I needed a recipe with which to use up leftover mashed potatoes so decided to make potato cakes. This was a bit of an experiment, but they turned out beautifully, so much so that I would actually now make mashed potatoes in order to make these.
I made generous dinner sized cakes -- about three and a half inches in diameter by three quarter's of an inch in height -- but these would also make fantastic appetizers in a much smaller version. My son ate two, I portioned one for myself as they are substantial looking, but could have eaten two if nobody was looking as they are surprisingly moreish, creamy inside their crunchy shell.
I cooked mine in rendered duck fat and served it with a sauce of sour cream laced with horseradish and cut through with green onions but butter (with a splash of oil to keep it from burning) and plain sour cream would work just as well. A green side salad to counteract the semi-fried food (and the cream and butter in the mashed potatoes) and you are good to go.
2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
1/2 cup + 1/4 cup + 1/4 cup flour + a bit more to flour your hands
1 cup panko
1 Tbsp rendered duck or chicken fat or 1 Tbsp melted butter + 1 tsp olive oil
Salt to taste
Mix the mashed potatoes with the egg and half a cup of the flour to form a dough; you want it to just hold together when you try to form it into a shape. If it is still too soft add up to an additional quarter cup of flour to the dough, a tablespoon at a time. You want the dough to be a soft one tasting of potato, not stiff and tating of flour.
Measure the remaining quarter cup of flour onto a plate or board and, gently flouring your hands with a bit more, form the potato dough into four patty shaped cakes, gently rolling them in the flour on the board as you do so that they get a light coating on all sides. Repeat until all four cakes are made and place in the fridge for thirty minutes or more to firm up.
Beat the egg and place on a flat dish. Measure the panko onto a separate plate.
Remove the cakes from the fridge and gently roll, first in egg and then in panko. These are delicate, so do your best with them and reform them into their original shape as best you can while you roll them in the panko. Place in the fridge an additional thirty minutes or so to ensure that they will keep their shape and panko coating when cooking.
In a large skillet, heat your fat until very hot and gingerly add the cakes to the pan. Lower the heat and cook for three minutes on each side, or until golden brown and heated through.
Sprinkle with salt and serve pipping hot.