Friday, March 6, 2015

Mashed Potato Pancakes (Latkes)

So, every time I post on Facebook that I'm having mashed potato pancakes, everyone replies "yum!" so I thought it was about time to post the recipe. This is one of those things that you can tinker with until you find a mixture that you like. For example some people don't eat pork, so bacon is right out for them. The only two things that you really can't take out are the mashed potatoes and the eggs, unless you know of a good substitute for the eggs that will bind the mix. Everything else is fair game.

Even though this is technically a savory dish, don't be afraid to mix in sweet things. I like bacon or sausage, cheese and so on, topped with either ketchup or ranch dressing. The same batch of savory cakes will get drizzled (read drowned) in maple syrup by one of my sons. And I can see ground turkey and blue cheese for a bacon&blue effect or relish and mustard for a warm potato salad effect. The next time I have the ingredients I'm going to experiment with shredded chicken and buffalo sauce! The possibilities, as they say, are nearly endless.

Mashed Potato Pancakes
(All measurements are appropriate)

3-4 cups stiff mashed potatoes (left overs are wonderful)
1 large egg for each cup of potatoes
1 clove of garlic, minced, for each cup of potatoes
1/2 of a yellow onion, finely minced
1 tsp Liquid Smoke
1 Tbsp of dill pickle relish
1 "handful" of grated cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp butter or ghee to saute with, plus extra for cooking

In a skillet over medium heat, melt the Tbsp of butter and gently sauté the garlic and onions just until they go from translucent to lightly golden. This can be sped up by adding just the barest DUSTING of baking soda to them as they cook. Do not over do this or it will taste AWFUL. Trust me.

While these are cooking, add all the rest of the ingredients (except the butter/ghee) to a large mixing bowl and blend well. The mix should still be quite stiff, you don't want it to be "pourable" like pancakes. If you want to get your hands in the mix and pre-form them, I suggest using slightly wet hands and wax paper.

You can either make ping-pong ball sized balls, flattering them to an even thickness of about 1/3 to 1/2 an inch between two pieces of wax paper and then chilling until firm. Or you can just opt for the odd shapes of throwing a spoonful in a skillet and smoothing out the thickness with a fork or spoon like I do. To make sure they don't stick, I either spray the pan lightly or add a "pat" of butter or ghee to the pan. Never cook these on high heat, they will just burn and be funky.

With the pan lightly oiled and the temp on medium, heat these flat little babies until you see the cheese on the top middle start to get shiny and melty, shaking the pan occasionally to make sure it's not sticking. Then flip and heat the other side to the same golden brown. Voila!

Mmmm, I just thought of a version of these as an all-in-one after thanksgiving brunch, mixing in turkey, corn and jellied cranberry, topped with warm gravy!

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