Like a lot of people, I have a list that’s, at least, a mile long of all of the things I need to do when I have the time. Pictures to organize, closets to rearrange, clothes to go through, baby books to (finally) write in… you get the picture. Add to this the list of recipes I’ve wanted to try for ages, but haven’t, and the list gets much, much longer. This is one of those recipes that caught my eye ages ago and I just hadn’t gotten around to making it. Now that I finally did, I’m irritated that I didn’t do it before because they were really good and, as far as recipes go, kind of fun!
I started by boiling some baby red potatoes in salted water for about 30 minutes. The potatoes need to be cooked, but not overcooked and mushy. When you are able to poke them with a metal or wooden skewer easily, they are ready to come off the stove.
I removed the potatoes from the water and let them sit on a doubled up kitchen towel for just a couple of minutes, to cool off a bit.
Here’s where the fun part comes in. Next, I doubled up another clean dishtowel and, using it as a cover, I smooshed each potato! I didn’t totally flatten them, just smashed them until they were about 1/2 inch thick.
At this point, I moved the potatoes to a foil covered cookie sheet. There, I let the potatoes cool off for a few more minutes. I made these for my family, but they would be great potatoes to entertain with. Once smashed, you can lightly cover the potatoes and pop them in the fridge for up to 8 hours before finishing them up in the oven, if you don’t need them right away.
I did need them right away, however, so after I had them on the cookie sheet, I drizzled them with a little bit of olive oil. The original recipe called for 1/2 cup of olive oil. I didn’t need nearly that much. After a little more than a 1/4 of a cup, I felt like I had sufficiently oiled potatoes. I carefully lifted up the edge of each potato with a fork, just to make sure that some of the oil got to the bottom of each potato.
After they were oiled up, I sprinkled them with a little kosher salt and popped them into the oven. There, they baked for about 30 minutes more.
When I took them out of the oven, they were perfectly crisp around the edges, but soft and buttery on the inside. My family loved them and gobbled up every last one. They might just be the perfect little potato. I made them as simply as possible, but there are so many ways these potatoes could be jazzed up a bit that I might have to play around with the recipe next time. I keep picturing them as an appetizer at a Super Bowl party, topped with a little bacon, cheese, chives and sour cream as a substitute for potato skins. Mmmm…I might just have to do that. Throw some other ideas my way! What could you do with these little guys?
CRISPY SMASHED ROASTED POTATOES
Adapted from Fine Cooking
- 12-15 baby red or yellow potatoes (about 1 oz. each, 1½ -2 inches in diameter)
- 2¾ tsp. kosher salt
- ¼-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Place the potatoes in a large saucepan (one that's large enough for them to all fit in one layer) and cover with water by an inch. Add 2 tsp. of the kosher salt to the water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the potatoes are easily pierced by a metal or wooden skewer, but not overcooked.
- Set up a doubled up, clean dishtowel out on the counter. Remove the potatoes from the water individually and set them on the dishtowel. Let them drain and cool on the dishtowels for just a minute or two.
- Fold another clean dishtowel in quarters and, using it as a cover, gently smash each potato with the palm of your hand. Flatten it to a thickness of about ½ inch. If one or two fall apart, it's OK. You can still use them.
- Cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Carefully move the smashed potatoes to the baking sheet. Let them cool completely at room temperature. (At this point, you could cover them and refrigerate them for up to 8 hours before proceeding.)
- Heat the oven to 450* (If you have a convection function on your oven, heat to 400*.)
- Pour the olive oil over the potatoes. You may not need all of the oil. You be the judge. Carefully lift each potato up a bit with a fork to make sure that the bottom of each potato is oiled as well. Sprinkle the potatoes with ¾ tsp. of the kosher salt.
- Roast the potatoes until they are crispy around the edges and browned. If you feel like they are browning up too much on the bottom, carefully turn them over about ¾ of the way through the cooking time. (I didn't have to.) If you are using a convection oven, roast them for 30 minutes. If using a regular, conventional oven, 30-40 minutes. Remove them from the pan and let them drain for a minute on paper towels before serving. Serve hot.