Saturday, November 17, 2012

Leftover Mashed Potatoes, For The Win

potato pancakes and kale

Perhaps, like me, you have someone in your house who really loves mashed potatoes. In my case, the Man of Science will basically eat mashed potatoes until he explodes. So when I make mashed potatoes, I tend to make a lot of them. This means that if the MoS manages to reign in his enthusiastic eating of said potatoes, we end up with leftovers. And what's the best thing to make with those leftovers if it's a Saturday morning and you want to have a big, weekend breakfast? Mashed potato pancakes. They aren't hard to make at all. Here, I'll give you some tips:

First, attempt to distract any small humans who might demand your attention and interrupt your cooking.


Then mix two parts mashed potatoes with one part flour (I used spelt) and add one flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seeds plus three tbsp warm water) for every cup of flour. It will look like a pasty, gloppy mess, but press on! If you don't mind getting a little gucky, you can mix this with your bare hands. Otherwise a rubber spatula or wooden spoon will work. You'll end up with a mixture that resembles bread dough, not a pourable batter like conventional pancakes. 


Heat up a cast iron or non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Maybe you have an awesome new stove that you'd like to use? Maybe it has big red knobs and gas burners and is the greatest non-human, non-pet thing you've ever lived with. Ahem. Pour in enough oil to just cover the bottom of the pan. Use a neutral oil, like safflower or canola. 


Distraction techniques have failed. Put that baby in a sling so you can keep both hands free for cooking. It's just like a womb. He'll fall asleep immediately. Heat your oven to 200 degrees if you aren't going to eat the potato pancakes right away. Also, lay two layers of paper towel or one thick tea towel out on the counter so you can drain some of the oil from the finished pancakes. 


Roll the dough into 2 tbsp balls with your hands (wet them first if you don't want the dough to stick) and flatten them into pancakes. Drop these into the oil and fry for approximately three minutes on each side, until they are golden and crispy. For some reason it helps if you stab a chopstick through the middle of each pancake while it's cooking. I have no idea why, it just makes for a more appealing texture for the whole thing. When they've finished cooking, let them sit on the paper towel for a minute or two to get rid of excess oil. 

potato pancakes

If you want to take additional time to make a (sadly mediocre) hash of kale and tempeh bacon to accompany your pancakes, just spread them out on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and put them in your 200 degree oven to keep them warm. This should also keep them from getting soggy before you can eat them. Season with salt and pepper before you serve. And if that baby woke you up three times last night, you'll probably want to serve this meal with lots of caffeinated beverages. 

potato pancakes and kale

I used two cups of mashed potatoes and one cup of flour for this, and ended up with a dozen pancakes. You can vary the quantities of the ingredients and also the size of the individual pancakes if you like. Smaller pancakes are bound to end up crispier, which is how I like them. But if you like yours all soft inside, go ahead a make bigger ones. 

Then eat! Then go do something fun with your weekend! It's beautiful weather here, meant to be enjoyed. As all those creepy people on Game of Thrones say, "Winter is coming." 



Icantbelieveitsvegan said...

How come the boy is so big now? :-) He was just born and now he reads :-) I don't have children so I don't really know but he looks bigger than one one-month-old newborn. Awesome.

Mélanie said...

Oh my, what an adorable boy! The pancakes look good too :)

Dinah said...

Pancakes look good but they definitely need more baby pictures

Allysia said...

I share the sentiments of being able to eat mashed potatoes to the brink of explosion. I grew up with 'em, and since we have such a high Ukrainian population in Saskatchewan, it's basically one of those things we eat all the time. Like at least once a week. I don't do that anymore but I could! Also your cooking instructions are hilarious. :) Those potato pancakes look great!

Anonymous said...

My daughter goes nuts over these. I use lots of nutritional yeast, ground flax meal, & a little salt. They don't last long!

Lynn said...

Man, that is one cute baby. Also: yummy looking pancakes. Will try!

Maggie Muggins said...

This is perfect timing as I have an overabundance of mashed yams/potatoes in the fridge, and although I have no trouble eating potatoes and only potatoes, this sounds way more interesting. The husband is a potato fanatic but for some reason the second it hits the fridge and forever becomes tainted as “leftovers” he won’t touch them…whateves, to that I say, more for me!

Anonymous said...

some of us are wondering what type of baby sling that is???

thanks for the great recipes!

Jennifer said...

I don't actually know anything about the sling, sine it was a hand-me-down from a cousin. It's great, though!