Wednesday, April 29, 2009

2 Packs of Chicken Parts = 3 Dinners + 2 Lunches

I needed a new cell phone because the old low-tech one was dying.  Plus, I needed internet access for a variety of business related reason, and I needed to be able to text the Em because she only responds to texts.  Of course, I really really (really, really, really...infinity) wanted an iPhone.  I wanted to be able to check my icalendar from the phone.  I wanted to be able to take groovy pictures with it of my food for this blog.  Plus the apps!  Who wouldn’t want to immediately download whatever is playing at Starbucks?  But the stupid iPhone was too expensive and AT&T’s service around here is spotty.  I also had to get Mads a phone because she’s been walking home from school with friends and it made me nervous that she couldn’t get in touch with me if she needed to.  Verizon was hosting a “buy a Blackberry, get a second phone for free” sale.  Blackberry vs. iPhone.  I called the AT&T store, but they wouldn’t deal.  Verizon said they could give me an even better deal than the one advertised because I've been a customer for eons.  Sigh.  The Blackberry then.  Bought it.  Brought it home.  My first thought: it's kind of small.

Then I found Brick Breaker.  

This stupid game is so addictive that I just now had to take a break from writing to play a few times.  God. Help. Me.  What made it all worse was that Em played the game on my phone and immediately got to level 11.  (Not a Spinal Tap 11 either, -- there are 34 levels to Brick Breaker)  The ugly competitive side of me kicked in and I’ve been playing obsessively ever since.  (I can now get to level 9).  Three nights ago, as I was cooking dinner, Smith called out from the playroom,  “Kath, come see this.”


“Can’t”, I replied, “ I’m at a crucial moment sauteing mushrooms.”  

Truth was,  I was at a crucial moment with Brick Breaker.  

Despite the “discount” on the new phones, it was still insanely expensive, and I’ve been feeling the pinch.  Plus all these annoying bills keep showing up demanding to be paid.  So I am having to keep the food bill down more than usual this month.  Yesterday I went to the store and found "family packs" of chicken wings and drumsticks were on sale.  That got my tiny brain ticking.  I can make a lot of things from 2  large packs of chicken parts.  Even better: it takes no hands to roast chicken.  All the better to play Brick Breaker, my dear...

Dinner number 1:

Roasted Chicken Wings and Drumsticks

1 pack chicken wings

1 pack of drumsticks

kosher salt

olive oil

frozen green beans (as much as your family will eat)


chicken broth or water 

parsley or cilantro or thyme to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Haul the chicken out of the packs and rinse and pat it all dry. 
  3. Throw it in a bowl and pour about 1/4c of olive oil over them all, then sprinkle with about 1tblsp of kosher salt.  (The amount of the salt and olive oil varies with how much chicken you have.  Just make sure everything is coated with oil and nicely sprinkled with salt.) Toss all of this around with your hands. 
  4. Spread the chicken out on one or two large baking sheets covered with parchment. (Parchment is key - you'll thank me later when cleaning up.)
  5. roast for about 20 min, or until chicken looks and smells done.  It should be fairly crispy on the outside, but you don't want it pulling away from the bone which means it's over done.
  6. Meanwhile, dump your frozen greenbeans into a skillet, add a little water and a bit of olive oil, or grapeseed oil or butter. Put a lid on the beans and cook for a bit, then take the lid off and saute until they are just the other side of crunchy.
  7. Now make your couscous -- follow the directions on the box, but at the end, when you are fluffing, add some chopped parsley, cilantro or thyme.
  8. plonk it all on a plate and let people eat the chicken with their fingers.  Some warmed up pita is good here too -- then you don't even need a fork or spoon for the beans or couscous.
Unless your family really pigs out there should be quite a few wings, drumsticks and couscous left over.  Mix the couscous and beans together, add a little lettuce, or maybe some olives, some feta if you have it, and pour 1 TBLSP of store bought vinaigrette over it all. (I like Newmans Own.) Parsimoniously give your husband and/or children one or two pieces of chicken for lunch along with some the left over couscous and beans.  MAKE SURE THEY BRING HOME THE BONES.

