I have been making an effort to clear out the old and unwanted since Christmas. About a week ago I took a stab at my office. I needed to clear out stuff from my now shuttered business and re-organize to give myself some space for new good things to come in. While going through a stack of magazines I came across a recipe in the Janury 2007 issue of Fine Cooking for Crispy Smashed Potatoes by Susie Middleton. I didn't recall ever seeing it before, and yet as soon as I saw the picture of the golden, crisped edged potatotes, I knew I had to get cookin'! The recipe calls for pre-cooking baby red potatoes just until tender, draining them, smashing them, cooling them, and re-cooking them. The smashed potato reminds me of peppermint swirls or pinwheels in potato form. You just have to try these!
Crispy Smashed Potaotes
adapted from Fine Cooking, January 2007
12-15 baby red potatoes
2 3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 c. extra virgin Olive oil
1. Put potatoes in a large saucepan in one layer with 2 tsp of salt and enough water to cover by 1 inch.
2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30-35 minutes until potatoes are cooked through and easily pierced with a skewer. Don't over-cook or they'll just be mush.
3. Set up a double layer of clean dish cloths. When potatoes are done, remove potatoes individually to dishcloths to drain.
4. Unless you have asbestos fingers, use another clean dishtowel, folded into quarters, to gently press down on each potato with the plam of your hand. Flatten to about 1/2" thick. Don't worry if some break apart a bit.
5. Line a half sheet pan with foil and top with parchment paper. Carefully transfer flattened potatoes to sheet pan. Cool c ompletely. (Can be prepared up to this point 8 hours ahead, cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate).
6. Preheat oven to 450 (or convection set to 400 degrees). Pour olive oil over each potato, gently lifting to make sure some oil runs underneath to well coat both sides. Sprinkle potatoes with remaining 3/4 tsp salt (might want a little more) and roast for 30-40 minutes, turning once gently with a spatula or tongs. Potatoes will be done when they are crispy and deep brown around the edges.
We enjoyed these along a roasted pork roast with roasted veggies and homemade pear sauce. I can truthfully tell you that had we made a meal of only these potatoes, not one of us would have complained. I always remember Elizabeth Gilbert in her book Eat, Pray, Love saying in Italy she felt like she was on the no carbohydrate left behind tour. Yes, indeed that is it exactly! I could have easily eaten the whole lot by myself...with a smile! These are not to be missed. I envision them subbing in for potato skins with cheese, sour cream and bacon on them. The skin gets so crackly it nearly shatters. The salt just keeps everything going crazy in your mouth. They are gorgeous to look at! Use them as an appetizer, a side dish or a meal. I can hardly wait to make them again, and again, and again, and........