Tomorrow my kids are leaving for summer camp and as per our usual family tradition, I let them choose what we have for their last homemade dinner...the proverbial "last meal". To go with the herb-crusted roast beef they unanimously chose for the main, my daughter unpredictably requested steamed broccoli (really?) and my son predictably requested mashed potatoes, his all-time favorite food.
And so I set out to market to buy the freshest, most gorgeous ingredients available for my babies. The broccoli? Check. The Yukon Golds for the mashed potatoes? Not so much. They were not pretty...not pretty at all. On the other hand, the new spring baby potatoes were outstanding. At that point that I decided that it was time for my baby boy to grow up and try something new: smashed potatoes.
A distant cousin of the classic mashed, smashed potatoes have the same fluffy interior but with a crunchy, more flavorful outer shell. They are super-easy to make, gorgeous alongside roast beef, chicken, or any other main course, and unlike the "rules" of traditional mashed potatoes, lumps are encouraged.
Smashing (you must say this in an affected British accent) Smashed Potatoes
20-25 baby potatoes, skin on.
3-4 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
2 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp seasoning salt
1 sprig chopped FRESH rosemary
1. Place whole potatoes in a saucepan, cover with cold water and boil until soft, about 15-20 min.
2. Drain onto a dry cloth to remove all of the moisture.
3. While they are drying (and slightly) cooling, coat the bottom of an 8 x 8 square baking dish with 1 tbps of the oil and 1 tsp of the salt.
4. Place all of the potatoes in a single layer in the dish and using the bottom of a jar or something similar, lightly smash to about ½ their original height . Its OK if they touch but they should still maintain their own personal "space".
5. Let cool for about 10 min. The steam will escape, making for fluffier smashed potatoes.
6. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the cooled-off potatoes. Use your hands to make sure the potatoes are evenly coated.
7. Bake at 425 for about ½ hour-45 min or until they are getting crispy and golden brown.
Serve and enjoy!
PS. About the originally-requested mashed potatoes? My son completely forgot about them.