This picture should say it all. It’s not healthy, it’s not low-fat, but it’s good! My father made this sometimes when we had some leftover mashed potatoes. I had made a batch of mashed potatoes the other night and two days later we still had some leftover. That’s when I remembered these and my father making them. I got happy thinking about that since it had been so long since I last had them.
I will tell you these work best with cold leftover mashed potatoes. Don’t try making them with freshly made or they will fall apart. They still do fall apart a bit when you cook them, but you can rectify that. I’ll show you how!
Begin with forming some patties of the mashed potatoes. You don’t want these too big because they will be hard to work with while you pan fry them. Pack them together nicely and place them on a plate.
Get out a frying pan and place it on the stove. I prefer to use the cast iron pan for this. You want one with enough room to flip these and work them around in the pan. The one I used was too small, but I had something else cooking in the large cast iron pan, so I had to struggle a bit with the smaller one.
Get the pan warm and throw in a couple tablespoons of butter.
Let the butter brown slightly, but not burn. Once that’s done, turn the heat down to medium/low and gently place the potato patties in the pan.
Now this is the hard part. You MUST leave them alone. Don’t flip them, push them, pat them, turn them, or move them in any way. First, they will fall apart on you, and second, you want them to get a beautiful browned crust on the bottom before you flip them. This could take anywhere from 8 to 10 minutes to do. The point is to get it nice and browned without burning. As long as you keep the temperature set to medium/low, you will be just fine.
You can take a bit of a peak underneath after a few minutes just to see if they are browned enough. If the are, flip them very carefully. I find using a somewhat flexible and thin spatula, backwards, works well.
The inside of the potatoes will become soft and might start to ooze out a bit of the crispy top and bottom. If this happens, just use the spatula to kind of scoop them back in, while they are still in the frying pan, and sort of reshape them. Once you get them nice and crispy on both sides, scoop them up, making sure to scrape the crispy bottom with them and flip them on your plate.
I don’t season these because the mashed potatoes have already been seasoned, and the butter is salted, so they are good to go just like this. No recipe to follow either. Just use your own day old, cold mashed potatoes, and fry them up for something different. The crispy outside mixed with the creamy inside is perfect together!