Dinner the next night:

Chicken, Vegetables and Biscuits

Chicken Vegetable Part:
Left over chicken from previous night stripped from the bones and put in a bowl.  You won't have a lot, but don't worry about it, the vegetables will fill everything out.
2 TBLSPs Olive oil
1 TBLSP Butter
1 small onion peeled and chopped
2 large carrots (or more) peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup flour
3-4 cups chicken stock (or broth from a can or box)
1 cup of frozen peas
1 cup frozen broccoli florets
(I also had 1/4 of a fennel bulb which I chopped up, optional,
and some mushrooms which I also chopped - just throw whatever vegetables you have left over in this - it'll be good)
1/4 cup milk (regular, low fat, 2% or half&half, I don't really care and you shouldn't either.)

For the Biscuit Part: 
2 Cups flour
1 TBLSP baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp of sugar
1 stick of cold butter chopped into small peices 
3/4 cup of milk or cream (again,whatever you have.  Buttermilk works too.  Or sour cream, or plain yogurt, although I'd add another tsp of sugar.)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 if you are using biscuits and lightly oil a lasagna pan or casserole dish, or use a skillet that can go in the oven.  
  2. heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet or a dutch oven.  Toss in the onions carrots and celery and cook until the onions soften. 
  3. Add the butter
  4. Add the flour and cook it for a bit
  5. Add any other fresh vegetables you have now
  6. Add the Stock and let simmer until the carrots get a bit tender and the broth is thickened
  7. Add frozen vegetables and the chicken.  Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper if needed. Let it cook down another minute or so.
  8. pour into lasagna pan.

Meanwhile...Make the biscuits: (Don't panic here, you don't have to do this part at all, serve the chicken and vegetables over rice or on a piece of toast, or you can go to the store and buy some BisQuick and make biscuits that way or you can get some Pillsbury Pop'n'Fresh Biscuits and just pop them out of the can.  However, biscuits are really easy to make, seriously, they are, and once you make them, you'll want to serve them all the time because who doesn't love a hot biscuit? I mean this in a totally PG way. I swear.)

  1. In a stand mixer, stir the flour the baking powder, salt and sugar together. (You can also use a food processor, or just even your hands -- just keep mashing butter and flour together until it's all incorporated.  Don't over think it, it will be fine.)
  2. on a low speed stir the cold butter in and let it go until the butter and flour come together and look like small peas.  (See by hand method, above)
  3. while the mixer is running on low, slowly add the milk. (or mix it in with a wooden spoon, then mush around with your hands again) 
  4. Once the milk and flour mixture is all together turn the dough out onto a floured counter and roll out until they are about 1/4 inch thick.  
  5. Use a cookie cutter or a round juice glass to cut out biscuits.  
  6. Place the biscuits on top of the chicken and vegetables and put into the oven.
  7. bake for 20-30 minutes or until the biscuits are brown and everything else is bubbly and hot.
  8. take it out of the oven and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes before dishing it out to the ravenous mongrels your family will have become.
Lunch # 2: 
This makes a lot of food for 4 people -- there are usually leftovers of stew and biscuits for lunch, at least there were when I made it.  (Then again, I have 2 girls, one of whom licks at her food gingerly like a house cat)  I can't always fit the all the biscuits that this recipe makes onto the stew, so I save the dough in the fridge and bake the rest up for breakfast or lunch the next day.  They are great with peanut butter and jelly.  If everyone has snarfed up the biscuits but there's leftover stew, just eat that cold from the fridge (if you're Nigella Lawson, you'd do this in the middle of the night, which, frankly grosses me out a bit, but whatever).

The third dinner I made was noodle soup: 

See the chicken stock entry 2/24/09 and make stock from the leftover bones you've snatched from everyone's plates and lunch boxes.  Cook up 1 cup of orzo pasta or some small macaroni (or use some leftover pasta from another dinner.  In another pan, saute 1/2 an onion in a swirl of olive oil.  Once the onions are translucent add a pinch of thyme and 1 minced garlic clove and cook until fragrant.  Now you can add whatever is in your fridge that you want to get rid of -- a diced potato, an old carrot too floppy to eat raw but not so floppy it's gross, a few halved cherry tomatoes, some spinach leaves, even torn lettuce is delicious.  Cook for a minute then add about 4-6 cups of chicken stock (depending on how many people you need to feed). Let it all come to a simmer.  

Now this is good as it is, or you can whisk an egg, and add it to the hot soup, or squeeze a lemon into it, and this is good but not entirely necessary.

