Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Instant Mashed Potato Pancakes – Made from the Other Kind of Leftovers

I loved seeing mashed potatoes at the dinner table growing up, not only because I loved mashed potatoes, but also because it meant my mother would be using the leftovers to make fried mashed potato pancakes.

These were nothing more than cold mashed potatoes, shaped into patties, and browned in butter. I loved them, and use that same trick to this day. The potato pancakes you see here were born from ano
ther kind of leftover potatoes…the end of a box of instant potato buds.

I'd used them while testing the crispy onion rings recipe, but didn't want to keep such an unsightly container in my pantry (you never know when some other celebrity food blogger is going to drop in to borrow a cup of foie gras), I decided to see what would happen if I
used it, uncooked, in a potato pancake mixture. What happened were four crispy, buttery, perfectly decent potato pancakes!

One advantage this version has over the freshly mashed one is those contain milk and butter, which makes it much harder to hold together when fried. I'm not saying you should just switch to instant, but I felt like I had to find some shred of a culinary advantage.

Logistically, this would be perfect for backcountry camping, or your friendly neighborhood college dormitory for obvious reasons, not the least of which is its cheapness and shelf stability (and by "shelf," I mean an old milk crate, turned on its side).

So, if you have some instant potatoes in the pantry, maybe consider giving this a try. Otherwise, remember this the next time you do find yourself in a similar situation. I mean, who would go out and buy a box just to specifically make a batch of these crispy, crusty, delicious patties? Enjoy!




Ingredients:
1 cup cold water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup Betty Crocker Potato Buds (probably will work with any similar brand)
fresh chives
freshly ground black pepper
cayenne to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

it's called a desi-potato-cutlet ... "desi" meaning "south asian" (india/pakistan). what we add more to it is finely chopped onions, chopped green chillies, cumin seeds, red chilli powder, fresh corriander, garam masala (dont know the english translation) ground black pepper AND (most important) boiled lentils .. "daal channa" ... and then fry this mash coated (first) with eggs and then bread crumbs ... yummy with ketchup :D

the potato can be replaced with minced chicken as well. so chicken and lentil cutlets ...

Asian Malaysian said...

Dont forget to mix some Lee & Perrin's worcestershire sauce into that ketchup. :P

Anonymous said...

Chef,

A gremlin stole the egg and chives from the written recipe on FoodWishes. Will you hunt it down, recover them and add them back...for posterity?

Thanks!

shristy said...

awesome... this is y u got the award...coz u make dull interesting.

p.s. egg is missin on recipe

Anonymous said...

The egg is left out of the ingr. list

Chef John said...

Thanks!! fixed

Steve said...

Ironically my mom just gave me a pack of instant mashed potatoes that was about to stay in my cabinet for a lifetime

Steve said...

Don't hate me but does anyone say you look like La Bamba?

Anonymous said...

I do indeed have some instant mashed potatoes in the camping box. I'm going to print your recipe and stick it in the box for the next outing.

Camping boxes are a great place to hide convenience foods !!

RosemaryR

Denise Drake said...

Fabulous! Instant potatoes are one of those rare processed foods that can (when embellished) closely resemble the original. Great tip about cooking them for a long time to develop the crust. Thanks!!!

KrisD said...

I wish I had seen this before I came home so I could have bought a HUGE BOX of potato buds.

Now I have to wait until tomorrow to have these.

Many of my fellow scandahoovian-americans use potato buds in many applications (like making bread). T'ain't no shame in using them. Remember, it's not dinner without 3 kinds of potato!

J. B. said...

Lovely recipe despite being sick I made them anyways! Ate them all too =) Thanks again Chef John!

Anonymous said...

By the way, this approach is _great_ with leftover risotto, too! (Egg, pepper - skip the salt - make crispy on the outside).

When I make risotto, I'm always secretly looking forward to the risotto pancakes the next day!

Anonymous said...

My roommate had one of those boxes of over flavored mashed potatoes.
Didn't have to add anything to them asides from the water and egg.

Turned out great.

Anonymous said...

Let's be honest, that was creme fraiche wasn't it?

Anonymous said...

Just to concur with the above comment regarding the use of pre-flavored mixes..... aside from egg and water, additional ingredients may not be necessary. I didn't notice that the mix I had in the pantry had about 22 times the sodium as Chef John's Betty Crocker product, and definitely should have skipped the additional salt.

Anonymous said...

We have 2 boxes of instant mashed potato and they always sit in the pantry for the longest time, now they will be put into good use :) I will try this tomorrow for breakfast! Yum!

Anadrol said...

That looks delicious.

Biologie. said...

I'm cooking these up as I type this - they already smell wonderful, can't wait to taste them. Thanks for the recipe!

aishah said...

what if i use the 'manual' mashed potato..not an instant one....does it work?

Chef John said...

Sure, unless they are too "wet". If they have lots of water or milk, etc, thay may not stay together.

Sharon said...

I definitely went out to buy instant mashed potatoes just to try this :) also, for anyone wondering, the cold water is a MUST. I accidentally used warm water and wasn't able to get the pancake from my hand into the pan, it became too sticky.

hankgarfield said...

Hey Chef, Well, there is my breakfast for tomorrow: your recipes for minute steak, mushroom gravy and these super easy potato pancakes. BTW, my mom prepared leftover mashed potatoes the very same way your mom did. Thanks..... :):)

Astrid said...

I made this, i loved to do it and everyone loved to eat it :D thank you and it's not expensive at all!

Anonymous said...

I was raised on potato cakes...had them for breakfast ( if mom had made mashed potatoes for supper the night before). If any were left from breakfast, we would have potato cake sandwiches for lunch (during the summer when we weren't in school). I have made this recipe a couple of times and the family loves it...and it's much easier than the old fashioned way.

Anonymous said...

Hey..... came looking for a quick recipe for tonights dinner party and these sound wonderful. Love the video!! Can't wait to make and eat! I have to make about 50 for tonight.
Thanks----
Sunnny

Anonymous said...

After watching this video on my Roku, I actually went out and bought a box of store brand instant mashed potatoes, just because, they looked fun to make.

Anonymous said...

I had a package of instant sweet potatoes. I did not use the chives but did use the egg and water. I fried them until they were nice and crispy and topped them with a little butter. Oh yummy!!

Anonymous said...

Hello Chef John.

Is it alright if I ask you guys where can I buy the Instant Mashed Potatoes? I mean I can't seem to find it here in the Philippines.

In what aisle does it belong? what are its aislemates(?).

Lastly what are some of the brands?

Thank you very much.

Continue cooking great chef John.

Sunny Cielo said...

Thank you so much for this! At the food bank,(i am not ashamed, hard times befall many), they gave us 3 boxes of this product. Looking on the net i came across your receipe and tried it....glad i did! Oh, and my daughter says you sound like "wreck-it-Ralph", so that must be a compliment. Blessings!

Barbara Ebel said...

Yea, I tried unsuccessfully to make potato pancakes this way. Now I know how!! Another thing I make with instant potatoes is potato salad. I take the instant potatoes and add just enough hot water to make a crumbly potato mound in the bowl (I never measure) Then I add all the ingredients to make potato salad. Sometimes we eat it warm or I will make it ahead of time. Of course it's so good the next day if I don't make too much. Thank