Happy Thanksgiving! I trust that you are reading this at some point on the big day, in between bouts of potato mashing and pie crust rolling. Have a fantastic feast.

Once you have eaten the last bite, and you clear the dishes and settle in to enjoy the holiday, one thing is certain. There will be leftovers. If you’re lucky, you should be able to skip the grocery store for a few days and subsist on reheated stuffing, cold pumpkin pie, and that tin of spiced pecans from Aunt Mary.

This is the time to repurpose the leftovers. A sandwich with cranberry sauce is always good, whether you stuff it with tofurkey or cheese from the appetizer tray. Leftover stuffing can be bound with an egg and pressed into muffin tins to bake for a portable stuffing snack. There’s always the frittata approach, just whisk a few eggs and stir in stuffing and leftover veggies, put it in a pie pan, portobella caps or pepper halves and bake.

Leftover vegetables need never go to waste. To make a delicious pasta sauce, just saute a little garlic in olive oil and then toss in your green beans, carrots or roasted Brussels sprouts. Add cooked penne, toasted almonds or Parmesan, and you have a meal. You can make the same move with fried rice — just cook brown rice, and fry it with leftover peas, carrots, green beans or broccoli, and season with soy sauce, toss in an egg or some tofu. Even slightly overcooked veggies can live on, pureed with some milk for a creamy soup.

If you went overboard in making mashed potatoes, you now have a great base to make into these tasty cakes. Traditional aloo tiki is a small cake made of mashed potatoes and peas, with a little cilantro and spice, fried to a crispy finish and served with a mint or cilantro chutney. For our leftover potato cake, I bound and coated the cake with some crunchy panko, to keep the soft potatoes from falling apart. I also added some cashews, for a little protein and crunch. You can shallow-fry them, or bake them for a lighter approach. In keeping with the season, a cranberry chutney will help ease any sadness that the holiday is over.

You may find yourself making extra mashed potatoes more often, just to make these cakes.

Leftover Mashed Potato Aloo Tiki With Cranberry Chutney

Serves 4 (makes 8 cakes).

Note: These are delicate cakes, crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside, studded with crunchy cashews. Because you are starting with leftover mashed potatoes, you may be working with potatoes that have had quantities of milk and butter added, making them quite soft. If that is the case, add more breadcrumbs to stiffen the mixture. Panko breadcrumbs are lighter and bigger than the traditional dry breadcrumb, which could be used. To toast cashews, roast them in a 350-degree oven for a few minutes until fragrant. From Robin Asbell.

• 1/2 c. peas

• 2 c. mashed potatoes

 1/2 c. toasted cashews, finely chopped (see Note)

 1 medium jalapeño, seeded and chopped

 1/4 c. fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

• 1 tsp. ground coriander

• 1/2 tsp. chili powder

• 1/2 tsp. salt

 About 1 1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs, divided (see Note)

• Canola oil, for pan


• 2 c. cranberries

• 2 tbsp. fresh ginger, chopped

 1 large orange, zested and juiced

• 1 tbsp. cider vinegar

 4 large dates, pitted and chopped

• 1/4 c. raisins

• 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

• 1/2 tsp. chili powder

• 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• Brown sugar, optional

• Plain yogurt, optional


In a large bowl, place the peas and mash them coarsely with a fork. They should all be broken.

Add the potatoes, cashews, jalapeño, cilantro, coriander, chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and mix well. Stir in about ½ cup of panko to stiffen the mixture.

Place 1 cup panko in a bowl and form 8 (1/4 cup) portions of the potato mixture. Place each in the panko and gently turn to coat, then place on a plate and flatten to make a disk about 3/4 inch thick. Chill for at least 30 minutes or an hour.

To make the chutney: In a 2-quart pot, place the cranberries, ginger, 3/4 cup orange juice, 1 tablespoon zest (reserve any extra for another use), vinegar, dates, raisins, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring. Adjust the heat to simmer gently, and stir frequently until all the cranberries have popped, the dried fruit is very soft, and the liquids are thick. Taste the chutney and if you think it needs brown sugar add 1 to 2 tablespoons.

The potato cakes can be either baked or fried. To bake: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. When the oven is hot, spread canola oil on a sheet pan and place the potato cakes on the pan. Bake for 15 minutes, then carefully flip and bake for 10 minutes longer, just until browned.

To fry: place a large sauté pan over medium high heat for a minute, then pour in oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Carefully place the potato cakes in the pan, leaving an inch of space between them. When they start to sizzle, reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 3 minutes per side. When the crumbs are crispy and golden brown, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Serve the potato cakes hot with chutney and yogurt, if desired.


Robin Asbell is a cooking instructor and author of “Big Vegan,” “The Whole Grain Promise” and “Great Bowls of Food.” Find her at robinasbell.com.