Get out your soup bowls and scoop the pasta into the bottom of each bowl, then ladle the soup on top.  You can top the whole thing off with a bit of grated parmesan.  Serve this with bread, or biscuits, or grilled cheeses, or nothing at all, just soup.  Then eat a bowl of ice cream or a large piece of pie so you don't get too hungry later on.

Friday, April 24, 2009

An Update on Yesterday's Post

Yesterday I thought I'd roast the eggplant and make hummus and bread but that was before I moved around the empty bottles of salad dressing in my refrigerator and discovered I had a bottle of capers.  Capers are capable of making anything taste good.  Then I saw, standing there, shining,  from the top shelf of the fridge, like Glen Close in the Natural, a half bottle of Rao's Marinara Sauce.  Not even moldy!  And as if that weren't enough, I also found a very small can of Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes (which are the best canned tomatoes in the world) hiding behind the chickpeas.  And then, because the pantry gods were clearly smiling down on me from their lofty home in Bedford NY, I realized I had a box of couscous.

Well, the eggplant was already roasted, so I just scraped all the good eggplant-y stuff out from the skin (which no one in my family likes because the skin can be a bit bitter) threw it in a hot pan with olive oil, crushed garlic and a couple of tablespoons of capers, the chickpeas, the Rao's and the can of  tomatoes.  Let it simmer for about 15 min.  OH -- yeah, I also spilled some of Shiraz I was drinking into the whole thing because it looked dry.  Then I let it simmer for 15 minutes.  Served it all over the couscous.  (Well, Smith's and my portions, anyway.  Even though I'm not in the habit of doing this, I cooked up more tortellini for Mads and Em because they asked me nicely)

It was delicious, although my daughters picked the chickpeas out of theirs and fed them to the dogs.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I Have No Idea What I'm Making for Dinner Tonight...

It had to come to this eventually.  I'm hoping that by spending a little time with my blog here, I'll come up with something.  

In my fridge: some dried out strawberries, 1/4 of a pineapple, an eggplant, milk, cream cheese and farmer's cheese.  In the freezer is the massive Ham my husband's brother sent us for Christmas (would take too long to defrost --  as in days probably) and some peas.  I do have some tortellini in there, but we ate that last night with half a bag of peas thrown into the water before draining it.  There are some popsicles and a wee bit of Carmel Delight ice cream.  A teeny weenie bit of chicken left over from Monday night.  Not enough, really, to make the old pasta/chicken/ roasted veggie standby the girls love.  I also have some whole wheat flour.

No onions.  No bacon.  My few cloves of garlic have little green shoots coming out of them.  I've got about 10 red new potatoes.  No dried pasta even.


Let's talk about the carrot soup I made Tuesday night, shall we?  That was the night I used my last onion.  It was a lovely, sweet onion, no green shoots, no mold, still firm.  How I miss that onion.  Anyway, I had recently made some bread and decided that I'd make the soup and use up the last bit of cheddar I'd bought from the farmer's market ages ago by grilling some cheddar and mango chutney sandwiches.  So I sauteed up the onion, added a couple of cloves of garlic, chopped about 10 carrots into fairly uniform slices and threw it all into a heavy bottomed pot with a swirl of olive oil and just a little bit of butter.  After this cooked a bit I threw in some curry powder (thinking it would taste good with the chutney), and poured in the vegetable stock I'd made on Monday night.  Then I got out the Panini Press Smith gave me for Mother's Day last year and started to make the sandwiches.  Sliced the bread, sliced the cheddar, opened the cabinet for the chutney: no mango chutney.  Check the other cabinet.  Nope.  How can there be no mango chutney?  I distinctly remembered going to Whole Foods and tasting this awesome mango chutney on a cracker that was thrust upon me by a WF "associate" in the manner of a perfume sales person at a department store.  I also distinctly remember greedily grabbing the last jar of the chutney and running to the check out counter with the rest of my purchases.  Then I remembered that the moment my first item was scanned, the lights went out and the registers went down.  There was a collective gasp from everyone in the store and a woman, with a voice like Lisa Simpson's, started walking around telling people to remain calm, which everyone was doing anyway.  I waited a while for the generator to kick in, but I had to leave before it did because I had to pick Emma up from school and she hates it when I'm late. As I walked out, empty handed except for the sushi the manager gave to me for free (I do love the people at my Whole Foods despite their taste in music) three fire engines and one ambulance raced down Lancaster toward Wynnewood Ave.

