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potato pancakes from leftover mashed?

When I was a kid my mom made potato pancakes out of leftover mashed potatoes. I really liked them, but never paid any attention how she did it. Now I am getting so bored with our sides that I thought about the pancakes, and tried a couple ways, but they were a disaster. I got some boxed mix, and it was okay, but . . . I tried taking some and mixing an egg in them, then fried them, but that wasn't very good, either. What should I be doing?

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  1. Disclosure: I've never made them out of anything but grated. However, I see a few possible problems. First,too much moisture. Second, too little texture. My mother in law puts the potatoes thru a meat grinder when making her latkes so they are finely textured but not pureed. I think you could prob do this with fresh potatoes but I'd avoid the boxed stuff. You need to add a little matza meal (in my house - but you could prob use bread crumbs if that isn't a pantry staple for you!), grated onion, egg and then fry. They should hold together in the palm of your hand and NOT be watery. You need to use a lot of oil, more than you think you'll need. I am always shocked at how much oil I use when making latkes. Can't recall the exact recipe I use but it'a combo of Cook's Illustrated and Joan Nathan. Oh,and plenty of salt! I also add chopped scallion & parsley for color

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    1. re: doc_k55

      I know this was posted sometime ago, but in searching for leftover recipes today. I saw this.
      My Nana used to make the best and what she did was:
      She only added corn starch to the potato's (that's it) then formed the patties and has a little extra on side on wax paper if still moist and just added a little more to each side if needed.
      Then just fry them in a little vegtable oil.
      No egg , No bread crumbs.
      They are the best nice light crispy crust and I always loved them with beef gravy or just sour cream and put the salt and pepper on after. She died 2 yrs ago. So, glad she taught me how. She was Irish and lived thru the depression so she knew her potato's! I think this is what you may have been searching for?

    2. I've only made potato pancakes with grated bits so I can't help there.

      Other suggestions for your leftover mashed potatoes: Perogies filled w mashed and cheese or sauteed onion...or as a topping for Shepherd's Pie or maybe make potato soup?

      1. My mom did the same thing. You need to add flour also to your mix of potatoes and egg. I also like some grated onion. Oh the memories

        1. I've made these off and on, trying to reproduce what my father used to do (I didn't pay attention either), with mixed success.
          He did something with bacon grease, milk, egg, and flour.
          He would start by adding half the milk and all the bacon grease to the MP, then mix the egg, flour, and remaining milk separately, then would mix the two together and come up with a thick batter. How much of each ingredient I have no idea.
          Then he would cook them over low or medium low heat until golden brown. Called them flannel cakes.

          1. Mix with flour and a bit of egg. Pat out to about 5mm thick, then fry.

            Part of classic British "full" breakfast - we call them potato cakes.