Oh, the simple potato. Such an often misunderstood vegetable. Many people love to hate it because it’s (gasp!) high in carbohydrates. However, there is nothing wrong with eating potatoes, provided that your portion sizes are reasonable (1/2 cup is a serving) and they are prepared in a healthy way (ie. not deep fried). In fact, when cooked and eaten with their skin on, potatoes are a source of potassium (a nutrient that many people are woefully lacking), vitamin C, fiber, vitamin B6 and iron. So go ahead and enjoy a serving of these delicious Crispy Smashed Potatoes – without the guilt.
This is one of my absolutely favorite ways to prepare potatoes. Despite their nutritional bonuses, I have never much been a huge potato lover. Give me bread or pasta instead, any day. But these crispy morsels of potato goodness I love. Though they do take quite a bit of time to prepare, the actual hands on time is minimal. Just bake with some water to soften, smash and drizzle with olive oil, then bake again for the ultimate crispy potato.
Seasoning on these bad boys is minimal. Just salt, pepper and thyme, which is really optional. The delicious potato flavor shines through with just salt and pepper. However, you could spice them up to suit your tastes or your meal. They’d also be great with garlic (I’d mix it right into the oil to avoid burning), Parmesan or red pepper flakes.
Making this recipe does require a specific type of potato. You need red-skinned potatoes, and they need to be small. Like, tiny – no more than one and a half to two inches. Look for potatoes labeled “baby”. Products from The Little Potato Company will definitely work. Don’t try to use larger potatoes as they won’t crisp up like the little ones will.
Now, let’s take a break from this potato talk for a minute. It’s time for me to say Bon Voyage. I’m taking a trip to Canada to visit family and friends. A much needed and anticipated trip as most of our family has not yet met Baby J. I have decided that this time, I’m going to take a break from the blog while I’m away. While I usually try to keep a somewhat regular posting schedule when I travel, it can be a bit stressful. Since this trip will be all about visiting, that’s what I’m going to focus my time on. However, when I get back, I’ll tell you all about it. See you in a few weeks!
- 2 pounds small red potatoes (no larger than 1.5-2 inch diameter)
- ¾ cup water
- 6 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme or ¼ tsp dried thyme (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- Move oven racks to top and bottom position; heat oven to 500°F. Spread potatoes onto a rimmed baking sheet and pour the water onto the baking sheet. Wrap tightly with aluminum foil. Cook potatoes on the bottom rack for 25-30 minutes, until a paring knife or skewer pokes into the potatoes easily through the foil. Carefully remove foil and cool for 10 minutes. If there is any water left on the pan, dry with a paper towel.
- Drizzle half (3 tablespoons) of the olive oil over the cooled potatoes and roll them around to coat. Press down on the potatoes to flatten to ⅓ to ½ inch with a second rimmed baking sheet, plate, flat kitchen mallet or the palm of your hand. Sprinkle potatoes with thyme (if using) and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Roast potatoes on the top rack for 15 minutes. Move pan to the bottom rack and continue to roast for 20-30 more minutes, until potatoes are well browned. Serve immediately.
*Note: Recipe adapted from The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2013
Note: Nutrition info is calculated using 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Depending on how much salt you add, the sodium content of these potatoes will vary.