Car accident?  Explosion?  Terrorist?  I never learned because I took a right out of the Whole Foods parking lot to avoid the potential scene.

So no mango chutney.  But the curry was really nice with the carrot soup in which we dipped the corners of our plain cheddar sandwiches happily.

As for tonight: I could roast the eggplant and make hummus with it, the garlic and the lone can of chickpeas I just found in the cabinet.  Nigella Lawson whirs cream cheese up in her hummus -- I can do that because I have that bit of cream cheese in the fridge (I just have to dig the toast crumbs out of it).  I don't have any pita, but I do have time to bake a basic loaf of bread.  Do I have olive oil?  Yes.  Things are looking up...

Carrot Soup
1 TBLSP olive oil
1 TBLSP butter (can omit, add more oil)
1 medium onion (a leek, shallot or red onion would be good too)
10 carrots (or as many as you have. Try adding a parsnip or 2)
2 cloves of garlic chopped or pressed
2 tsp curry powder
1 bay leaf
3 cups of vegetable stock
a bit of milk or cream (optional, but I like the silkiness it adds)

  1. Heat a heavy bottomed stock pot over medium heat, add oil and butter.
  2. When the butter bubbles add the onion and stir until softened
  3. Then add the carrots and the garlic and the bay leaf.  Let cook a few minutes
  4. Add the curry.  Let cook a few minutes more.
  5. Add the vegetable stock.  
  6. Let cook about 15 minutes until the carrots get soft.
  7. Fish the bay leaf out,
  8. Blend in batches in blender, or if you have one, use a handheld blender and blend until soup is fairly smooth.
  9. At the last minute swirl in a bit or milk or cream.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Veggies I Have Loved

I have a terrible habit of getting into ruts.  For instance, recently, I was in a  Cold Play rut: I played Viva La Vida * constantly.  No one in my family likes this song as much as I do, yet my husband and children know all the words -- in fact, I play it so often, my dogs know all the words.  (I'm pretty sure one of the dogs rolled his eyes when I cued it up on my ipod yesterday).

I do the same thing with vegetables.  For the longest time I was addicted to broccolini -- which sounds Italian but is actually about as Italian as a vente latte.  According to Wikipedia, broccolini is a Japanese invention:

Broccolini is a green vegetable not unlike broccoli with small florets and long, thin stalks. Although often misidentified as young broccoli, it is a cross between broccoli and kai-lan, Chinese broccoli. A natural hybrid of the cabbage family Brassica oleracea, it was developed by the Sakata Seed Company of Yokohama, Japan. Broccolini's flavor is sweet, with notes of both broccoli and asparagus.”   (Wikipedia is not always the most reliable source: see 30 Rock episode where Jenna researches Janis Joplin.)


I don’t taste the “asparagus notes” myself, I just know it’s yummy -- especially sauteed up in olive oil and garlic with a dash or soy sauce or lemon juice just before serving.  It’s so tender, you don’t even need to par-boil it, although if you don’t like it too crunchy, you can always toss a 1/2 cup  chicken or vegetable stock in the pan which will steam the broccolini some as you saute (* *see recipe below). My family ate this several times a week for months, until they begged for something different.

  So I moved on to Brussels sprouts.  I began eating Brussels sprouts as a kid, mainly because they grossed out my sisters.  Plus, they were, and are, my Dad’s favorite vegetable, and even as a kid, I thought my dad was totally cool.  As an adult, I started liking Brussels sprouts for real and the only reason we don’t have them more often (as in: several times a week for months) is that you have to cut the ends off and trim the sprouts of any brownish leaves, which I often feel too lazy to do unless I can conscript one of my kids to do it.  I also always cut them in half,(the sprouts, not the kids, the kids I leave whole)  so one side can get brown and crispy.  Do as I do and toss them with about a tablespoon of olive or grape seed oil, two pinches of sea salt, one pinch of brown sugar and a scraping of nutmeg.  (If you don’t have whole nutmeg, go with about 1/8th of a teaspoon because you don’t want to overwhelm the sprout flavor).  My dear friend, Jill, tells me she makes a great Brussels sprouts dish with bacon, apples and thyme.  I’ll get the exact recipe for you, because she’s an incredible cook and you will want to have it.  

