Potato and Cheese Cakes

These come from Ecuador. We ate them frequently in La Choza, a lovely restaurant in Quito. Serve these small ones as hot appetizers to accompany drinks.


  • 2 lb / 900 g floury potatoes
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 oz / 60 g butter
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oz / 110 g hard cheese, such as Jarlsberg, Gruyère or Cheddar, grated


Peel, boil and mash the potatoes with salt, pepper and half the butter. Fry the onion in half the olive oil until soft and golden. Allow to cool slightly, and then mix with the cheese. Form the potato into small patties, and bury some of the cheese and onion mixture in the centre. Heat the remaining butter and olive oil in a frying pan, and fry the potato cakes on both sides until golden brown.


A meal-size version uses the same ingredients to make 6 cakes, which are fried as described and served with a fried egg on top of each. Sliced avocados and a peanut sauce are the other accompaniments.