I've been cooking. A lot.
Maybe it's because I know I will be hitting a newborn baby stage soon where cooking will seem impossible (it tends to at least feel that way when you spend 10 hours a day in a chair nursing).
Maybe it's because I've been blessed with all those wonderful produce from my CSA basket.
Maybe it's because I've discovered my new found love of Indian food.
Or maybe it's just because I'm pregnant and like to consume a lot of calories.
Regardless, I've been having a lot of fun cooking lately.
One of the simplest side dishes I've made this past week has to be these ‘smooshed' potatoes. I would like to share with you three things I admire most about them:
1. The first part of the cooking process can be done at any time. This means that I can do it on Sunday afternoons when I have a bit of extra time, or even in the morning before the rush of the afternoon hits. It also means they'd be the perfect side-dish for having company over.
2. There are only four ingredients involved: potatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper. Go and find you some delicious potatoes and you're set.
3. They're delicious. What more need be said.
You will need:
– Red potatoes, yellow potatoes, or other smaller-ish variety
– Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (yes, this matters)
– High-quality olive oil
Step One: Add as many whole potatoes as you need to a pot of salted water. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer/steam the potatoes until they are fork-tender. At this stage, you can remove the potatoes and keep them hanging around until you need them – OR – you can proceed on…
I would proceed on. Then you can eat them quicker.
Step Two: Generously (generously, I say!) oil a baking sheet with your olive oil. Just dump a quarter-cup or so on there and smear it around with your fingers. This will keep the potatoes from sticking, so don't slack.
Step Three: Arrange the whole potatoes on the baking sheet, like so:
Then, using a potato masher or the bottom of a glass, gently ‘smoosh' the potatoes. Not so much that it breaks the bottom skin and crumbles the potato, but just enough that is smooshes all that potato-y goodness out.
How many times do you think I can use the word ‘smoosh' in this post?
Let's keep going.
Step Four: After that potatoes are properly smooshed, drizzle a bit of olive oil over each potato (butter works, too). Then, salt and pepper them generously.
This is where the sea salt and freshly ground pepper come into play.
Real sea salt is wonderfully potent, so you can really get by with using less. It also adds flavor, without just adding a bunch of surface saltiness, if that makes any sense. And freshly ground pepper is just like heaven – once you get used to it, you'll never use anything else. So. Much. Flavor!
Step Five: After the potatoes are smooshed, oiled, salted, and peppered, place them in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until nice and golden.
Aren't those pretty?!
They're a wonderfully simple way to enjoy potatoes as a side. They'd also be delicious topped with a bit of sour cream or goat cheese or freshly chopped herbs….if that's what you're into…
Which I totally am, by the way.
We enjoyed ours with spinach salad and roasted chicken. My favorite!
If I lived back in Washington and was still able to go to my family's Friday night dinners, I would totally make these for them. We always were playing with ways to make potatoes that kept us from having to mess with them at the last minute. These would be perfect.
Hey Mom, you should make these for dinner tonight.
Because they're dang good, my friends.
For other great meal ideas, no matter what your dietary restrictions, check out the meal planning service I use: Real Plans.