Thursday, July 7, 2011

Crispy Smashed Potatoes

Crispy twice cooked potatoes are topped at the last minute with green onion and just a pinch of bacon and cheese. A perfect side dish for those grilled steaks or chicken.
Crispy twice cooked potatoes are topped at the last minute with green onion and just a pinch of bacon and cheese. A perfect side dish for those grilled steaks or chicken.

Crispy Smashed Potatoes

A potato is a pretty amazing little side dish. There must literally be thousands of ways to serve them from mashed to casseroles and every way in-between. There are even a variety of ways to simply bake them, such as cut into chunks and open roasted, or sliced and roasted covered, both different from the other and each different from a plain potato, baked naked, directly on the oven rack. Each method provides a different texture.

Same with these double-cooked, crispy, smashed potatoes, originating as Crash Hot Potatoes from Australian food writer, Jill Dupleix a few years back, but perhaps more readily recognized as being brought to fame by superstar Pioneer Woman blogger, Ree Drummond.

Smaller red or tiny new potatoes are best for this crispy side dish and are first boiled to cook them through and make them creamy. The potatoes are gently smashed down flat, and returned to the oven so that all of the bends and edges crisp up. I loved the way the Dupleix said to "blast them in a hot oven until they are terminally crisp," because indeed you don't want to take them out until they are well browned and crispy - that's the key that makes this side dish unique.

To start with you need some cooked potatoes. You really want a smaller potato for this recipe so look for the tiny new potatoes or slightly larger red potatoes. You could probably bake these, or microwave them, but I chose to boil them. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add salt; boil whole, unpeeled potatoes until fork tender. Set aside to drain. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Apply oil to a jelly roll pan, and roll the potatoes in the oil, coating all sides. Cut slashes lightly into the top of the potato.


Using a potato masher slowly and carefully press down on the potatoes to flatten them; trying not to break the potatoes apart. Sorry, I forgot to get a picture of that step. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt, pepper and fresh rosemary. Cut some cold butter into very thin slices - one slice for each potato that you have.


Stuff a slice of the butter into each smashed potato and then drizzle the tops with additional olive oil, or drizzle with melted bacon fat for added flavor. Bake at 450 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until potato becomes very crisp and browned on top. You can stop right here and serve these as a very delicious side dish alongside a grilled steak or chicken, or really, just about any protein.


I wanted to sort of take a cue on Loaded Potato Skins and go a bit further than that though, so I finished them with a sprinkling of green onion, and a pinch of cooked and crumbled bacon and shredded cheese.


Return the tray to the oven just long enough for cheese to melt. Serve two or more of the smaller new potatoes, depending on their size, or one red potato per person as a side dish.



Recipe: Crispy Smashed Potatoes

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 25 min
Total time: 40 min

Yield: About 4 to 6 servings


Ingredients:
  • 6 small red potatoes or 12 tiny new potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons+ of extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary
  • Thin slices of cold butter, one for each potato
  • 1 green onion, sliced thin
  • 3 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup of shredded cheese
Instructions:

Bring a large pot of water to boil and add a couple pinches of salt; boil whole, unpeeled potatoes until fork tender, about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on size. Set aside to drain. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Apply oil to a jelly roll pan, and roll the potatoes in the oil, coating all sides. Cut slashes lightly into the top of the potato. Using a potato masher slowly and carefully press down on the potatoes to flatten them; try not to break them apart. Sprinkle potatoes with salt, pepper and rosemary. Stuff each potato with a thin slice of butter and drizzle all over the top with olive oil.

Bake at 450 for 20 to 25 minutes, or until potato becomes very crisp and browned on top. Remove, top with green onion, crumbled bacon and a pinch of shredded cheese; return to the oven just long enough for cheese to melt.

Cook's Notes: Get creative topping these - sauteed mushrooms or peppers, pan seared andouille sausage, caramelized onion, a dab of chili, broccoli cheese sauce, a spoonful of pulled pork or chicken, or taco toppings - any favorite baked potato topping works! Fried potatoes can be kept warm in a sheet pan in a 200 degree F oven up to 30 minutes. Sprinkle with green onion, cooked and crumbled bacon and cheese, if desired, before serving. Instead of olive oil, drizzle the tops of the potatoes with the fat from the bacon drippings for extra flavor.

Greek Smashed Potatoes: Prepare as above in first step. Mix 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon and 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper and brush mixture on both sides of potatoes for next step.

Skillet Fried Smashed Potatoes: Can also pan fry or deep fry potatoes for the second step. Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Carefully transfer the smashed potatoes with a spatula to skillet, then lower heat to medium-low and cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 20 minutes total. To deep fry, use enough oil to fully cover the potatoes and fry until browned and crisped.

Smashed Sweet Potatoes: Choose smaller and longer sweet potatoes, cooking whole using your favorite method allowing to cool slightly. Cut into thick slices, approximately 1-1/2 to 2 inches thick, leaving skin intact. Gently smash and finish as above, checking at 15 minutes.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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Posted by on July 7, 2011
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