Friday. I like Friday dinners to be special. Tonight, that meant crispy pata (not fried, of course) and these mashed potato pancakes. Based on a recipe from An Edible Mosaic, it was my first time to make them. I made a terrible mess in the kitchen with flour scattered all over the island but, heck, so what? Everyone loved the pancakes. Creamy and soft inside, lightly crisp outside… they were so, so great.
Why the special meal? Friday is the much awaited day of the week because it is the day when the girls come home for the weekend. Come to think of it, all my life Friday has always been the most much-awaited day of the week. As a student, it meant no school for the next two days, no waking up early, no reading, no recitation, no quizzes.
As a lawyer, it meant a break from stressful (and often boring) meetings, research, combing through mile-high piles of documents and aching feet (from wearing dress shoes that I would have gladly traded for sneakers).
I’m not a religious person but whoever coined the phrase Thank God It’s Friday! (was it really the 1978 movie and song?) captured the sentiments and imagination of generations.
- 4 potatoes, about 750 g. total weight, boiled until very, very tender
- 4 tbsps. of butter
- salt, to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 egg
- ¼ c. panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- 1 tbsp. of toasted garlic bits
- ¼ c. of finely chopped fresh parsley
- flour, for dusting
- vegetable oil and butter for frying
- Drain the potatoes. While hot, mash the 4 tbsps. of butter. Season with salt and pepper. Cool.
- To the cooled mashed potatoes, add the panko, parsley and egg. Mix.
- With floured hands, form the mixture into patties about three-quarters of an inch thick and three inches in diameter.
- Heat enough vegetable oil and butter, in equal amounts, to lightly coat the bottom of the frying pan.
- Over high heat, fry the patties, a few at a time (how many depends on the size of your frying pan) until the underside is nicely browned.
- Flip carefully and brown the opposite side.
- Add more vegetable oil and batter, fry the next batch, and so on, and so forth.
- Serve the mashed potato pancakes as a side dish or a snack.