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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Not-Your-Average Potato Cakes

It seems as if each time there's a mashed potato-eating holiday where my mom and I are together, she asks if I'm going to make potato cakes with my leftovers.

I always answer know.  "What are they"  I always ask.  "How do you make them?"

You'd think I'd remember eating them if she likes them so much, but I don't - and I love mashed potatoes.

I always get lost in the explanation, somewhere after, "You take the leftover mashed potatoes ..."

Oh, well.

But after Christmas I had a LOT of leftovers.  Really.

So I decided to make potato cakes my way.

I added all of my favorite things, stirred them up 'til the color was pretty, and then fried them in a hot frying pan, and even My Little Man, the anti-potato man himself, liked them.  They're rich, full of flavor, easy to make, and while they're not exactly easy on the arteries, they do have some nutrients hidden in there.  That's gotta count for something, right?

Disclaimer:  Because I was playing with leftovers, all of my amounts are, as usual, approximate.  Basically, mix what you want and add enough eggs to glue it all together.

  • 2 1/2 - 3 c. mashed potatoes
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • dash of olive oil + some for frying
  • 2 T. butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 6-8 strips of bacon, cooked, patted dry, and crumbled
  • 1 big handful of fresh spinach, washed and chopped finely
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1/2 t. Season-all
Now, here's how you make my new favorite potatoes.  There are a few steps, but that's okay - it's worth it.
  1. Melt the butter and set aside to cool.
  2. Finely chop the onion, green pepper, and spinach.  Saute in olive oil over medium heat until cooked through.  
  3. Add the salt, pepper, garlic powder and Season-all to the onion mixture. Stir well.
  4. Add the bacon, cheese, veggie mixture, cooled butter, and eggs to the mashed potatoes.  Stir really well until totally combined.
  5. Chill for at least half an hour or until mixture will form a ball.
  6. When ready to go, heat a skillet until hot over medium heat. Spread a small amount of olive oil over the bottom of the pan, just to prevent sticking.
  7. Make a walnut-sized ball with the potato mixture.  Squish it a bit so that it's rather flat looking, and place it into the hot pan.  Repeat until the pan is full but not crowded - you need room to flip.
  8. After about 4 minutes, when cakes are hot, browned, and seared on the bottom, carefully flip.  Repeat for the second side, then remove from pan and place on a serving plate - or directly onto your own plate.
  9. Try not to eat them all before serving time.  
  10. Makes 16 - 20 cakes.

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