Room of Requirement Potato Pancakes

 We ate these suckers hot out of the pan, burning our fingertips as we shoved them toward our faces.

A mere twenty minutes earlier we were on our way home from school and crankily listing all the shit we needed to pack for our next stop. Colby was going to attend my evening classes with me to get homework done, and I was trying to recollect my lesson plan for the night as I drove. Neither of us had eaten lunch.

We rushed toward the house as soon as I threw the Subaru into park. We had one mission: food.

And I swear, my refrigerator turned into the Room of Requirement. Like, Ron Weasley was in there holding up a bin of fresh eggs. Hermione was (rather condescendingly) pointing toward a pot with last night’s mashed potatoes in it. A bag of cheese actually FELL out of the door. It was eerie and exciting and all of my long, wiry white hairs stood up on my head.

“POTATO PANCAKES!” I yelled up to Colby. He grumbled or stomped or gave some other form of assent.

And then it was over. In mere minutes I preheated a cast iron fry pan, took the pot of cold potatoes out of the fridge, cracked a few (?) eggs into it, added a handful of cheese and some garlic powder, and stirred like crazy. The pan was sizzling and I plopped four, pancake sized blobs into it and watched the magic happen. The edges fizzled and crusted just like a flour pancake and the middles got all glossy and melty. I called Colby downstairs.We did not even dirty any dishes – just stood over the stove eating hot potato pancakes with our hands.

It was glorious and delicious and we were soon out the door, exactly on time, sated and happy and ready for our second shift to begin.

File this recipe away for the end of this month  when you have a dump truck sized pot of leftover mashed potatoes in the back of your refrigerator.


Room of Requirement Mashed Potato Pancakes

  • butter or olive oil to fry with
  • cold mashed potatoes (I’ve since tried this with hot ones – edible but def not the same)
  • eggs
  • garlic or garlic powder
  • cheese

Preheat fry pan – preferably cast iron – with butter and/or olive oil. While this is heating mix all ingredients together and stir well. Like really, really well. The mix will be runny, so if yours looks a little too thick add another egg. Plop in the pan and loosen the edges with a metal spatula as they cook. Once the edges are nice and crispy brown and the cakes seem to be set up, very carefully flip and squish. Loosen the edges and watch. Sprinkle with some good sea salt (we love crunchy Maldon) as they finish cooking. Pile up on a (paper) plate while you cook the rest and, while I guess you could wait and eat them like civilized people, eat them while they are punishingly warm. You’ll be glad you did.

 Do you have any accidental weirdly fast and

satisfying and low prep meals? Is your refrigerator, too, magical?

Let me know. I need all the help I can get.

xoxo,

Heather

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2 thoughts on “Room of Requirement Potato Pancakes

  1. Hi, Heather,
    I love your recipe and the story that leads up to it, and then especially the two of you eating it hot right out of the pan. (A cool memory, too.) I have something I love to make which is fast and in one pan – not as hearty, though. It’s my Spinach Concoction. You need a box of fresh spinach and mushrooms and cheese. It’s sort of like using the spinach as pasta, and then throwing yummy things into it that you have on hand, like walnuts, or olives, or a jarred red peppers, cooked chicken, left-over rice or pasta, or …

    Saute sliced onions (and garlic if you have it) in olive oil. Add a ton of fresh spinach, then mushrooms, salt and pepper, then let it wilt with a lid on top. Then throw in anything like the above suggestion, especially cheese and walnuts. Let it all heat. It’s fast and healthy and delicious. But you will want to use a spoon or fork.

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