American Potato Cutlets


You can use leftover mashed potatoes for this. If they’ve been salted, adjust the amount of salt accordingly.
If you’re cooking the potatoes just for this recipe, use 1 pound. Peel and cut them into chunks, and boil until soft. Drain very well, and mash until smooth.
You can make and coat the patties up to a day in advance, storing them on a plate, tightly covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator. Dredge them again in bread crumbs just before frying.

YIELD: About 4 servings (2 patties each)

1 1/2 cups cooked, mashed russet potatoes**they work best because they are dry and meaty and mash well
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup finely minced scallion
1 hard-boiled egg, minced or grated
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 large egg, beaten
1/3 to 1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
A little butter (optional)

Place the mashed potatoes in a medium-sized bowl. Add the mustard, dill, garlic, scallion, hard-boiled egg, salt and pepper. Mix until everything is thoroughly blended.

Break the egg onto a dinner plate, and beat it with a fork until smooth.

Place the bread crumbs on another plate. Use your hands (wet them if you like, for easier handling) to form the mixture into 3-inch patties, using about 1/4 cup for each.

Carefully dip both sides of each patty in egg and dredge them lightly in the bread crumbs to coat on all sides.

Place a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. After a minute or two, add the olive oil, wait for about 10 seconds, then swirl to coat the pan. If you like, you can also melt in some butter.

When the pan is hot enough to sizzle a bread crumb, fry the cutlets about 5 minutes on each side, or until golden and crisp. Remove the cutlets from the pan and transfer them to a wire rack over a tray to cool. (This retains their crispy texture.) Serve hot or warm.

VARIATION: Broccoli-Potato Cutlets
Follow the main recipe with these adjustments. Add to the potato mixture:
1 1/2 cups finely minced broccoli (florets and peeled stems)
For a touch of color, replace the scallion with: 1/2 cup finely minced red onion.