Mammaw’s Southern Potato Cakes
When I was young, my Mom always found ways serve leftovers that made them seem like an entirely new meal. One of my favorites was Potato Cakes. Left over mashed potatoes, fashioned into small individual cakes. They were always delicious.
I never helped make them when I was still living at home, so when I called and asked her how do you make potato cakes, she said “you just cook them in butter in a skillet”. So I fashioned the left over potatoes and fried them……yeah that didn’t work. I called back and told her about how they fell apart and she asks “well did you put flour in them?” No Mom, you didn’t tell me to do that.
You really need to go home and cook with your mom and write down the family recipes, because they didn’t seem to do that in my family. I learned how to make them by watching her and I’ve written it down to share with my son.
Preparation Time: 1 hour
Serves: Depends on how many leftover mashed potatoes you have. We usually have enough to make 3 to 6 cakes.
- Left over mashed potatoes
- 2 tblspn butter/margarine
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tblspn all-purpose flour
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 paper towels and 2 paper plates
- Melt butter/margarine in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Dump flour onto a paper plate, set the other paper plate aside.
- Mix in salt and pepper to taste.
– Remember you probably already added enough salt to the potatoes when they were initially made.
- Add the 1 tablespoon of flour to your left over potatoes and mix it in thoroughly.
- Using a large spoon, measure out a round ball of potatoes. Big enough to fit in your palm.
Form the potatoes into a ball in your hands.
- Press the ball in your hand, to form a ½ an inch thick patty.
- Lay the patty in the flour and coat both sides by gently pressing it into the flour. Turning the cake over to coat the patty twice on each side.
- Place the patty in the skillet and cook for about 15 minutes.
Using a spatula carefully lift one side of the patty and ensure its browning before you flip it over to cook on the opposite side. This is an important step, making sure the patty has browned will keep it from falling apart when you flip it.
- Tear off 2 paper towels, and fold them in half. Place them on a paper plate and set aside.
- Once both sides of the potato cake have been browned, remove from the skillet and place on top of the paper towel. Allow them to sit for a minute to drain the grease.
- Then serve the cakes while warm.
- You can add spices to mix, either in the flour before coating the potatoes. Or directly into the left over potatoes. Besides salt and pepper, try BBQ seasoning, or your favorite dried herb like basil, rosemary or thyme.
- If you’re really creative, dice your favorite green vegetable and add it to the left over potatoes before forming them into cakes. Try fresh tomatoes or carrots. Or cooked broccoli, onions or a combination.