Do you have those leftovers that you just can’t make yourself throw out? That original dish took a lot of time and love to prepare and it tasted so dang good when it was fresh; but put it in plastic ware and store in the fridge for one night and you avoid it like a plague. If it is not soups, chilis or spaghetti sauces (things that get better with time), the dish never comes out to be enjoyed again, it goes straight into the trash. Basically it goes into food purgatory.
I am hoping to offer this particular dish, the one that never seems to make it out of my fridge in time, a pardon from the trash. That dish is mashed potatoes. The most creamy of potatoes can turn into a paste-like mass in the fridge, never to regain their original deliciousness. I am here to pimp this leftover.
Let me preface this recipe by telling you how I make my mashed potatoes. I start with skinned, large-diced potatoes in cold, salted water and boil until tender. While the potatoes boil, combine 1 1/2 cups of milk, 4 tablespoons of butter, salt & pepper to taste in a saucepan and slowly heat (do not boil) until hot. Start mashing the potatoes while adding the milk mixture. You may not need all the milk, just add to your desired consistency. Now, let’s get pimpin’!
Mashed Potato Cakes
4 cups mashed potatoes, colder the better
1 small onion, diced
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper
Panko breadcrumbs to coat (approx. 2 cups)
1 teaspoon olive oil
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. In a saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat until it glistens. Add onion. Saute until brown and caramelized. Remove from pan and spread on plate to cool.
In a bowl, combine the mashed potatoes, onion, flour, egg, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper (to taste).
I used a ice cream scoop to portion out six big cakes – you could do 12 smaller cakes but I was tired and ready to quit pimpin’.
Form into a simple patty and place in the Panko crumbs. There you can better form the patties and keep them from falling apart. Coat the patties well with the Panko.
Carefully place on a sprayed or lined sheet pan (either parchment paper or silpat) and spritz with cooking spray. Bake for 12 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for additional 12 minutes.
My original meal consisted of grilled ribeye steaks, mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach with leek and raisins (sounds strange but it taste so good). From this meal, I created my potato cake and stacked the spinach and steak…it was yummy.
It may not be in your nature to forgive, but when it tastes this good you’ll forget that these were leftovers. Give them a second chance…they just need a little love, and maybe some mischief. 😉