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Sweet Potato Pancakes with Pecans

Now, that you’ve picked over the turkey carcass, made sandwiches of mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry, and stuffing, and finished off the last of that pie, there’s just a few things left to polish off from this year’s Thanksgiving feast.  One of these is likely to be the remnants of the sweet potato dish.  For the potluck I went to this year, I was asked to bring along a creation using this vegetable.  I had about a cup of the potatoes that didn’t fit in to the serving platter I was bringing to the party.  So I decided to whip up a batch of Sweet Potato Pancakes using the leftovers.

Cooked Sweet Potatoes

The original batch of sweet potatoes was cooked until completely tender and then mashed with a fork.  I added a few tablespoons of butter and about half a cup of chicken stock to it as well as some Chinese 5-spice powder, ginger, and salt.  As a finishing touch I mixed everything with grated peel of one orange and half an orange worth of juice.  The idea was to make a side dish that was savory with a bit more depth than the usual marshmallow-topped platter that graces holiday tables.  You can use plain mashed sweet potatoes in this recipe, but adding some of these extra flavors works well in the pancakes.

Unadorned pancakes

This experiment worked out to be a tasty, post-Thanksgiving breakfast and was much more fun to try than the Turkey Curry I made last year.  I’m almost tempted to make extra sweet potatoes in the future when I’m preparing them for any dish just so that I can make these pancakes again.  I might also see if I can turn the leftovers into muffins so that I can freeze them and hang on to the flavors of fall for a bit longer.

Sweet Potato Pancakes with Maple Syrup & Pecans

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Prep Time:  20 minutes (minus time cooking potatoes)

Serving Size: 4 people (unless they are really hungry)


2 Tbsp. unsalted Butter

1 Egg White

1 whole Egg

1 c. whole Milk

1 cup prepared Sweet Potatoes*

1 1/4 c. all-purpose Flour

2 tsp. Baking Powder

1/4 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Sugar

Canola oil (for cooking pancakes)

Maple Syrup and Pecan Halves to serve


Melt butter in a heat-proof container.  While the butter is cooling, put egg white and white from whole egg into a bowl.  Set aside the egg yolk.  Whip the egg white until it is frothy.  In a large bowl, mix together milk, egg yolk, and butter. Add sweet potatoes and stir, making sure that there are minimal lumps.

Wet ingredients

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  Mix together flower, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

Dry ingredients

Take the bowl with the dry ingredients and start to whisk them little by little into the wet ingredients until they are thoroughly combined and there are no lumps.  Add frothed egg white (and any liquid that has separated) and mix everything together until the batter is smooth.

Finished batter

Get a griddle or frying pan nice and hot.  Pour a little canola oil on the griddle, enough to create a thin film on the surface.  With a ladle or spoon, scoop about 2 Tbsp. batter into a mound on the griddle.  Make sure to space the pancakes far enough apart so that they don’t touch.

Pancakes on the griddle

When bubbles appear on the top of the pancakes, check the underside to see if it is cooked and just lightly browned.  I like to let mine get a little extra crispy around the edge, but I am related to people who will eat them only if they are pale as snow.  Flip them over to cook for about a minute or so more on the second side.

Pancakes ready to be flipped over

When the pancakes are cooked through, remove them from the griddle and serve them immediately.  Pour maple syrup on top and sprinkle them with pecans.

Buon appetito!

*Prepared sweet potatoes:  Take one cup of the sweet potatoes, add 1 tsp. orange zest, 1 tsp. orange juice, and 1/2 tsp of mixed spices (Chinese 5-spice powder, pumpkin pie spice or a mix of your favorite spices) OR use whatever leftovers you have from Thanksgiving dinner, minus the marshmallows.

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