These potatoes are the only thing I still have left over from Thanksgiving. I know I’m probably alone here, because most people are smart enough to realize that ten large potatoes are impossible for five people to finish, especially when you’re already serving them six other hearty side dishes. Now every time I open the fridge, those damn mashed potatoes are staring me down, judging me for my poor planning. Without all the turkey and gravy, I just can’t bring myself to eat them…and after a week, I really need to eat them.
The answer? Latkes. Fluffy, delicious, jazzed up latkes.
I made them as a late breakfast but they were all eaten too quickly, so I made them again for dinner. The gargantuan blob of potatoes that once threatened to overrun my kitchen is now in the form of highly edible latkes, and I am absolved from all my meal-planning sins. Hallelujah.
I decided to make these the way my favorite breakfast joint makes them: covered in a heaping pile of cheese, bacon, tomato, scallions, and of course, sour cream. If you’ve ever gotten the loaded latkes at Zaftigs Delicatessen, then you know. These are more than just latkes. These are all the comfort of a fluffy down comforter wrapping around you on a wintry December afternoon. Only ten times better because you get to eat them. And there’s bacon!
Any mashed potatoes you have will work for this recipe, but if you need to make more mashed potatoes for these latkes – and trust me, it’s well worth it – then Wei’s recipe plus an extra 1/2 cup milk is the way to go. The batter takes literally only two minutes to whip up, making this the easiest recipe I’ve yet to share with you guys. If you want to serve these with applesauce or another sweet topping of your choice, I would leave out the scallions from the batter, unless you’re going for a funky flavor combination. Hey, you do you.
Mashed Potato Latkes
by L., inspired by Zaftigs Delicatessen
Makes 10-12 latkes
For the latkes:
2 cups mashed potatoes
2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
dash of cracked pepper
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 tsp honey
For the topping:
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 tomato, chopped
4 slices of bacon, cooked then chopped
1/2 cup shredded cheese (monterey jack or cheddar)
1/2 cup sour cream
Combine the mashed potatoes, scallions, flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix until combined. It’s okay that we’re mixing in the flour before the eggs because a little extra gluten formation can only help us when dealing with this amount of potatoes. Add both eggs and honey and stir until fully incorporated.
Heat vegetable oil or your frying oil of choice in a large frying pan on medium heat, making sure there’s enough oil to evenly cover the pan’s surface. Once the oil is hot enough (you can test this by flicking water onto it and seeing if it sizzles), use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to drop balls of batter onto the pan, and press them flat with a plastic spatula. Fry them until they’re golden brown before flipping – this should only take a couple of minutes per side.
Once cooked, move them to a paper towel. Serve warm so that the shredded cheese can melt, and top with scallions, tomato, extra cheese, bacon, and sour cream.
You can refrigerate the un-topped latkes for a few days, but they will get less fluffy. You can also freeze the latkes for a few months, just toast them on high to bring them back to life…just in time for Hanukkah.