(not pictured: the pancake I ate before I remembered to take a photo)
If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering how to incorporate mashed potatoes more into your morning routine. Lucky for you, my mom taught me the ultimate solution—potato pancakes! Please note, these are most definitely not latkes. These are the latke’s sexy-trashy, tube-top wearin’ Kentucky cousin that the latke only sees, like, once every few years when the potato pancake cousin pops out another kid. This recipe is profoundly less time-consuming than latkes. I made these on a weekday for breakfast. Crazy.
One more time for the record: not latkes. We’ll save latkes for another day.
Leftover mashed potatoes that have been sitting in the fridge for at least 24 hours
About 1-2 TB olive oil
Heat a frying pan to medium-high and add the olive oil when the pan is hot.
Form some mashed potato patties about 3 inches across in diameter. Some people might tell you to add an egg to your mixture to keep the pancake from falling apart, but those people are just not adventurous. You can totally make these vegan (assuming your mashed potatoes are also vegan) and skip the egg.
Add the mashed potato patty to the hot oil (oil should be shimmery and super hot. If it’s smoking, it’s too hot).
The key to mashed potato pancakes is really hot oil and patience. There’s no fancy cooking technique here; you just have to wait it out. If you try to flip the pancakes too early, the mashed potatoes will dissolve in the oil and you’ll be left with a slimy, mushy mess. You want to let the pancake sit undisturbed in the oil until it develops a crispy exterior on one side. The inside will still be soft, like a crispy mashed potato hot pocket.
My mom made these for me a lot when I was growing up. This recipe is perfect for her because she’ll wander away from the stove and forget about the potato pancakes entirely, only to wander back into the kitchen to discover they’re finally ready to be flipped. So, again, I stress—patience. Or a tendency to be easily distracted…
Once you’ve crisped one side, carefully flip and crisp the other. Then serve!
Hopefully the mashed potatoes you made the other day had enough seasoning in them to negate the need for salt, pepper or anything else, but go ahead and go crazy with the toppings. I added some chopped scallions and cilantro that we had leftover from last night’s gazpacho.