Sweet Potato and Golden Beet Cakes

I love a good potato cake.  They are crispy, savory, a bit salty, and can stand alone or make a great side dish.  I am always on the lookout for how to improve on potato cakes, or take them for a spin.  A few weeks ago I used some leftover mashed potatoes to make some crispy cakes to go with breakfast.  It turned out way better then I anticipated.  Earlier this week I was looking to use up some sweet potatoes and golden beets I had forgotten to make over the weekend.  I settled on mashed potatoes and beets, with the full anticipation I would be making cakes with it on demand.  The cakes when made fresh are similar to their normal potato cake cousins, but instead of crispy all the way through, you get a mix of textures.  You get that crispy outside you expect from a potato cake, but then bite into a creamy, savory filling.  The mixture of sweet potatoes and golden beets really added another level of flavor compared to the typical white or red potatoes. The beets also cooked slower then the sweet potatoes, so there was this added texture of bit that were tender, but not all the way mashed.  If you wanted it all creamy, I would note the beets took longer then the potatoes to cook.

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil or Butter
  • 2 medium to large sweet potatoes chopped
  • 4 golden beets chopped
  • 3-4 strips of cooked bacon, diced
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup milk or half-and-half
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tsp dried chives (fresh would be better)
  • 2 spoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

For Mashed Potatoes and Beets:

  • Coarsely chop beets and sweet potatoes.  Cut everything as close to the same size as possible to allow for even cooking.
  • Boil in lightly salted water until tender and ready for mashing, 10-15 minutes depending on how small you chopped them up.  If you want everything the same texture, you will need to start beets first (or do them separately).  If you don’t mind a bit of texture, you can cook at the same time for the same duration
  • Drain potatoes and beets and wipe out pot to clean.  Return pot to stove on low.
  • Melt butter in pot with bacon and add half your milk.
  • Add in beets and potatoes and mash.  Use additional milk as needed to create desired texture.
  • When mashed, stir in chives, salt and pepper.
  • Remove form heat and let cool fully (refrigerate overnight)

For Cakes

  • Heat sauce pan to medium heat with oil or butter
  • Pull out around a cup of mashed potatoes and beets.
  • Mix in 1 egg and flour.  If looks like it has too much liquid in it, add flour as needed.
  • Spoon mashed mixture into a hot pan, spread into cakes.  The thickness of the cake is up to you.  Thicker cakes have more creamy filling, where a thinner cake will have a better crispy to creamy ratio.  Prefer the thinner cakes.
  • Cook around 3-4 minutes each side or until browned and crispy.

There is nothing ground breaking on these, but its something simple, easy, and very tasty.  I loved the sweet potato and golden beet mix, but red or while potatoes are very good as well.  Adding a little bacon never hurts either, but its not a necessity. I think this would go great with Thanksgiving or holiday leftovers, when you have extra mashed potatoes and need something to change them up a bit.

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