This is Emily's favorite meal...and was inspired by Pepe's Cafe in Key West, Florida.
2 c chilled mash potatoes (see Mashed Potatoes below)
¼ t freshly ground black pepper
2 T olive or vegetable oil
1/8 t cayenne pepper or paprika (optional)
2 T unsalted butter (the real stuff)
Onion chives (optional)
½ c panko bread crumbs (or flour is okay too)
Chopped red or white onions (optional)
1 ½ t salt (I prefer sea or kosher salt)
Minced garlic, or garlic powder (optional)
Make mashed potatoes – for these to turn out the best, the mashed potatoes should be cooked the night before you want the mashed potato cakes for breakfast or brunch. I also make them a little stiffer than I typically would if my main agenda was actually the mashed potatoes. (Note: If you have never made mashed potatoes before, this will help you make perfect mashed potatoes)
Divide the potatoes into 8 equal portions and form ½ inch thick patties. Incorporate the chopped onions or chives if desirable.
Heat the oil with the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add minced garlic and sauté if you choose.
Mix the panko crumbs or flour with the salt and pepper in a pie plate. Add cayenne pepper if you like.
Coat the potato patties in the flour mixture and add to the heated oil and butter and reduce heat to medium to medium low.
Cook until they form a golden crust about 15-20 minutes. (Peek underneath with a spatula before turning.)
Turn and cook the other side until golden brown about 15 more minutes.
Season with additional salt, pepper, or other herbs and spices and serve hot.