Recipe Swap: Mashed Potato Pancakes with Lemon Tarragon Creme Fraiche

Its recipe swap time again!

By this time, many of you know the drill. My friend and fellow food blogger – Christianna at Burwell General Store – created this swap as a way to encourage creativity in the kitchen. Every month, an ever-growing group of foodies from across the globe reinterpret a recipe from a vintage cookbook (and hymnal!) called All Day Singin’ and Cookin on The Ground.

I’ve been part of the swap from the very beginning, and I never grow tired of the crazy recipes that CM asks us to reinterpret. From Ozarkian Taffy Apples to Company Time Lemon Cake, every swap is completely unique and forces me to think outside of the box. I absolutely love being a part of this group.

For this swap, CM selected a simple recipe for Potato Donuts.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m not a big “sweets” person. When I want a snack, I’ll reach for a bag of Kettle chips long before I’ll grab a candy bar. What can I say? I’m a salty gal.

That being said, I knew that my potato donut would morph into something savory. Potatoes are such a versatile ingredient, and I was overwhelmed by the possibilities offered by this recipe swap. I thought about making potato bread. Then, I thought about making potato gnocci (but, wait, I’ve already made that). I toyed with the idea of potato bagels, and then I realized my life is far too hectic at the moment to attempt something as time consuming as bagels.

So, I went with my gut. Literally, I obeyed my stomach. It happened to be dinner time, and I found myself staring at the bag of red potatoes I’d bought for the recipe swap. I’d changed my mind a million times about what to make, but ultimately I let my stomach be the guide. I had a sudden and inexplicable craving for mashed potato pancakes, so I just ran with it.

I’d seen recipes for mashed potato pancakes previously, usually marketed as a way to use up leftover mashed potatoes (which it is a genius idea). Sadly, I didn’t have any leftover mashed potatoes. What I did have was raw red potatoes, which meant I would needed to pre-cook and mash them before I could make potato pancakes. But, by this point, I was really set on the idea of mashed potato pancakes, so I was willing to put in the extra effort.

So, I went through the trouble of boiling and mashing the potatoes. I left the skins on and mashed them with fresh herbs from my garden. Once the potato mixture cooled, I formed them into patties and pan fried them in a cast iron skillet with some brown butter. I served them atop a bed of arugula with a dollop of lemon tarragon creme fraiche.

And holy smokes, they were everything I had hoped they would be. They were crispy on the outside, and creamy on the inside. They were hearty, without being heavy. And while I know these “pancakes” are a far cry from a traditional donut, I feel this reinterpretation is completely in line with my palate and style of cooking. Somehow, I turned a potato donut recipe into a seasonal spring dinner! Go figure, I suppose. :)

And, as always, I had a great time. I highly encourage you to visit the Recipe Swap page at Burwell General Store, and take a look at all the other fabulous creations.

Mashed Potato Pancakes with Lemon Tarragon Creme Fraiche

For mashed potatoes (or use leftover mashed potatoes!)
6-8 small red potatoes, washed and cubed (leave skins on)
1 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoons nonfat or lowfat Greek yogurt
Salt & pepper to taste
Dash of nutmeg
Dash of smoked paprika
2 Tablespoons minced chives
1 Tablespoon minced fresh sage

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add in cubed potatoes. Allow potatoes to simmer until cooked all the way through (test with fork or knife for doneness).

Drain water from potatoes. With a potato masher (or other tool), mash potatoes until they reach a smooth consistency. Stir in yogurt in yogurt and butter, mix until creamy. Add in spices and seasonings. Allow potato mixture to cool.

For the potato pancakes
3 cups mashed potatoes
3 Tablespoons flour
1 egg white
Clarified butter

Using a cast iron skillet or griddle pan, heat clarified butter over medium high heat.

Form patties: mix 2 tablespoons of flour and egg white together with the mashed potatoes. Using your hands, form small mashed potato patties, and dusting each patty with flour on the outside. Pan fry until golden brown and crispy on each side (about 4 minutes per side). Adjust heat if the pancakes are browning too fast.

Lemon Tarragon Creme Fraiche
1/2 cup creme fraiche
1.5 Tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
The zest of 1 lemon
Salt & pepper

Mix all ingredients together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill until use.

Serve potato pancakes warm, atop a bed of arugula. Top with a dollop of lemon tarragon creme fraiche.

15 Responses

  1. Yay potatoes! Thank you, as always, for sharing your wisdom with the recipe swap, and in general. I think I say it every time, but your blog gets better with each post. :)

  2. Shari says:

    Delicious! And maybe the perfect little starter for a house warming I’m planning for this weekend! Thanks for the recipe :)

    Shari from

  3. PolaM says:

    Who wold have though of making pancakes starting from a doughnuts recipe? I am also not a sweet person, but I could not find a way of making this into a savory dish… You did a great job!

  4. Mari says:

    Deeeeee-lish! Such good comfort food fit for better weather :) I’m hoping you drank a nice glass of bubbles or rose with these.

  5. Love the savory spin on this recipe…and holy cow, Lemon Tarragon Creme Fraiche sounds sounds so refreshing. I need to make this soon!

  6. These sound so wonderful! Great interpretation! Love love love the lemon tarragon creme fraiche!

  7. Now we’re talkin’. You did not let down my psychic predication in my swap post about what you might offer up! This sounds delicious. Being more of a savory girl too this really speaks to me! Love your photos too. Really fabulous.

  8. Chef Dennis says:

    definitely a wow in my book!! You gotta love the potato, so versatile and just happy to be part of the meal! Great job with the recipe!

  9. sabrinamodel says:

    I love these, and totally want to sit down to a big plate of them. Like you, I prefer savory to sweet. I guess I’m just a salty gal.

  10. I am definitely a salt person as well. Savor over sweet every time. This recipe and dish looks fantastic – thanks for sharing!

  11. holy cow! these look amazing! perfect for a little appetizer or a light dinner!

    i am so sad i missed this swap, but i look forward to plenty more!

  12. Mmmm… last year I went crazy over making latkes for a while… these are making my mouth water so much I have to throw them together NOW!! Yummy!

  13. sarah says:

    Yum- so glad you went the savory route! And that lemon tarragon creme fraiche sounds dreamy!

  14. Nicolle says:

    Oh my! These look amazing. Beautiful presentation too.

  15. These look pretty and perfect! I am a sweets girl all the way – but I would not turn down a plate of these!

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