Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Courtesy of The Pioneer Woman Cooks, this simple but clever technique combines the tenderness of baked potatoes and the brownness of roasted potatoes with the crispness of fried potatoes. Perhaps because I didn’t have PW’s awesome potato masher (I used a meat tenderizing mallet), perhaps because I didn’t boil my potatoes quite long enough, perhaps because they were too big, or most likely because I wasn’t gentle enough (Hulk smash!), I botched the crashing part of the recipe, shattering my potatoes into a crumbled mess instead of PW’s neat-looking patties, but they still tasted great. I served them with meatloaf and slow-cooked carrots (which always go together on my menus), and it was a perfect new-wave meat-and-potatoes meal. I sense this will become my go-to side-dish potato recipe...once I hone my potato-squishing skillz, anyway.

8-12 smallish red potatoes
Olive oil
Coarse salt
Black pepper
Fresh rosemary (or other fresh herb, such as chives, parsley, thyme, or oregano), chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the potatoes until fork-tender.

3. Generously drizzle olive oil on a baking sheet. Place the cooked potatoes on the baking sheet, leaving plenty of space between them. Using a potato masher, gently press down on each potato until it slightly mashes, then rotate the potato masher 90 degrees and mash again. Brush the top of each crushed potato generously with olive oil. Sprinkle potatoes with salt, pepper, and chopped herbs.

4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Serves: 4
Time: 1 hour
Leftover potential: Neutral. I wouldn't make these with the specific intention of having leftovers, but I certainly wouldn't throw the remnants away, either. I had some the next day and while they weren’t icky, the delightful crispiness was gone, leaving them basically tasting like baked potatoes. Which is fine, but far less exciting than CRASH HOT!

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