Bert Greene's Potato Scallion Cakes (Fritterra)

November 26, 2013
10 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Leftover mashed potatoes get a new lease on life -- and you get a morning-after Thanksgiving breakfast you'll actually want to cook. Adapted slightly from Greene on Greens (Workman Publishing Company, 1984). —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • 12 whole scallions
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups cold leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  1. Wash and trim the scallions, leaving about 2 inches of green stems. Cook in boiling water until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and chop finely.
  2. Place the scallions in a medium-sized bowl. Add the eggs, nutmeg, salt, pepper to taste, bread crumbs, and mashed potatoes. Mix well.
  3. Heat the oils in a large skillet until hot but not smoking. (Searing the cakes quickly helps them stay together.) Shape the onion-potato mixture into patties, using 2 rounded tablespoons of the mixture for each patty. Sauté, about six at a time, until golden brown on both sides, 2 or 3 minutes per side. Keep warm while sautéing the remaining patties.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Melissa
  • Fabiola
  • Remy Smith DeVito
    Remy Smith DeVito
  • clotilde
  • JoanB
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

27 Reviews

tradess2013 March 12, 2024
OMG, great memories coming back to be revitalized . He was the original real fresh chef with simple but divine old fashion ideas. Great to be reminded of him. Thanks.
Melissa November 26, 2021
I made these this morning and they were delicious. I was nervous because the potato mixture felt very soft as I shaped my patties, but they held together perfectly.
Fabiola November 24, 2021
Leftover mashed potatoes??? What are those?
tradess2013 March 12, 2024
Funny but true. I am thinking for the old potatoes which are still linger in your pantry?
Lynn November 24, 2021
Looks great! These are a nice accompaniment, and versatile, with breakfast or any meal. Thank you for sharing.
Lynn November 24, 2021
I make mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving specifically for the leftovers, which I mix about half and half with leftover dressing/stuffing. Perhaps an egg to bind if they seem loose. I shape those into pancakes and fry on each side, then serve with leftover turkey and gravy. Yum!
D Y. December 24, 2018
I haven't yet made this recipe, because I seldom have leftover mashed potatoes...but I have sautéed onions in butter and then added the potatoes I did have on top and left them simmering long enough to gently brown up, turn and brown the other side. Makes an easy side dish that takes little attention as you're making the rest of dinner.
Sandra B. April 17, 2018
Made this tonight and added cheese to the mix and of course topped them with Frank's hot sauce--delish!
Remy S. August 16, 2016
Incredible! Perfect fresh accompaniment to leftover spicy ratatouille, cold tuna "puttanesca", haddock and tomatoes. And much rosé. No more tossing of the mash!
clotilde September 28, 2015
Do you think those would bind well enough without the eggs? (Considering serving this to someone who's intolerant to eggs.) Thank you!
Kristen M. September 29, 2015
Hi Clotilde! I don't think they'd hold together well without any binder, but you could try an egg substitute like flaxseed (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons water) or a bit of potato starch or cornstarch.
btglenn December 17, 2014
My Russian born mother always made potato latkes from mashed potatoes -- freshly made, not leftovers. She, and now I make them with sauted onions and mushrooms - lots of them. If you have chicken for dinner, save the skin and render it to add its crispy flavor to the latkes, and use the rendered fat for frying.
emcsull December 17, 2014
so wait, this is intruiging. I guess you sautèe the onions and mushrooms separately, or do you do everything in one pan.
Nothing beats chicken fat !
Dave November 30, 2021
Duck fat beats chicken fat. Not by a lot, but it beats it.
JoanB November 29, 2014
After Thanksgiving breakfast of potato pancakes! It's the reason I make mashed potatoes on Thursday. I didn't have scallions on hand, but the mashed already had roasted garlic as an added flavor. These are by far the best potato pancakes I have made. Will try the scallions next time. Thanks for a great recipe.
tradess2013 November 23, 2022
I used to use his cookbook years ago and was always impressed. The scallion pancakes, I call Puffer Cakes. Delicious and crisp.
emcsull November 3, 2014
I make these often, kind of ad hoc, but to be honest I would never cook the scallions, just chop 'em fine. Like that oniony crunch.
jess December 3, 2013
great for a collection and adding it to my blog. ..
EmilyC December 3, 2013
Where has this idea been all of my life? We always have leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving dinner, and I'd never thought to fry them. Tried these over the weekend (generously slathered with some kale salsa verde I made) and they didn't disappoint!
Joan -. December 1, 2013
I took inspiration from this recipe for brunch this morning. I skipped the scallions and added steamed spinach to the "batter" for these cakes. I served them with fried eggs and bacon and a citrus salad along side. That was a delicious meal. Thanks.
TerryB5520 December 1, 2013
Just made these for breakfast, using Thanksgiving leftover mashed potatoes. They were remarkable. Served with simple fried egg. Will try as a side dish with a fruit compote or applesauce next time.
sfielding November 29, 2013
Saved this recipe to make sure I wouldn't forget it. They were amazing.
AntoniaJames November 29, 2013
These are excellent! We generally don't serve mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving (both of us coming from southern backgrounds where rice was preferred -- wild rice to go with the wild turkey hunted by a family member, in Mr T's case), but I just happened to have some russets on hand, which I enlisted for the occasion. Mr. T devoured most of them, with gusto (and appreciation). A real keeper, this recipe. ;o)
tigerlille November 28, 2013
I loved Bert Greene, and sadly miss him. Any recipe by Bert can be assumed to be excellent.
Laura415 November 12, 2016
I couldn't have said it better. Greene on Greens is my favorite. Great storyteller. Delicious recipes.
tradess2013 November 23, 2022
Me as well, he left us too soon!
AntoniaJames November 27, 2013
Not sure I can wait until Friday to try these out. Seriously. Thank you so much for this brilliant, even-better-than-genius recipe. ;o)