Potatoes


Smashed and Ready for the Oven

Smashed and Ready for the Oven

While this side dish takes time, it’s mostly waiting for water to boil and potatoes to cool.  With less than 15 minutes of active work, basic baby potatoes are transformed into a crispy, home fry-like, must-be-bad-for-me treat.

Ingredients

  • Baby red or yellow potatoes (the tiny ones are much better than the bigger, bagged variety)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray or extra virgin olive oil

Preparation

  1. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water.
  2. Add a dash or two of kosher salt to the water.
  3. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook the potatoes until they’re tender–about 30-35 minutes (pierce them with a fork to test).
  4. Drain the potatoes well.
  5. Cool the potatoes by either putting them in the fridge overnight (or for a few hours) or by placing them on a clean dish towel and letting them drain/cool for a few minutes.
  6. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  7. Spread potatoes on the cookie sheet(s).
  8. Gently press down on each potato with the palm of your hand to flatten it.  The flatter the potatoes, the crispier they can get.  Use a dish towel to flatten them if the they’re still hot.  Repeat with all the potatoes. (Don’t worry if they break apart a bit as they’re still tasty and usable.)
  9. If the potatoes weren’t already refrigerated, they can be at this point.
  10. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  11. Sprinkle the potatoes with kosher salt and pepper and cover with cooking spray/olive oil.
  12. Roast the potatoes until they’re crispy and deep brown around the edges, about 30 to 40 minutes, turning over once gently with a spatula or tongs halfway through cooking.

Yields about 4 side dish servings

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I love red skin potatoes.  While I’ve never been much of a fan of mashed potatoes and gravy (two to three times a week for dinner as a kid is enough for me), I’ve always been fond of red skins.  Paired with some fancy bacon and onions and flavored with chicken broth, these tubers are tasty.  Garlic fans: feel free to add as many cloves as you’d like.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds redskin potatoes, quartered (Golden Yukon work well, too)
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 quart chicken broth, low sodium and fat free
  • 5 slices pancetta, diced
  • 1 cup leeks, rinsed well and finely chopped
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper

Preparation

  1. In a stockpot, cook potatoes and garlic, covered with chicken broth (or a broth-water mixture) for about 15 minutes until potatoes are fork tender. Drain all broth but about ½ cup.
  2. Meanwhile, fry pancetta in a medium skillet over medium low heat.
  3. When pancetta is nearly crisp, add leeks and sauté for about a minute or until soft, but not brown. Remove from heat.
  4. Mash potatoes, garlic, and ½ cup broth, adding milk, sour cream, salt, and peppers.
  5. With a wooden spoon, stir in bacon and leeks. Reheat, if necessary.
  6. Taste, and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Yields 4 servings