I had so much fun when I made homemade tater tots a couple of weeks ago, that I thought I would whip up another batch of mashed potatoes so I could make more.
Only I got side tracked when it also occurred to me that mashed potatoes pan fried into tiny, adorable, potato pancakes could also serve as a cute and delicious vehicle for shoveling in crème fraiche and lox.
The little potato pancakes had a nice crispy exterior, and a hot and creamy interior. When I mixed these piping hot with a dollop of cold crème fraiche (sour cream would be just as delicious!) and that salty, velvety cured salmon? Well, lets just say that I did not need much help polishing off the whole recipe.
I shared these with you not only because they were so dang good, but also because I thought they would be a great appetizer for Holiday parties, or for anyone in charge of appetizers Christmas Eve or Christmas Night. They are easy to fry up and then place on a sheet pan and heat up in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes just before serving.
For the most part this is an incredibly economical appetizer. You use leftover mashed potatoes (unless you are me and just like to make mashed potatoes in order to use them as leftovers!) and you just use a tiny bit of the crème fraiche and lox.
However, if you wanted to get really fancy, you could top them with caviar too. They sell American paddlefish caviar for $20 an ounce (which is all you need for an impressive garnish.) It is easier than you think to find- Whole foods sells it in their deli section (ask at the charcuterie counter) and I just saw it at Trader Joes of all places!
Potato Pancakes, makes 3 dozen small potato pancakes
2 cups mashed potatoes (I like The Pioneer Woman’s Recipe myself!)
¼ cup AP flour
Kosher salt and Black pepper
¼ cup crème fraiche
2 oz good salmon lox
In a medium bowl, combine the potatoes, egg and flour, stirring until well combined. Add some Black pepper and a sprinkle of Kosher salt and stir well.
Heat a large non-stick sauté pan over medium heat, brushing it lightly with vegetable oil.
Using a spoon (or ice cream scooper) scoop out batter by the tablespoon into the pan.
Let the pancakes lightly brown before flipping over, about 1 minute.
Repeat on the other side, cooking another minute until hot and golden. Repeat with remaining batter.
Drain briefly on a paper towel before transferring to a serving platter.
Top with a tiny dollop of crème fraiche and a tiny piece of lox. I like a sprig of dill too.
Serve and enjoy!