Mashed Potatoes’ Second Coming

3 cups cold mashed potatoes

1 tablespoon sour cream
1/3 cup Herbdacious
2/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 8-ounce packs of sliced bacon
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter


1.  In a large bowl, mix the mashed potatoes with the sour cream and Herbdacious.  In a smaller bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and black pepper.  Dump the dry mixture into the wet and mix with a spoon to combine.  It will be a sticky dough  Let it sit in the bowl for about 5 minutes to let the flour get comfortable with the potatoes. Then flour your work surface and dump the mixture out.

2.  Flour the top of the dough a bit and press it into a 3/4-inch-thick disc.  Use a biscuit cutter or even your knife to cut the dough into rounds or triangles--whatever suits you--and place the cakes on a baking sheet. Gather together and then press out the remaining dough and cut out additional cakes. Use flour all along the way to keep the dough from sticking.  Refrigerate the cakes, covered, for 15 minutes or up to overnight before pan-frying them.

3.  Lay two slices of bacon on your work surface so they form a cross. Put one potato cake in the center of the bacon cross and fold the edges up to meet at the center.  Now you have a potato bacon package of sorts.  Continue with the remaining potato cakes and bacon.  Once you've wrapped all of them, refrigerate seam-side down for 15 minutes or up to overnight before pan-frying.  

4.  Heat a 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat.  Add 2 tablespoons of the butter.  Once it's melted and starting to bubble, add half the potato cakes, bacon seam down.  Take care that they don't touch.  You'll need enough room to get in there with your spatula to flip them when the time comes.  Cook the potato cakes gently on the first side without disturbing them for about 5 minutes.  Flip, add another tablespoon butter and cook on the other side an additional 5 minutes.  The tops and bottoms of the cakes should be brown and crisp but overall they will feel fragile and bit delicate.  Transfer them to a plate, then follow up in the same way by cooking the remaining cakes in butter.  Serve warm.


2 heads garlic (about 20 cloves), peeled
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
¼ cup packed fresh parsley leaves
¼ cup tightly packed fresh dill, mint, chervil or cilantro
¼ cup roughly chopped scallions, green parts only
½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano (use a Microplane zester)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Grated zest of 2 lemons
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt


  1.  In a small saucepan, bring the garlic cloves and olive oil up to a simmer over very low heat.  If it begins to sizzle and boil, pull it off the heat and let cool slightly before you return it to the hot eye of the stove.  The idea is to slowly poach the garlic in the oil rather than fry it.  This could take as long as 20 minutes if you keep the heat low.  The garlic will be soft and just slightly browned.

  1. This garlic confit plus its oil are kitchen heroes on their own and can be used anywhere you want mellow garlic notes.  You could stop this recipe right here and save those little garlic bombs in the fridge for a month, submerged in oil.  Pureed, the cloves are especially useful as a means to thicken and add flavor to sauces.

  1. But you don’t get to Herbdacious by calling it quits early.  Once the garlic confit is completely cool, put it and all the remaining ingredients in the most powerful blender you have and let her rip until the mixture is smooth and green.  Store Herbdacious in a sealed container in your fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in your freezer for up to 3 months.

Special thanks to Vivian Howard for sharing these recipes from her new cookbook, “This Will Make It Taste Good.”