Traditional potato latkes are one of life's great pleasures. Hot and crunchy on the outside, tender and salty in the center. They are delicious alone or as the perfect platform for sweet or savory topping options.
The only downside to this brunch bombshell is the prep-work. Shredding, soaking and squeezing the life out of raw potatoes is labor intensive. It may be worth it, but it may not work for a quick and easy recipe or side dish. Let me introduce you to your new favorite potato-latke-in-a-hurry recipe - Simple Cheesy Crispy Mashed Potato Latkes.
This is a great recipe for creatively repurposing leftover potatoes - even Thanksgiving leftovers sing under this treatment. They are easy to make and easy to modify based on your favorite cheeses, onions or herbs. These latkes different from most potato pancakes because I recommend dredging the tasty little cakes in Panko breadcrumbs to introduce a really crunchy exterior to this traditionally soft cake.
These crunchy, savory potato pancakes are the perfect party food, brunch star and dinner side dish. And the topping varieties are endless, including sour cream dill sauce with smoked salmon, caramelized onions and mushrooms, quail eggs and even cranberry sauce.
What you'll need to make this mashed potato pancakes recipe:
- Cold mashed potatoes
- Shredded Gruyère cheese
- Chopped green onions
- Self-rising flour
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Neutral oil and butter
Step by step instructions:
Because the key ingredient in our latkes is mashed potatoes, which have varying seasoning levels, I recommend two quick extra steps in this recipe process. First, taste your leftover mashed potatoes before mixing in the raw egg and flour. How do they taste? Salty? Kind of bland? Can you taste pepper? Think about how much salt and pepper might be needed to make the finished cakes pop.
The second checkpoint comes when you finish making the potato mixture. I recommend before shaping all the patties and dredging in the panko crumbs, make a small tester patty. Again, we want to ensure that once you've added the cheese and scallions and flour and egg, your potatoes have enough seasoning to stand on their own.
To begin the potato pancakes, combine the cold mashed potatoes, the shredded cheese, the beaten egg, sliced scallions and three quarters cup self-rising flour to a large bowl.
Mix well to combine. Based on your taste test of the cold mashed potatoes, add salt and pepper to taste. I usually start by adding a half teaspoon of salt and a half teaspoon of black pepper.
If your potato mixture is too loose to shape into cakes, add another tablespoon of flour.
Then if the potatoes are firm enough to shape into cakes, use a ¼ cup measure or ice cream scoop to shape into small round patties.
Dredge lightly in panko bread crumbs. Lay the potato cakes on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Once they are all shaped and dredged, refrigerate for 30 minutes. This step will firm up the mixture and make the pan-frying process easier.
Next, heat about 2 tablespoons of neutral oil and a tablespoon of butter in a cast iron skillet or large nonstick skillet over medium heat (ensure you have enough oil to fully cover the bottom of the pan).
Once the oil shimmers, add 4-6 latkes, ensuring they are in a single layer so they brown.
Fry the cakes for 3-4 minutes per side, monitoring the browning and rotating the cakes in the pan to ensure an even, golden brown color.
Once the first batch is cooked, move the cakes to a wire rack over a baking sheet, sprinkle with coarse sea salt and set in a warming oven until all the potato cakes are finished cooking. (You can use paper towels, but that make compromise the crispness we're seeking).
Add another tablespoon of oil and butter to the large skillet - enough to cover the bottom, and continue frying the potato patties until the batch is complete.
Finally, prepare the potato latkes for service. You can serve the pancakes alone or as a side dish to your favorite fish recipe. They are delicious with sour cream dill sauce, smoked salmon and quail eggs. Caramelized onions and mushrooms are another beautiful topping that adds earthy richness to the savory pancakes.
To store, transfer to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat on a sheet pan in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes, or until heated through. It is not recommended that these pancakes be frozen.
FAQ's ad Serving Suggestions for Mashed Potato Latkes:
So many different toppings to choose from. If you are using Thanksgiving leftovers, gravy is a delicious and simple savory topping, while cranberry sauce adds a sweet element to the latkes. If you're looking to stay in the sweet lane, apple sauce is a classic topping. If you're looking for a party appetizer topping, caramelized onions and mushrooms with fresh thyme are a sophisticated option. If breakfast or brunch are in order, a fried egg and a squiggle of sriracha will do the trick. Or just add a dollop of sour cream for your midnight snack and call it a night.
Mashed potato latkes are a great side dish for a blackened grouper sandwich or tilapia with lemon butter sauce. If serving for brunch, potato cakes are a great side for smoked salmon quiche and cucumber gazpacho salad. For a fun meatless Monday, serve the potato pancakes with Caldo Verde and tasty tossed salad.
Most varieties of mashed potatoes will work in this recipe. Yukon golds, russet potatoes and other varieties with a high starch content are ideal. Red potatoes are waxier, but still delicious.
Three quarters cup of flour (all purpose) plus a pinch of baking powder and salt would give you a homemade self-rising flour substitute. Matzo meal can also be used.
You sure can. While leftover mashed potatoes are the easiest, you have many options. My experience with the ready-made mashed potatoes is that they are quite creamy, so you will likely need to add additional flour to the mixture, and possibly omit the egg. If you are starting with raw potatoes and making your own mashed mixture with the intent of creating these crispy potato latkes, I recommend using less butter and cream than usual - go for more of a smashed potato texture than a super creamy, thin texture.
You sure can - that will give you a less crunchy coating, but it will still be delicious.
If you choose olive oil, keep your burner on the low end of medium to ensure the oil doesn't scorch
The cheese and scallions build a beautiful flavor profile in the potato pancakes and make them ideal for topping. If you are looking for a stand alone side dish without any toppings, feel free to add a few shakes of garlic powder, a little paprika, or even a pinch of old bay to the potato mixture. Throw some fresh chives over your platter of latkes and your side is ready to serve!
Parmesan cheese and sharp cheddar cheese would both add a delightful punch of flavor to the potato cakes. Be cautious if adding Velveeta style cheese as it will liquefy when heated and may create a sticky, runny (but delicious) potato dish.