Cheesy Mashed Potato Cakes

(Jan. 31, 2020) If one were to ask me what is my culinary point of view, I have to admit I would be torn between two themes.

I adore entertaining. In fact, If I were to get lucky enough to win the lottery, I would purchase a gorgeous home on the beach and cook continually for my guests.

But I also enjoy taking traditional recipes and giving them a modern twist. As I think about it, upscaling recipes is part of one’s creativity and is ultimately a part of entertaining.

That being said, I remember my mother made the best mashed potato cakes. How she transformed the creamy mashed potatoes into a different dish fascinated me as a child.

As I have gotten older, I have put my own “spin” on potato cakes. Updating recipes is a way to keep them “fresh” for future generations.

Mouthwatering mashed potato cakes depend on luscious mashed potatoes. So how does one make perfect mashed potatoes is the next logical question?

Not all tubers are created equal as far as mashed potatoes are concerned. Basically, potatoes fall into three categories: starchy, waxy and all-purpose.

Starchy potatoes such as Russets or Yukon Golds are the preferred choice.

Starch molecules are bundled in the cell walls of potatoes, and these cells are held together by pectin. When potatoes are cooked, the pectin breaks down, and the cells expand and separate, releasing the bundles of starch molecules.

These high-starch potatoes become dry and crumbly and are like a sponge when absorbing butter and cream. This process allows them to be infused with flavor and obtain the coveted fluffiness.

Ricing the potatoes is the final stage for perfection.

A ricer is a tool used to process potatoes by forcing them through a sheet of small holes, which are typically the diameter of a grain of rice.

When using a ricer, simply put potatoes through the ricer in small pieces and stir in your added ingredients. Ricers yield the perfect texture for mashed potatoes.

Amazon carries them for as low as $13. A ricer is a must for any serious cook.

Cheesy mashed potato cakes are a great way to use leftover mashed potatoes.

Bacon, four cheese Mexican blend and scallions give the mashed potato cakes an interesting twist. Adding panko bread crumbs to the dredging process ensures a crispier exterior.

Cheesy mashed potato cakes are perfect for breakfast and brunch.

For example, crispy cheesy mashed potato cakes topped with a succulent poached egg is as delicious as it gets.

If you adore cheese, bacon and mashed potatoes, you are going to love this recipe. Enjoy!

Cheesy Mashed Potato Cakes

Ingredients

3 cups leftover mashed potatoes

2/3 cup chopped bacon

2 cups four cheese Mexican blend

¼ cup finely chopped fresh scallions

1 teaspoon garlic powder

kosher salt to taste

2 large egg yolks plus 3 large eggs

3 teaspoons water

1 ½ cups unseasoned panko bread crumbs

1 ½ cups unseasoned bread crumbs

4 large sweet onions

canola oil for frying

­1. In a medium bowl, combine mashed potatoes, bacon, cheese, scallions, garlic powder, salt and egg yolks.

2. Slice onions into 3/4-inch slices. Remove the center part so there are only the outer rings that form a circle.

The onion rings act as a mold for the potato cakes which gives them a more refined look as opposed to shaping them with your hands.

3. Place a piece of wax paper on a sheet pan. Place the onion rings on the wax paper, the smaller part of the ring on the bottom.

Spoon potato mixture into the onion rings. Using a knife, smooth the top and sides so the potato mixture is neat and contained in the ring.

Presentation is important. You do not want a sloppy potato cake.

4. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

5. Setup for dredging: Whisk remaining three eggs and water in a shallow bowl. Mix panko and bread crumbs in a pie pan.

Carefully dip the potato cakes into the egg mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Then, place the potato cakes in the panko mixture and fully coat.

6. Heat canola oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Fry cakes until golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Using a spatula, carefully flip and continue cooking the other side until golden brown, about 2 minutes.

7. Transfer cooked cakes onto a cooling rack until all cakes are done.

Do not place them on a plate lined with paper towels. Mashed potato cakes sitting on soggy paper towels will spoil the coveted crust. Serve immediately.

Secret Ingredient – Individuality. “Strength lies in differences not similarities.”

– Stephen R. Covey

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