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mashed potato cakes

We love these as a side dish at Liliana's, a great local restaurant (RI!) and want to try them at home. Last night we tried just frying up the mashed potatoes in some olive oil, but they fell apart when we tried to flip them. I guess we should add egg to bind, right? Who has done this? Or maybe I should fry them in an oil/butter combination?

I'm not sure how to make the magic happen...

(I am talking savory here -- not the chocolate cakes containing mashed potato, although I must admit that I find that concept strangely intriguing...)

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  1. Google up a recipe for Boxty. It is the Irish version and uses not only mashed potatoes but combines a grated raw potato and a bit of flour. They make a wonderful potato cake. Last St. Patrick's day AM I made Irish eggs Benedict with the Boxty as the base and Irish bacon etc. Great stuff.

    1. Sounds like your mashed potatoes weren't soft/creamy enough in the first place. Were you having problems forming the patties or did they fall apart only when cooking?

      I usually just take the leftover mashed potatoes, make patties, dredge in flour and pan fry in butter for a few minutes per side until golden. I can't imagine your oil choice would make any difference (taste notwithstanding).

      1 Reply
      1. re: ESNY

        This is how we make them as well. I've never needed eggs. It's my favorite day-after-Thanksgiving breakfast.

        I think it could also be problematic if your potatoes had too much liquid. We make them with fairly dry mashed potatoes. Also, mashed potatoes made with butter and milk or cream hold up much better than mashed potatoes made with chicken stock.

      2. I just made these with a saffron aoli! I had leftover smashed red potatoes. I added flour, eggs and here's the key: baking powder. Shallow fry in vegetable oil until browned on each side. My mom used to do this with leftover mashed potatoes all the time and her's turned out gorgeous each time. After several attempts which ended like yours, I went to her old tried and true method. Here's the method/recipe and pics.

        1. Depends what taste and consistency you're after...

          I tend to like to add a little bit of asiago to my spudders and vary my dredging ingredient (bread crumbs, flou, panko, etc.). I also like to fry in butter or butter/olive oil combo depending upon my additions.

          1. I mash potatoes with butter and a bit of milk. Then, I add some shredded cheddar, an egg, salt, pepper and some parsley. Check your consistency. The 'taters should stick well together, but not be super sticky...if they are, add a bit of flour. Form into hamburger-sized patties.
            Then, I refrigerate for about a half hour to set them up, pat them into some panko and fry up in butter.

            1. got this recipie from a friend and they are really good and simple!

              Tater Cakes

              1 egg
              2 tablespoons flour
              1/2 teaspoon salt
              1/2 teaspoon pepper
              1 tablespoon grated onion
              2 cups mashed potatoes

              Beat egg; add flour, salt, pepper, and onion. Stir lightly into potatoes. Drop mixture by spoonfuls onto a hot skillet. Brown cakes on both sides. Serve immediately.

              1 Reply
              1. re: geminigirl

                This is how my mom did it. I was going to post about potato cakes needing onion. :) She always used leftover mashed potatoes for this. You know, now that I think about it, that we ever had "leftover mashed potatoes" is very odd. I had an older brother who was in sports all the time, and ate like a... well a teenage boy. :) Guess Mom figured out how much to make to fill his stomach, then made extra for the next day.

              2. I typically add scallions and egg to the leftover mashed potatoes. Let them brown a good long time, and then they still sometimes are tricky to turn. Just be patient.

                1. I use leftover mashed potatoes only - but mine have loads of butter and milk already in them. I form them into palm-sized patties and then fry in butter. The trick is to really let the bottoms brown so they'll hold together on the flip.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: gini

                    How long before you flip? medium-high heat?

                    1. re: foxy fairy

                      I start with med-high because the oil temp will drop once you add the batter. You may want to turn it down to medium so they can brown without burning. Before turning, lift a little edge up to see if it's brown enough. It usually takes about 2 -3minutes.

                      1. re: foxy fairy

                        I start at medium-high to get a nice sear then turn down to medium for anywhere between 2 - 5 minutes depending on your stove and thickness of the cakes. You definitely want to lift up an edge to check the bottom - it should look about as brown as a peking duck before it's ready to be flipped.

                    2. What finally worked for me: start with fairly dry potatoes, not soupy at all, and mashed rather than whipped. After supper, when you're about to put the leftovers away, form the potatoes into flat cakes of a size not much bigger than your spatula, and put them away interleaved with waxed paper. When you're cooking them, use a lightly-greased griddle, and get it good and hot befor the cakes go on. Drop each one gently into place, and don't monkey with'em until they seem to be crusting underneath and you can slide the spatula cleanly in. Flip them over and continue. You may want to add a bit of seasoning during this process. After years of trying egg, flour, more fat, less fat and whatever, I was so glad to get a process that works...'cause there's nothing I like better on my breakfast plate than a couple of these guys under some runny eggs!