Just in case you had any doubt, I love potatoes. Mashed, roasted, sliced, diced, fried, braised, and grilled, potatoes are infinitely adaptable and always delicious. One of my favorite ways to fix potatoes came from one of the very first food blogs we started to read, Roots and Grubs. Matthew is always entertaining to read, even though he rarely blogs these days. He wrote a book, Hungry Monkey, about raising his daughter to be an adventurous eater. Back when he was posting recipes, there was one in particular that became an instant hit in our house – his recipe for smashed and roasted potatoes. The original recipe came from Fine Living Magazine, though I can’t find a link to it now.
This is such a simple recipe that it doesn’t even warrant standard recipe format.
Get yourself a bag of spud nuts from Olsen Farms. You can also use small potatoes of various shapes and varieties. Try to make sure that all of the potatoes are approximately the same size. Bring a saucepan of water to a gentle simmer. Remember, don’t boil your potatoes, just simmer them. Add the potatoes and cook until they are fork tender, but not falling apart. I prefer to cook them until they are not quite fork tender and then turn off the water and let them sit for another 2-3 minutes before draining them and letting them cool.
Once the potatoes have cooled enough so they can be easily handled, preheat the oven to 450 and drizzle some olive oil onto a cookie sheet. Place each potatoes on the sheet and with either the heel of your hand or a ramekin, smash the potato flat. Drizzle the potatoes with more olive oil (don’t skimp on it) and sprinkle the potatoes with salt (kosher salt is fine, but Secret Stash Salt would be even better). Roast the potatoes for 20-30 minutes or until brown and crispy. Serve and enjoy.
Notes: The actual recipe said you should cool the potatoes thoroughly. They even suggested you boil the potatoes up to 8 hours ahead. We don’t usually have time for that. But, we found that boiling them, smashing them, and roasting them all within the same hour didn’t produce quite as crunchy results. If you’re using spud nuts, the potatoes will likely take around 20-25 minutes. If you’re using golf ball sized potatoes, plan on closer to 35-40 minutes. These potatoes are also great cold.
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