Potato Patties

I have never been one to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. There’s just something about how a bunch of people, simply by dressing in green and drinking tons of alcohol, feel that they can then pronounce themselves to be Irish, well– it just makes me uncomfortable. Call me a party pooper if you must, but I can’t help feeling like it’s a day that gives people license to promote stereotypes. I suppose that’s a weighty thing to say given that I come from the land where our largest city dyes its river green on that day, but I’ll give you this: I do appreciate those St. Patrick’s Day events that highlight authentic Irish foods and traditions.

This is not authentic Irish food, nor will I call it that just because it has potatoes. But the concept of making these patties feels like it channels the spirit of the Irish families that lived in abject poverty. These patties are frugal, an attempt to recycle mashed potatoes by transforming them into something new and interesting. A delicious way to make sure no food goes to waste.

So I throw this out there in case you want to make this for your St. Patrick’s Day breakfast. I topped these potato patties with some eggs that had been softly scrambled with a touch of cream, sharp white cheddar cheese, and lovely flecks of green onion. These same potato patties have also been used in the past to make an Italian style breakfast: top them with a fried egg, a puddle of leftover marinara sauce and a generous palm full of freshly grated parmesan cheese. Of course, they’ve also just been made and eaten plain as a side dish in a dinner made up of other leftovers. If you make them for your St. Patrick’s Day breakfast, just promise me you won’t dye them green.

  • 2 cups left over mashed potatoes
  • 1.5 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1-2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Warm up the mashed potatoes in the microwave, just enough to take the chill of the fridge off of them, about 3 minutes on 70% power. Using a 1/4 cup measure, make the patties by scooping out 1/4 cup of mashed potatoes and flattening them with your hands into a patty about 1/2 inch thick. Set up a breading station as follows: on a shallow plate, mix together the flour, salt and pepper; in a shallow bowl, beat the eggs; on a 2nd shallow plate, mix together the breadcrumbs, paprika, thyme and sage. Dredge the patties in the flour, shaking off any excess flour. Dip the patties in the eggs then dredge them through the breadcrumbs, coating them evenly.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. When the butter has melted and the pan is hot enough that the fats start to ripple, add 4 patties. Fry until golden brown (you should be able to see the edges of the bottom of the patty are browned), about 4-5 minutes per side.

CSA Count: 1



2 thoughts on “Potato Patties

  1. SecondCitySoireeJen says:

    You know what I find most ironic about our homeland’s little river-dying ritual? I’m sure you’re aware of tensions between the Republic of Ireland (which is the country most Americans think of when they hear “Ireland”) and Northern Ireland. If green is the identifying color of the Republic, then orange is the identifying color of the North. You know the chemical they use to dye the river green? You know what color it is before it goes into the water? Orange.

    • CJW says:

      Nice! I didn’t know the powder was orange. Frankly, I’ve been scared of the whole river dyeing business ever since I’d heard that the folks who dye the river inhale so much dye in the process that they pee green afterwards.

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