I'm never stingy with amounts when making mashed potatoes because I know all of the leftovers will go toward making Potato Cakes.
And it's all an approximation when I'm making Potato Cakes. To whatever amount of mashed potatoes I have left (let's say 3 cups) I will add 1 beaten egg, 1 or 2 (and it's usually 2) minced garlic cloves, freshly grated Parmesan cheese (as much as you see fit), chopped chives or thinly sliced green onions (or both), and salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. I haven't done this yet, but some crsip bacon combined with the potatoes would be wonderful, too.
Melt butter in a heavy skillet (cast iron is my favorite) over medium-low heat (adjust higher if necessary), and add the small formed patties. They are soft and rather delicate, and will develop a nice little brown crust in the butter. With a thin metal spatula (the one that I told you to purchase when making the Vanilla Bean Thins !), gently turn the Potato Cakes to brown on the other side, adding more butter when needed.
Serve alongside roast chicken, meatloaf, grilled pork tenderloins, or anything else you can think of... Also good on their own, with a green salad.
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