Cheese and Potato Cakes

A funny thing happened on my way to the Caribbean… I am captivated by leftovers.  Largely due to the cost of ingredients here, I am now doing my best to make leftovers into something new.  This recipe is a great example of what I am talking about.  Rather than fresh made mashed potatoes one night and microwaved cold mashed potatoes the next, I made a whole new dish from the cold mashed potatoes from the night before.

Unless your family watches you cook, they will never know you are serving leftovers.  It is the perfect sidedish, glory from deception… Who could ask for more???

But first, I need to share the credit (well, since I stole the entire recipe, sharing is a generous word from my side, but I digress…)

One of my favorite sites is THE MYSTERY LOVERS’ KITCHEN.  MLK is a fun site, with 6 very talented cooks alternating a weekly recipe posting.  BUT, they also have another thing in common.  Each contributor has a book (most a series of books), featuring recipes and or food as an important part of their murder mysteries.  It takes a bit of reading before you get the hang of which lady and which personality is cooking on any particular day.  But then, I am married, so I am used to one site (person) with borderline criminal schizophrenic personalities.  So I enjoy the blog a lot.

A Cheese Shop Mystery 

One of the stars of THE MYSTERY LOVERS’ KITCHEN is Avery Aames.  Avery has a new book, new series being released soon.  The sassy owner of an artisan cheese shop who also loves a tasty mystery, fights crime and feeds cheese lovers.  “The Long Quiche Goodbye” (don’t you love that title) is due to be released soon, and you can pre-order now!  Recently Avery did a post of a cheese recipe for your leftover mashed potatoes.  It sounded odd, it sounded like it would mess up my pan and not come out as she described… But it sounded really good if it worked as she claimed.

Here’s what she said to do…

Avery’s Cheese and Potato Cake


1/2 cup leftover mashed potatoes [recipe for potatoes below]

4 thin slices of your favorite Cheese [I used white cheddar]
dash of paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon of oil


In a skillet, heat the oil on medium. Mold the potatoes into a flat “ball.” Lay two slices of the cheese in the skillet. Place the potatoes on top. Lay two more slices on top of the potatoes. As the cheese melts, use a spatula and lift the cheese up the sides of the potatoes. Continue to do this for 2 minutes. Flip the “cake” and do the same with the cheese, scraping it up the sides to form a crust around the potatoes. By the time the cheese is cooked to your liking, the potatoes will have heated through.

Serve warm. If you like, add a dollop of sourcream.

Be honest now… When you read this don’t you think that the cheese is going to hit that hot oil, melt all over the pan and get really messy in your pan.  I just could not imagine it working as Avery said it would.  But I was intrigued enough to give it a try.

Actually, I tried it for my lunch before I made it for my wife.  From bitter experience, I have learned to experiment with my lunch before inflicting oddities on my wife.  But I digress…

I had some spicy Chipotle infused Cheddar Cheese that I needed to use up.  Sure enough, as you can see, when I added the cheese to the hot oil, it did melt FAST.  But, as Avery instructed, I continued to push the melted (and rapidly crusting) cheese onto the sides of the tater patties.

And look at that!!!

The cheese did not stick to the pan (as I expected)
The cheese did not burn (as I expected)
The cheese did not ooze out into the oil and never stick to the taters (as I expected)

It worked exactly as Avery said it would (um… is it too late to add “as expected”???)

Avery’s did end up a bit nicer presentation, with a patty look instead of my final look.  I made my patties too big, and I did not have a spatula big enough transfer to a plate before they broke apart.  Next time.

But, what I wanted did indeed happen.  there was no hint that this new dish was made from old left overs.  Thanks Avery, you made me look like a genius!

Dave here from MY YEAR ON THE GRILLI was THRILLED with the results.  Crusty, cheesy and filled with new flavors!

 … I CAN COOK THAT! Anyone can!!! And anyone can make this winner…

And BTW…

Avery has a trailer for her book.  Lots of images of cheese, and will whet your appetite for not just a “gouda” mystery, a Great Mystery… Click HERE to see the trailer!


I love mashed potatoes and adding cheese only makes it better, but chipotle infused cheddar? Dude, you’re off the chart with goodness there.

Sweet and Savory

I love potato and cheese so I know I would love this, now that you have demonstrated that we won’t end up with cheese to scrape from the bottom of the pan. You did magic but that is because a mystery writer shared the recipe.


Wow, that really IS surprising! I definitely had an eyebrow raised skeptically as I started reading but that’s my not-so-well-hidden cynical side showing itself.

OOOH I have leftover potatoes and sliced sharp cheddar in the fridge!! Score!!