Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Potato pancakes

Light work for this evening: Michelle H. and I have been talking recipes, in a hearty but discrete thread that started here. I've sent her a sauce recipe she may have been looking for, and she's promised me a fish recipe when it's kitchen-tested and she's ready.

Since tonight's announced side dish stopped traffic and changed Dylan's plans, at least momentarily, it seemed worth sharing. We had leftover mashed red bliss potatoes, which I made into potato pancakes Like My Mother Used To Make. These are quite different from the southern cook's version of Hannukah Latkes. I've made these before but that's a story for another evening, my loves, which I do promise to tell you when you're older. Mashed potato pancakes are easy to make.

Put about 2 cups of leftover mashed potatoes into a medium-sized mixing bowl with one large (beautiful free-range, preferably from the Land of Ms. Moon) lightly beaten egg, about a quarter cup of King Arthur all-purpose flour (no, they don't pay me, but I am a BIG fan), and some very finely chopped onion, finely chopped garlic if you like, and finely chopped fresh parsley. Season with pepper and/or salt, to taste. Mix well and ask yourself if you need anything else in there (chopped green pepper, mushrooms, or fresh herbs from your garden...you get the idea). If you like, you can add a half cup of shredded cheese. Heat olive oil in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, as you'd prepare to cook pancakes. This is the not-so-diet friendly part, because you'll need several tablespoons of olive oil to do the trick. Drop by small spoonfuls, about 6 per batch. Brown on both sides, turning once. Drain on paper towels. If you didn't have salty mashed potatoes to begin with, you can sprinkle these very lightly with coarse kosher salt.

Here comes the easy part: what's YOUR recipe? Whether it's a leftover-utilization strategy or your honest-to-goodness favorite, I'd love to know about it, and share it. After all, despite all indications to the contrary, we ARE Eat Here Eatery. And it's your restaurant, too.


  1. Love potato pancakes. Just the best thing instead of tossing out those leftover spuds.

    I don't have many recipes. I'm sort of a floundering chef: toss everything in the pot and give a taste to see if it works. I remember a thing we used to do involving fried doughnuts. This is the closest recipe that comes to mind on how my family made them as a child.

    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup sugar
    pinch of salt
    1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    1 egg
    4 tbsp oil
    1/4 cup milk
    oil for deep frying

    Sift flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Add sugar and salt and mix. In another bowl,lightly beat egg and mix oil. Mix in flour mixture until crumbly. Stir in milk. With floured hands, lightly knead the dough until smooth (If too sticky, add some flour). Leave the dough in the mixing bowl in a warm place for about 2 hours. Roll out the dough into 1/4 inch thickness on a floured surface. Dip doughnut cutter in flour. Use to cut-out doughnuts. Heat oil for deep frying. Carefully drop doughnuts into hot oil, only a few at a time. Fry, turning once, for about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or cinnamon-sugar mixture, if you like.

    I admit this is a web recipe I found on searching for the original (Betty Crocker '60s recipe) that I remember. We didn't bother using a doughnut cutter - a regular inverted glass will do in a pinch if you don't have one. We used a small shot glass to make the doughnut holes, or anything small and round that allows you to cut out the middle. Heat oil to about 325. That's the one thing missing in this recipe I filched. Adjust the temperature if it seems they are browning to quickly.

    This seems like the original. The most important thing I remember is that there wasn't any yeast used - which made it a quick-and-easy recipe.

  2. Michelle, I remember you sharing this recipe on your own blog, and it's funny: I have a vague recollection of making doughnuts from a similar recipe (and liking the yeast-free nature, as it was faster) when I was a kid with my siblings. I can recall the same thing: using a small glass, and then an even smaller one (a shot glass?) to cut out the doughbut hole. This is one I am definitely sharing with my son Dylan, who made the lovely golden brown pancakes on Mother's Day. I'm seeing these in my future!


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