My new obsession is parsnips.  Sweeter than carrots, they last as long in the crisper, so I always seem to have some on hand.  You can slice them up, along with some carrots and steam/saute (**, again) them with olive oil,  plunking in a a last minute teaspoon of butter and a sprinkling of dill.  You can roast them in a 450 oven for 15 minutes after tossing with olive oil and salt.  You can cut  several up and put them in a big pot with potatoes them mash them all together with hot milk and butter.  Every one will wonder what that secret sweetness is in your mashed "potatoes".  And, I always add parsnips to vegetable stock.  Last night, while still suffering under the weight of a dreadful 48 hour cold, I bought an already roasted chicken, shredded it, steamed up some parsnips, potatoes, carrots and, yes, broccolini (I had a writing teacher who once said stories should always come full circle, and look!  I've done it!) in about a cup of my vegetable stock.  When the vegetables were almost cooked, I grated some ginger into it and added some salt, pepper and a few dashes of soy sauce.  Very yummy.  We all ate it up. Then I played Viva La Vida, and danced around the kitchen until my sinuses pounded. Daughters and dogs ran from embarrassment, while my husband just laughed and ate the leftovers.

**To Steam/Saute (I learned this technique from How To Cook Without a Book by Pam Anderson)

Put about 1/3 cup of water or stock in a pan with 1-2 tablespoons of oil (olive, grapeseed, or even butter or bacon fat) along with about 1lb of vegetables.  Cover and steam until veggies are almost tender.  Add a pinch or two of sea or kosher salt and some pepper.  Saute until all the water is evaporated, then 1 to 2 minutes longer.  Adjust seasoning if need be.

Vegetable Stock

2 Tblsp olive oil, canola oil or grapeseed oil

1 large oinion quartered

1 large tomato quartered, or whatever left over almost shriveled cherry tomatoes you have (I usually have lots of these)

2 large carrots cut into chunks (or more, if you have them)

2 stalks of celery cut into chunks (again, more if you have them) 

2 parsnips cut into chunks

2 to 4 garlic cloves peeled


2 sprigs of thyme (if you have it)

2 bay leaves

4 to 6 whole peppercorns

3 whole cloves

8 cups of water -- or enough water to cover the vegetables by at least 2 inches

Also good, if you have it: leeks, broccoli stems, mushrooms whole or the stems

  1. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven or stock pot.  
  2. Throw the vegetables and garlic in and saute stirring until they're tender -- about 10 minutes. 
  3. Add the parsley, bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns cloves and water.
  4. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down, cover pot and simmer it all for about an hour
  5. When your stock is all carmel colored and smells great, take it off the heat and let it cool down.  (You can leave it uncovered for about an hour)
  6. Scoop out all the solids using a small strainer or a large skimmer (see chicken stock recipe and burned feet reference), making sure you press on the solids to get all liquid out of them.  If you are feeling like Martha Stewart, you can also pour your stock through a cheese cloth lined strainer to make sure it is as clear as possible.  I personally don't care to do this.
  7. This stock will be good for 3 days in the fridge and can be frozen for 3 months or until so burned with frost it is unrecognizable

  *If you get tired of Chris Martin, you can always check out this version of Viva La Vida by Lady GaGa

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Potatoes, mashed and otherwise

It is very difficult for me to adequately stress the necessity of potatoes.  In my house, though we don’t eat potatoes every day, we could: it is the one starch my children never grow tired of.  Pasta, bread, even rice you can only fix so many ways; potatoes are versatile.  For instance, last night I made a chicken stew for my parents.  My mother is gluten intolerant, so I’m in the habit of making a separate flour-free portion for her.  The recipe called for 3/4 cup of flour to thicken the sauce.  No can do for Mom, so I whisked some leftover mashed potatoes into hot broth instead.  The sauce thickened up nicely, and no one was the wiser.  I’ve been toying with the idea of keeping a box of those powdered potatoes on hand for just such an emergency.  If I do, I’ll let you know how they work as a gluten free sauce/gravy thickener.

