Friday, December 5, 2008

Mashed Potato Pancakes

The weather around here has been really cold and grey lately, and the result has been a fair amount of podgy, wintry food...pasta, potatoes, savory pies, etc. (Hey, they say it's going to snow on Sunday, and aren't bulky sweaters a wonderful thing?) Anyway, everyone in my house has a deep, burning passion for mashed potatoes, so we make them pretty often; in fact, we always manage to make too much. Which is actually a good thing, because these pancakes are the best use for leftover mashed potatoes. Period. They are loosely based on the ones my dad used to whip up when he was in a mood to be especially nice ("Food As Love" was big in our family; don't even get me started on his fettuccine alfredo). I've made some important adaptations to his method, leaving out the eggs and adding a few sauteed veggies, but mixed with a little flour and fried in olive oil, they hit exactly the same spot. They're especially good for an indulgent weekend breakfast; we actually had ours with leftover mushroom gravy from the previous night's dinner, for which I'll include the recipe if you're inclined to do the same.

Mashed Potato Pancakes

~ 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
~ 1/2 cup plain unsweetened soy or other non-dairy milk
~ 1/3 cup flour (I use whole wheat pastry for everything, but all purpose is fine)
~ Salt and pepper to taste
~ 1 tbsp. olive oil
~ 4 thinly sliced scallions (or 1/2 cup chopped onion)
~ 1 tbsp. minced garlic
~ 1 cup chopped mushrooms
~ Olive oil or cooking spray for frying

~ Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and place in a preheated, 400 degree oven..
~ Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; add the garlic, scallions and mushrooms and saute about 5 minutes. Set aside.
~ In a mixing bowl, combine the potatoes, soy milk and flour together to make a thick batter; add a bit more flour if it seems too wet.
~ Add the sauteed vegetables and mix thoroughly.
~ Wipe out your skillet and coat with cooking spray or a thin layer of oil, then place over medium-high heat.
~ Drop the batter into the hot pan with a large serving spoon, one spoonful at a time, and flatten slightly to form a patty about 3" across; 3 at a time is about as many as you want to fry at once.
~ Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown, then transfer to the baking sheet until they are all cooked.
~ Serve with applesauce, non-dairy sour cream or...

Mushroom Gravy

~ 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
~ 1 tbsp. minced garlic
~ 2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
~ 2-3 tbsp. flour
~ 1 cup plain, unsweetened soy or other non-dairy milk
~ 1 cup vegetable broth
~ 1 tsp. each salt, thyme, sage, dried parsley
~ Lots of fresh black pepper
~ 1/4-1/2 tsp. hot sauce, to taste

~ Combine the soy milk and vegetable broth and heat to almost boiling, either on the stove or in the microwave.
~ In a skillet, saute the garlic, mushrooms and seasonings over medium heat until softened, about 5-10 minutes.
~ In a saucepan, warm the oil over medium-low heat and add the flour and the spices, stirring to make a roux.
~ As it begins to thicken, add about 1/2 cup of the broth/soy milk mixture, stirring until smooth.
~ Add the sauteed vegetables and then, gradually, the remaining liquid, stirring constantly as it begins to thicken.
~ Raise the heat to medium and continue cooking 5-10 minutes, until you get the consistency you like (you can always add more liquid if it's too thick, or turn the heat up to reduce it if it's not thick enough).
~ Serve over mashed potatoes, mashed potato pancakes, biscuits, or whatever else you like.


  1. Yeah, I'm beginning to think we have, um, issues about potatoes around here, but we could quit anytime we want, really!

  2. My omni fiance (yes, I can't make him change) loves potato pancakes but I never make them for him because I didn't have a recipe without eggs. Yours looks awesome. I am going to try this tonight. Thanks!