Smashed potatoes are having a moment, and we are totally here for it. If you don’t believe it, just check out #smashedpotatoes on Instagram and prepare to be amazed. If you haven’t tried smashed spuds yet, do it! They are a little bit crispy, a little bit melt-in-your-mouth, and a whole lot of delicious. You don’t need to order at a restaurant to get them – they’re easy to make at home. Check out these tips and tricks for the perfect smashed potatoes.
What Are Smashed Potatoes Anyway?
Smashed potatoes are a cunning hybrid of boiled and roasted potatoes that give you the best of both cooking techniques. Basically, small potatoes are simmered until tender, flattened to increase their surface area and add lots of nooks and crannies to hold yummy seasonings (that’s the “smashing” part), then broiled on a baking sheet in the oven until crisp. You can add different seasonings and toppings for an almost infinite number of mouthwatering variations on this theme. Here’s Food Network Magazine’s recipe for their preferred smashed spud offering.
Follow these tips to take something that’s already good, and make it a smash hit!
Choose the Right Potato
Little potatoes are best for smashing – around the size of a golf ball is ideal, because they have the perfect ratio of skin to flesh. Larger potatoes are hard to flatten and won’t get as crisp. New red potatoes or baby Yukon golds are great. But if you only have larger potatoes in your pantry, don’t despair. Just cut them in half or quarters to get them near golf ball size before simmering, and then place the skin side down on the baking sheet when you’re ready to smash and broil.
Increase the Surface Area
The flatter the potatoes, the crispier they will get in the oven. Once you spread them on the baking sheet, smash them firmly with a spatula, potato masher, rolling pin, or even a cooking pot, until the skins crack. Just remember – you’re going for flattened, but not completely pulverized.
Fill ’Em With Flavor
Before you slide those smashed potatoes into the oven, drizzle them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Then sprinkle with spices or grated cheese if you want. One of our favorite combos: garlic butter, diced fresh chives, and shredded parmesan. Mmmmmm.
Heat Things Up
Some smashed potato recipes call for roasting to crisp the potatoes, but we recommend using the broiler with your oven rack positioned around 5 to 6 inches from the heating element. The high heat of the broiler gets the skins extra golden. Just keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn.
So make like the Incredible Hulk and start smashing (your potatoes, that is). For more good eats, check out the Redstone at Sun Tan Village blog.