Ah, potatoes, the most versatile of vegetables. They can be baked, boiled, roasted, fried, grilled, mashed, pureed and smashed! Which is my new favorite way to enjoy this addictive tuber.
I first had this preparation at Vernetti on Larchmont. To die for! OK. I will own up to the fact that theirs are better. But then again they deep-fry those crispy nuggets in a vat of sizzling oil. This recipe calls for roasting the potatoes in a miniscule amount of fat in comparison – just a few tablespoons. Which makes for fewer calories and less clean up, as I line the sheet pans with foil.
One way to get more crispness in place of deep frying is to add baking soda to the boiling water for the first step in preparation, which is to pre-boil the potatoes. Another is to allow the cooked potatoes to dry thoroughly in the colander before roasting, so they don’t steam. I boiled the potatoes a few hours ahead and let them sit in the sink draining until I was ready to prepare dinner. And, as with all roasted veggies, don’t crowd the pan. I used two sheet pans and rotated oven racks for even cooking and browning.
I like to serve with the usual suspects – sides of ketchup and plant-based ranch. Hot sauce for you addicts would be good, too. Please note that these are absolutely delicious without any toppings…one after the other!
Crispy Smashed Potatoes:
2 ¼ pounds small Yukon gold or red potatoes, try to get similar sized ones
1 T baking soda
1 T kosher salt
4 T cooking oil, I used sunflower for its high heat properties
1 tsp kosher salt
¾ tsp garlic powder
¾ tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
Optional sides of ketchup, ranch and hot sauce
Step One: Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add the baking soda and salt to dissolve and then carefully add the potatoes. Cook until just fork tender, about 20-25 minutes, depending on size. Drain and give a good long rinse with very cold water to stop the cooking process. Let drain in the colander until dry.
Step Two: When ready to roast, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line two sheet pans with foil or roast directly on the metal pan. Brush the foil (or pans) with some of the oil to cover. Divide the potatoes between the two pans, with space between each one. Using a potato masher or large fork, smash down the potatoes until flattened. The thinner they are, the crispier. For a moister interior, smash less. Brush each potato with the remaining oil. Sprinkle salt, then onion powder, then garlic powder, then the paprika evenly over each potato. Roast in the oven 20 minutes and then rotate racks and roast another 25 minutes until browned and crisped on the outside. Plate and serve with desired side condiments.