I love potatoes oh so much. Mashed, roasted, baked. Purple, red, russet. You name it, I’ll eat it. This smashed potato recipe has me seriously ready for the cooler months. It’s just the ultimate comfort food that make this time of year a little easier.
Comfort food, and especially potatoes, get so demonized in mainstream health media. It’s a shame because potatoes are a great vegetable that are rich in vitamins and minerals. Not to mention it’s totally okay to genuinely enjoy and find comfort in the food we eat. The more we let ourselves explore the satisfaction factor, the greater peace we can find with all foods. The more peace we have with all types of food, the less bingeing and preoccupation we will have.
Potatoes. I particularly love waxy potatoes because they are so much more tender and fluffy than the standard workhorse potatoes that we see most often, like a russet. For this recipe pick purple, red bliss, or young yellow. Try to grab only small, round, and relatively uniformed potatoes to guarantee even cooking.
Steaming. This is the technique. This will get you a tender on the inside, crispy on the outside roasted potato, every time. It’s because steaming, versus boiling, will prevent a waterlogged potato, an important detail that will help the potatoes crisp up in the oven. Plus, the gentle nature of steaming will keep the shape and skins of the potatoes intact.
Smashing. This informal technique is basically just applying a little pressure via a flat-bottomed vessel of some sort to slightly flatten each potato into a disc. The potato will burst a bit and create lots of surface area to roast evenly and produce plenty of crispiness. Yum!
Randomly add more parmesan to a few of the smashed potatoes. The cheese will melt and cook like a parmesan chip. Such a yummy flavor and added texture.
Seasoning. The reason additional oil and seasonings are added throughout the cooking process (at 3 points to be exact) is to avoid drowning the potatoes from the start. As more moisture and seasonings are needed, eyeball the addition so that you get a good browned crisp instead of oily and soggy potatoes. It also helps carry the flavor as it all cooks. Don’t fret, it sounds complicated but it’s really more instinctive than precision cooking.
Dairy Substitution. If parmesan won’t work for you, don’t skip this recipe by. The technique can be applied without the use of parmesan. Instead, substitute dairy for dried herb mixtures like an Italian blend or Herb de Provence. Or, try nutritional yeast!