Potatoes are good.  When I was younger living in New York City and continually strapped because I kept spending any leftover salary on Joan & David shoes, I used to stop at this little knish shop on the corner of 5th and 13th street.  A hole-in-the-wall was spacious compared to this shop, which was made up of a counter, a guy behind the counter and an oven to warm the knishes his mother had made earlier in a kitchen in Brooklyn.  If you didn’t get there before 6:30pm, they’d be sold out, and there was always a long line of yuppie guys in rumpled suits grabbing a knish to snack on before hitting the bars.  For me, the knish was dinner.  At about $1 a knish it was filling and economical.  I particularly loved the cheddar and spinach combo.  I’d wrap my dinner in several napkins and nibble at it while walking home.  If I didn’t have a buck, 25 cents bought a single potato from the bodega on the corner which I could bake at home and eat with butter, or, if the cupboard was completely bare, with just a bit of salt.  I was never so skinny, and I never again had such beautiful shoes.  I owed it all to my utter love for potatoes.

Potatoes are the ultimate comfort food, are they not?  Particularly when it's been raining for several days and I want something hot and filling.  My convection/toaster oven bakes up a crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside russet or Idaho potato in about 15 min.  A little Irish butter, and I am over the moon.  Last week I had a lot of leftover mashed potatoes because we’d had people over for dinner and I wasn’t sure how much they’d eat.  (My husband is always remarking that I never make quite enough... I’ve been working hard at changing that reputation...and have perhaps gone a bit overboard.)  Of course, I could always warm them up by sticking them on a burner and adding a little more warm milk, but that seemed like the easy way out.   Perhaps because so many of my friends have been planning Passover meals, I found myself thinking of potato pancakes.   Could I make pancakes out of my left over mashed potatoes?  Would they hold together?  

I mixed the potatoes with some shredded cheddar, flattened about 1/2 a cup of this mixture in my hand, dipped them in a whisked egg then dipped them in breadcrumbs.  Then I fried them up in a bit of olive oil until they were golden and crispy.  As Emma would say, OMG!  Friends, I can tell you my little mashed potato pancakes not only held together, but they were unbelievably yummy and satisfying.  Almost as satisfying as that perfect hot knish from my salad days.  Almost.  

Now if I could only find a way to recreate those perfect little Joan &David pink and white spectator pumps...

Basic Mashed Potatoes (feeds family of 4 with leftovers)

4 Russet or Idaho potatoes

1 cup of milk (I use 2% lactose free milk, but you can use anything)

2 tbslp unsalted butter

Kosher salt to taste

white pepper to taste

Wash and peel potatoes.  Cut into chunks that are all about equal in size.  Stick into a large enough pot and cover with water.  Throw a little salt in the water.  Bring to a boil and simmer until you can easily stick a knife or fork into the potatoes.

Meanwhile, warm the milk over low heat.  (** sometimes I stick a smashed garlic clove into the milk, then I discard the clove before I add it to the potatoes.  You can also use the same amount of chicken stock if your family has lactose issues.  Your potatoes won’t be as creamy, but there will be more protein)

When your potatoes are done, mash them up -- I’ve got a nice heavy potato masher from OXO that Maddy loves to use, but a fork, a large spoon, the back of a ladle, anything will work here.  Then add your milk and butter a little at time until your potatoes are as creamy and buttery as you want them.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Mashed Potato Variations

I know people who use 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup sour cream -- and people who leave out the butter and add some shredded cheddar.  Very delicious.  Some parsley tossed in is good (my girls hate parsley, but perhaps yours don’t).  Bacon, of course, the perfect addition... Oh, and you can always throw several carrots in the water with the potatoes, or parsnips, or turnips and mash them up with the potatoes and milk. Roast a yam or a sweet potato, scoop out the flesh and toss it in the pot with the boiled potatoes. The possibilities ... Good Lord I’m hungry now!

Crazy Leftover Potato Pancakes

Left over mashed potatoes however much you have

Cheddar cheese, shredded 

1 or 2 eggs

2-3 cups of breadcrumbs

Kosher salt

Olive or Canola oil

Mix the mashed potatoes with the cheddar and form into small not-too-flat(1/4 in?) pancakes.  Crack the egg(s) and whisk ‘em up in a bowl or pie plate.  Dump the breadcrumbs in another pie plate and add a little salt.  Set your oven to warm and pop in a paper towel lined cookie sheet.  Heat the oil in a skillet or saute pan until it is shimmering.  Carefully drop your potato pancakes in and let cook until golden on one side, then turn.  This won’t take more than a few minutes.  Put the cooked pancakes in the warming oven and cook the next batch or batches.  It all depends on how many leftovers you have.

We actually ate these as a vegetarian meal one night -- with some sauteed broccolini and a salad.  Plates were cleaned and no one was hungry until breakfast.