The Covered Dish - Corn & Potato Cakes

September 28, 2023

Potatoes, like beans, were a standard during the Great Depression. Potatoes were used as a side, a main entrée, or in breakfast dishes and breads. They've saved many families from starvation during war times and famines. I am thoroughly convinced if potatoes weren't starches people would still be eating them in ample portions. Actually, of all starch’s potatoes are the best for us. Plus, if they are refrigerated for 24 hours, they become a resistance starch and ‘resist’ turning into 100% carbohydrate. Instead, they are absorbed at a slower rate and contain far less carbs. That’s definitely a win/win.

Potato Cakes have been a favorite in my family for generations. I grew up on them at Grandma & Grandpa Richardson’s farm, located in Monticello, Missouri. After a ‘big’ Sunday dinner there would frequently be leftover mashed potatoes.
Since the freezer was full of home-grown sweet corn it too would find it’s way into Grandma Lucy’s potato cakes. In other households it may have only been potatoes made into the cakes along with flour, egg, and leavening. Chives, green onions, herbs and other enticing flavors have made their way into the cakes through the years. Today we also find them topped with salsas, sauces, cheeses and relishes. It’s not surprising to find them on the appetizer menu of southern and Ozarkian restaurants.’

I’ll give you a fun hint, you can actually use the real mashed potatoes found at your local grocery store. I actually used them when I wrote this recipe because at the time, they contained exactly 3 cups of ‘real’ mashed potatoes. Unfortunately, these little gems aren’t quite as reasonable these days.

Served as a side I would accompany them with a variety of main entrees: fried chicken, roasts, black eyed peas and ham, pork dishes and the lists go on.

Surprise your family with a down-home batch of these lovely cakes. Your family will beg you to make them again and again.
Many foods of the Depression are making a comeback, as I’ve noted in a couple of my columns this past month. I’ll most likely dive into some fall foods for most of October and early November. Would I scare you if I told you I’m all ready thinking about Thanksgiving Dinner? Seriously, YES!!! Actually, I’m thinking about lots of cooking and preserving I want to get accomplished before this big holiday. The kitchen is calling, I’m trying to get my house back in order after the big wedding reception I did last weekend. Go forth and do good things & your life will be so fulfilling. Simply yours, The Covered Dish.

Corn & Potato Cakes

1 (15 oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained

24 ounces (3 cups) mashed potatoes

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 large egg

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

¼ cup finely diced onion

½ teaspoon seasoning salt

¼ cup flour

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. You can make these cakes/fritters in a deep fat fryer or on a griddle. Brush the griddle with oil and drop just a few cakes on at a time. Cook until the fritter is golden brown and then flip over.

Consider using chives, green chilies, green onions, roasted red peppers, and different cheeses in this dish.

In many regions folks top their fritters or corn cakes with honey & sweet jellies, jams and salsas and the like. My family wouldn’t even consider any of these embellishments, they love them just the way they’re prepared.