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How to Give Your Mashed Potatoes a New Lease On Life

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To celebrate Potato Week here at Food52, we’ve partnered with Potatoes USA to share ways we love to use the staple ingredient in meals that bring people together. This clever take on mashed potatoes brings out the best in a versatile and nutrition-packed kitchen player.

Sometimes I dream of mashed potatoes. I love squashing and smashing the starchy spuds until they’re light and fluffy. And making them is simplicity itself. All you need is five ingredients: potatoes, milk, butter, salt, and pepper, plus some upper-body strength. Since I'm usually not feeding a crowd, I love to make a big batch and find creative, single-serving ways to repurpose it.

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Fortunately, as easy as it is to make mashed potatoes, it’s even easier to reinvent them in things like shepherd’s pie, rolls, flatbread or even chocolate cake! But one of my favorite ways to use up extra mashed potatoes is to fry them up into perfect little cakes.

Photo by Julia Gartland
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Transforming mashed potatoes from creamy to crispy makes leftovers feel entirely new, and this recipe is particularly delicious. Adding panko breadcrumbs enhances the pan-fried crunch, with sharp cheddar and garlicky, caramelized broccoli building on the already comforting flavors.

While the cakes are fried, they actually have a very delicate texture. I like to keep things lighter with a baby spinach salad or a fresh late-summer tomato, but to make a heartier meal, top with a poached egg or canned tuna. Here's hoping this new way to enjoy a great big mash inspires your own.

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Mashed Potato Cakes with Broccoli and Cheese

Cbfb27ea 071f 4941 9183 30dce4007b50  merrill Merrill Stubbs
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Serves 6 to 8
  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for frying
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 fat clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/2 cups panko crumbs
  • Poached eggs for serving (optional)
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To celebrate Potato Week here at Food52, we’ve partnered with Potatoes USA to share ways we love to use the staple ingredient in meals that bring people together.

Share your tips for riffing on mashed potatoes—or just your favorite all-time riffs—in the comments below.

Tags: potato, mashed potatoes, mashed potato cake, broccoli, cheese