Simple, elegant and flavorsome. Bundles of yumminess. These potatoes require only three ingredients: small red potatoes, salt and olive oil. The best part is the potatoes are boiled ahead of time. I am a fan of things done in steps. The potatoes are boiled for about 30 minutes, smashed and left to dry out for as long as 8 hours or as soon as 1 hour. I love to make them when I am not using the oven. Last night I made them to accompany Mark Bittman’s twice cooked pork. They are fantastic with a roasted chicken too. I’ve cooked them ahead, let them sit on the counter, and reheated them while the meat rested. Still fantastic. You do your best with one oven, right? You can fancy them up with flavorings like parmesan, onion powder or garlic powder. Try them plain first. The simplicity is what makes them heavenly. There is a little prep work for the pan, but it makes clean up effortless.
Let’s get cooking!
12 to 15 small red potatoes
about 3 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Place the potatoes in a pan. Fill with water to one inch above the potatoes and add 2 teaspoons of salt. You want the potatoes covered so they cook evenly. Cover the pan. Turn heat on high and bring water to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until the are tender. I test them with a sharp knife. To test for readiness, the knife should go in with little effort. This should take about 30 minutes.
While the potatoes are boiling, prepare the pan. I like to use a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Then I place parchment paper on top of the foil. Then I place a clean kitchen towel on top of the parchment. Stay with me! When the potatoes are done, place them on top of the kitchen towel. Let them drain for a minute.
Now comes the fun part. Smashing them! I fold another dishtowel into quarters, and place it over a potato. Push down with the heel of your palm. Flatten the potatoes to about 1/2 inch thickness. I love the popping noise they make as you push. Just me? Don’t worry if they break. You can still use them. Leave the potatoes to cool. If you aren’t using them in more than an hour or two, put them in the fridge.
Life the towel off the parchment. You can roll it back row by row also. Drizzle some olive oil on the parchment. Place the potatoes on top of olive oil. If they break, still put them on the parchment. They will still taste delicious! Sprinkle some olive oil on top of the potatoes and sprinkle with salt. The olive oil is what roasts them crisp and golden. The original directions say to heat oven to 450 degrees. If I do that, all the smoke detectors sing me a little ditty. So, I cook them at 400 degrees for a little bit longer, 45 minutes or so. If you are roasting a chicken at 350 degrees, plan on the potatoes taking about an hour. This recipe is very adaptable to temperature. They still crisp up, and the fire department doesn’t have to visit me. Win. Win. You can flip them half way through their cooking, using tongs or a spatula. They can still be fragile and break. I don’t flip them. Call me lazy, but they still cook through and crisp up. You want them to get a golden color. Serve them hot. I guarantee you, none will be left.