Roasted Shallot and Apple Mashed Potato Pancakes

Roasted Shallot and Apple Mash with Thyme and Brown Butter // Queen Smithereen
As most of my American following is aware of, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Like, mere days away. Working in the food service industry can at times make holidays seem the uncertain equivalent of looming glow clouds–the luminescent green tinge can either align with the traditional “GO!” or it can indicate disappointment on a radioactive scale. Here’s what I’m getting at: I don’t always know if I am going to have to deal with the general public on holidays.

No matter what, I make a point of sitting down to a delicious meal. And each year, I have made an effort to go around the room asking those at my dinner table to report one thing each is grateful for. It doesn’t have to be sappy. In fact, you could be thankful that biscuits exist and I would accept it. My response is generally the same, though: I am grateful for the family that you make.
Roasted Shallot and Apple Mashed Potato Pancakes // Queen Smithereen
Growing up, I got to celebrate Thanksgiving twice each year: in October, when Canada (where I’m from) holds it, and again in November for my American half. Both occasions were celebrated with two influential women in my life, my mother and my grandmother. My father died when I was young, and the rest of my family is sort of dispersed everywhere. The American Thanksgiving I celebrated was often followed up with a visit to my childhood best friend’s house. And when I lived in Minneapolis, I made some of my favorite memories with my partner at the time and our best friend, two people who became my family. In comparison to most, my experience of Thanksgiving is probably much smaller in terms of the gathering of humans I found myself with each year, which means I would finish the meal to find my fridge majorly STOCKED.

Now, we all like to get creative with leftovers, I know. Believe me, I have encountered many a mashed potato- and gravy-slathered, cranberry-, dressing-, and casserole-stuffed turkey sandwich. Those of us who Thanksgiving HARD really take the utilization of excess food to an admirable level. Here’s the thing I wonder, though: do many of you, like me, have memories of what I feel is arguably the BEST usage of leftovers? In case the correct response is eluding you, let me remind you here that we’re talking about mashed potato pancakes. You mould mashed potatoes into perfect little patties and brown them in a skillet like flapjacks, and you can serve them with anything you’d like–cranberries, ketchup, gravy, sour cream….
Roasted Shallot and Apple Mashed Potato Pancakes // Queen Smithereen.
Admittedly, this is a multi-step process we’re talking about. Make mashed potatoes, eat them, take what’s left and cook that, and then eat that. With this in mind, I reached a new conclusion, in the form of a question: why wait? This year, I’m skipping the first two steps and going for the gold. Friends, meet your new favorite Thanksgiving side, Mashed Potato Pancakes. For this batch, I fused Yukon Golds, roasted shallots, and cooked apples into a mash permeated with thyme and browned butter. Each glorious, golden-crusted patty pairs with soft mounds of tart greek yogurt dusted with paprika.

And if that doesn’t suit your fancy, we’ve reached the part at the end where I wish you a happy holiday and I introduce to my little friend called Other Thanksgiving Recipes: Best-Ever Dirty Mashed Potatoes; Honey Roasted Root Vegetables; Brown Sugar Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce; Brown Butter, Goat Cheese, and Chive Drop Biscuits; Honey Buttermilk Biscuits; Mozzarella, Scallion, and Olive Cornbread; Pumpkin Spice Drop Cookies with Marshmallow Icing; Pumpkin Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

See Also: My Guide to Perfect Biscuits

Seriously, though–I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, full of love and deliciousness and people who feel like family.

One Year: Brown Sugar Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce
Two Years: Spinach with Warm Fig and Honey Vinaigrette and Honey Roasted Root Vegetables
Three Years: Sweet Turkey Chili with Corn, Kidney Beans, and Kale

Roasted Shallot and Apple Mashed Potato Pancakes
Makes about 9 Pancakes, or about 3 cups of Mash

Roasted Shallots and Apples:
2 whole shallots, skins on, rinsed and thoroughly dried
1 apple (Pink Lady, Golden Delicious, or Gala work best), peeled and sliced
1 tsp olive oil, plus more for mashed potato pancakes
pinch of dried thyme
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Mash:
1 lb yukon gold potatoes (2-3 large), skins on, rinsed and thoroughly dried, sliced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tbsp high quality salted butter
1/2 cup whole milk
3 scallions, light-darker green parts only, sliced thinly
1/4 tsp dried thyme
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For Pancakes and Serving: vegetable oil cooking spray, sliced scallions, sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper, plain greek yogurt, paprika

Roasted Shallots and Apples:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place shallots on baking sheet and roast in skins for 25-30 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and let cool while apple roasts. Coat apple slices with olive oil, thyme, sea salt, and pepper. Roast in oven until tender, about 15-20 minutes. When apples are done cooking, gently remove skins from shallots (the interior should slide out quite easily). Use a potato masher to mash the apples and shallots together.

Mash:
Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add potatoes to boiling water and cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes. When potatoes are done, drain and transfer to large bowl. Meanwhile, place butter in small saucepan on medium-high heat. Once melted, butter will begin to foam, then pop. Gently scrape the browned its of butter off the bottom of the saucepan. Remove from heat when the butter turns golden brown. Add brown butter, milk, scallions, and thyme to potatoes and mash. Add shallots and apples to potatoes and mash together. Season to taste with additional sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Can be served this way, with additional scallions, salt, and pepper.

Pancakes:
If making pancakes, then take 2 heaping tablespoons of mash and gently flatten into 1/2-inch thick rounds. Heat nonstick pan on medium heat and coat with vegetable oil cooking spray. Fry each pancake until outsides are browned and insides are molten and soft, about 2 minutes per side (second side may cook a little quicker). Serve pancakes with scallions and greek yogurt sprinkled with paprika.

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