by placing the potatoes in a cheesecloth or kitchen towel and squeeze out all excess moisture.
  2. Combine the grated potatoes with the mashed potatoes. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients, the farmer’s cheese, Mozzarella cheese, fresh herbs and heavy cream for the cheese filling. Season with salt and pepper. Mix to combine. You can substitute ricotta or cottage cheese for the farmer’s cheese. Depending on how dry the cheese mixture will be, add more or less heavy cream, just enough for it to all come together smoothly.
  4. Take about a ¼ cup of potato mixture and form into a patty. Place about a tablespoon of the cheese filling and place into the center of the patty. Fold the potato mixture over the cheese filling, shaping it into an oval shape.
  5. In a nonstick skillet, heat about 2 Tablespoons of oil and add the potato cakes. Cook the potato cakes on medium heat, about 5-7 minutes per side, until golden brown.
  6. Drain the potato cakes on paper towels and serve warm.
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