17 March 2008

Mashed Potato Pancakes

I cannot even tell you how excited I am about this post.  You know how sometimes the simplest  things are sometimes the tastiest and most satisfying?  This is definitley one of those times.  Last week Zach and I made mashed potatoes to go with some leftover meatloaf that my dad sent home with me.  We cooked a few too many potatoes and had enough for a lunch for each of us and another container of leftovers for the fridge.  I happened to catch Michael Chiarello on the food network while at work (it's really not as bad as it sounds-- we were stuffing envelopes) and saw him make an Italian potato pancake stuffed with cheese.  I thought, why not just make pancakes out of the leftover mashed potatoes?

I mixed the potatoes with an egg and flour to provide some structure and then divided it into two portions, one for each of us. I dusted my hands with flour then shaped the potato into a ball and stuffed in a piece of Edam cheese, then rolled the potato balls in a bit of flour, to help give them a nice golden crust and flattened them slightly into patties. The got a quick fry over medium high to make them crisp and then got an extra topping of cheese and went into the toaster oven. They emerged, 10 minutes later, puffed and golden, with a fluffy, creamy potato texture and a bit of melty cheese in the center.  We ate them for breakfast but they would be great for a weekend lunch or even for dinner with a bit of salad or wilted spinach.

Mashed Potato Cakes
Enough for one large and one medium cake, can easily be adjusted 

2 c. mashed potatoes, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 c. flour plus additional for dusting
1-2 oz. cheese (Edam, gouda, cheddar or whatever you've got that melts)
1/4 c. oil for frying (olive, canola or a mix)

-  Preheat your toaster oven, or if you are making mass quantities of cakes, your real oven to 400F.

-  Mix the potatoes with the egg and flour.  Cut the cheese into domino sized disks, one for each patty, shred the remaining cheese.

-  Scoop up about 1 cup of the potato mixture and form it into a ball (yes- your hands will get covered in it but you can wash them later).  Press one piece of cheese into the center and cover it with the potato.  You want the cheese to be at the center of the potato sphere, sort of like the core of the earth.

-  Roll the ball in flour to cover, than lightly toss it between your hands to remove the excess flour.  Press the ball slightly so it assumes patty form.  Repeat these two steps till you are done with the potato mixture.

-  Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat.  When the oil just starts to shimmer, carefully place in the potato pancakes.  Cook 2-3 minutes or until golden brown, flip and repeat.

-  Remove the pancakes to you baking tray and top with the remaining cheese.  Bake for about 10 minutes.  You can tell they're done when they have puffed up and the cheese is melted.  Serve immediately.


kat said...

that makes me think of my Grandfather. He would make pancakes the morning after we had mashed potatoes too.

Jen said...

Actually my Grandma used to talk about them too. I remember one time after Thanksgiving we tried to make them and got the proportions sort of wrong- they were quite gummy but I still have a fond memory of the attempt.

Neen said...

I *always* have left over mashed potatoes and they *always* end up languishing in the fridge till I take pity on them and throw them out. They just don't taste the same reheated, you know? Thanks so much for this recipe, what a wonderful way to combat the Leftovers goblin! :)

Jen said...

Thanks Neen-- that's usually what happens to my leftover mashed potatoes too... I'm really glad to have discovered a use for them.

SaraLynn said...

Yummy! this sounds great!