Brighten up brunch with Peruvian potato cakes and poached eggs

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Potatoes in Peru go way back. Like 8,000 years back.

It wasn’t until just a few hundred years ago that potatoes started making their way to other cultures, and now you’ll find them around the globe.

Potatoes used to be considered off-limits if you were on just about any kind of diet, but Americans are starting to embrace them again, especially those of us who advocate eating a well-rounded diet of moderation in all things. In the new book, “Weight Watchers Family Meals” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $29.99), these Peruvian potato cakes remind us that potatoes, in small doses, are affordable, delicious, filling and nutritious.

The potato patties can be prepared up to one day ahead and refrigerated, but let them come to room temperature before browning in the skillet. If you are keeping track of your Weight Watchers points, this dish has 8 SmartPoints.

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These Peruvian potato cakes with poached eggs are from “Weight Watchers Family Meals.” Photo by John Kernick.

Peruvian Potato Cakes with Poached Eggs

1 lb. baking potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed and patted dry
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus additional for sprinkling
3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
4 large eggs
Hot pepper sauce, for serving

Heat oven to 250 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper; spray with nonstick spray.

Put potatoes and garlic in medium saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat and cook until potatoes are fork-tender, 10 to 12 minutes; drain. Transfer to large bowl. With potato masher, mash potatoes and garlic until smooth. Add mozzarella, corn, scallions, 1/4 cup of cilantro, Parmesan and salt, stirring until mixed well. Shape potato mixture into eight (3/4-inch-thick) patties using 1/3 cup potato mixture for each patty.

Heat oil in large deep nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add four patties and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and place in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining four patties. Wipe skillet clean.

To poach eggs, half-fill skillet with water and bring to boil; add vinegar. Reduce heat to bare simmer. Break 1 egg into cup. Holding cup close to water, slip egg into water. Repeat with remaining eggs. Cook until whites of eggs are firm but yolks are still soft, about 5 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer one egg at a time to paper towel-lined plate to drain.

To serve, place two potato patties on each of four plates; top with 1 egg and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with hot sauce. Serves 4.

— From “Weight Watchers Family Meals” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $29.99)


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