Usually when I announce leftovers, the response from my kids is anything but enthusiastic. But if there is one leftover food we all look forward to, it’s mashed potato cakes after Thanksgiving. How can you go wrong with a recipe that starts with rich, buttery potatoes and ends with individual cakes fried to a beautiful golden brown?
Since I use a make-ahead mashed potatoes recipe at Thanksgiving, I always take a few cups out as soon as they are done and stash them in the back of the refrigerator to be sure I have leftovers for making this recipe. With only two additional ingredients to be mixed in to the leftover potatoes this recipe is super simple, which is right up my alley following the two or three days of non-stop cooking leading up to Thanksgiving.
I had never heard of mashed potato cakes until several years ago one Thanksgiving day when I offered my grandma any leftovers that she wanted to take home. She asked for mashed potatoes and said she wanted to make some mashed potato cakes with them. Intrigued, I asked her how she made them. Like most grandmas, she followed no specific recipe. She just added a little of this and a little of that and cooked them in the skillet. I on the other hand am very much a recipe follower, usually when I add a little of this and a little of that the end result never seems to be quite what I expected.
So although winging it is definitely not my style of cooking, in this case I took the limited guidance from my grandma and gave it a try. Much to my surprise they turned out great on the first try. Even so, I tried a few different variations until I thought they were just right. It took me 2 or 3 years of making adjustments to really perfect them since I only make these once a year after Thanksgiving, but I finally got it.
Although I love the simple flavors of the cakes as they are, the recipe is definitely a good base for adding a number of different seasonings to suit your taste. I hope your family enjoys them as much as ours does.
Mashed Potato Cakes
- 3 cups Cold Mashed Potatoes, already flavored with milk, butter, salt and pepper to taste
- 3 Eggs
- 1/2 cup Flour
Mix together first three ingredients until well combined.
Add about 1/2-1 tablespoon of butter to a 10 inch skillet over medium heat.
Once the butter is melted, quickly add mashed potatoes by scooping out approximately 1/4 cup of the mixture and shaping it into about a 1/2 inch thick patty. I find it's best to quickly add the potatoes once the skillet is ready because the potatoes are too sticky and not firm enough to be patted out in advance. I cook the patties in batches of 4-5 at a time in the skillet.
Cook patties about 4-5 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through. I generally ended up needing to cook them a little longer on the first side in order to get them golden brown and sturdy enough to flip.