Give me my druthers and my carb of choice for any meal will always be mashed potatoes. I love potatoes any which way you can make them but when it comes to deciding how to prepare them, mashed potatoes is on the top of the list.
That being said, I obviously make a lot of mashed potatoes and because of that I normally have a fair amount left over. Leftover reheated mashed potatoes are fine, but I wanted to make something with a little more flair. So the other evening I ventured into making mashed potato cakes.
Lesson Learned 1 – Determining the correct consistency can be tricky. Everyone likes their mashed potatoes prepared a certain way. I like mine with a little more body, stiffer and less runny. Some people like their’s softer and “wetter”. The key to creating a mashed potato cake you can work with is to make sure the consistency of the cake is not overly soft. So you may have to play with the amount of the ingredients a little until you get it right. For me, I beat one egg but only added a little bit at a time. I wound up using about 1/2 of a beaten egg to the potatoes. The same thing with flour. I probably used between 1/6 and 1/8 cup of flour. I added it gradually to make sure I got a good consistency but I also wanted to make sure the flour would not overpower the flavor.
Lesson Learned 2 – Once you get them in the pan leave them alone: You will need the help of a hardened crust on the bottom to help you flip the cakes over. I fried mine over medium high heat for four minutes before flipping them. That could vary for you depending upon your stove and heat source. The good thing is you will be able to see the browning occurring. Give it at least four minutes before you try to flip them over. Then flip them quickly as the top part will be much softer than the bottom.
I think there are basically two specific things to keep in mind when making this recipe. First is getting the correct consistency for the cakes. Second is making sure you have a good crust on the bottom and flipping them quickly. But even if they don’t come out picture perfect, I can attest to the fact they are damned delicious!
Mashed Potato Cakes…
3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
1 egg, beaten and added gradually (you may not need the entire amount)
3 Tbs. chopped chives (or more if you like)
1/8 cup flour added gradually (you may not need the entire amount)
4 Tbs. butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Flour for dredging
Combine mashed potatoes and chives. Slowly add some of the beaten egg, continually checking the consistency of the potatoes to make sure they do not become too runny. Add the flour gradually and mix until the potatoes have a somewhat firm consistency (they will be soft, but you don’t want them runny – they need to be firm enough to hold the shape of a rounded cake).
Form the potatoes into 4 equal sized cakes (about 2 inches in diameter). Put some flour on a plate and dredge the cakes in the flour. Shake off the excess. In a medium size skillet melt the butter over medium high heat. Place the cakes in the skillet and cook for approximately 4 minutes on each side. Serve immediately.