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Jean-Georges's Currant Cumin Potato Cakes

Jean-Georges Vongerichten, owner of Prime Steakhouse, at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, shares his recipe for these sweet and nutty potato cakes.

  • Yield: Makes 18 cakes

Source: Martha Stewart Living Television, February 1999


  • 2 1/3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Top of 1 fennel bulb
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 11 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping cakes
  • 1 cup dried currants
  • 1 large egg, well beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 4 tablespoons clarified unsalted butter


  1. Peel and wash potatoes. Place potatoes and the fennel top in a large saucepan, and cover with water. Add 1 tablespoon curry powder and a pinch of salt, and cook until tender, about 25 minutes.

  2. Drain potatoes well, and pass through a food mill into a large bowl. Add 8 tablespoons butter and the flour, stirring to incorporate. Add remaining tablespoon curry powder and the currants. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using an ice-cream scoop, scoop potato mixture into 2-inch balls. With lightly floured hands, form balls into 3-by-1/2-inch cakes. Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter, and brush cakes with it. Once the cakes have absorbed the butter, brush with egg. Sprinkle each cake with 1/8 teaspoon cumin seeds, and gently press seeds into each cake to adhere.

  4. Heat 1 tablespoon clarified butter in a saute pan set over medium heat. Place 3 cakes in saute pan, cumin-seed side down, and cook until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn cakes, and transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cakes. Transfer baking sheet to oven, and bake until the cakes are heated through, about 3 minutes.

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