Busted potato spuds (bottom) with meatloaf, zucchini and dinosaur kale with feta
Flatten Potato Spuds Before Roasting for a Crisp & Creamy Texture
Here’s a new twist on baking potatoes. In two steps produce a crisp and creamy tater in each bite. They’re a great alternative to everyday bakers. It’s a refreshing way to change out your starch side dish. Did I mention kid friendly?!
Shop for the baby (aka new potatoes), about jumbo egg-size. Figure on 3-4 potatoes per adult.
RECIPE: Serves 3-4
baby or “new” potatoes, 12-15, egg size
butter, 3 TBS.
salt, 3/4 tsp.
pepper, 1/8 tsp.
Lightly scrub potatoes then place in a large microwave-safe bowl.* Add a TBS. of water and seal the bowl with plastic wrap. Microwave 100% for 5 minutes. Allow them to cool enough to handle.
* You can simmer the potatoes for 5 minutes instead of microwaving.
Next, use a sturdy drinking glass and place a potato on the cutting board so the longitude of the potato is vertical. Press down on the potato with the glass and flatten potato to no more than an inch thick. The skin should split but the spud will stay in tact. Add back to the bowl.
Repeat for remaining potatoes. Add 3 TBS. butter to the bowl and use a spatula to gently toss potatoes.
Preheat oven to 425º F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lay the potatoes in a single layer. Salt generously. Potatoes need serious salting to bring out their optimum flavor. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until potato skins noticeably darken in spots. Serve with fresh pepper.
Note: Crispness is most pronounced if served immediately. Flavor will not be lost, though if kept warmed.
GARNISH OPTIONS: sour cream with chives, malt or cider vinegar, or salsa
PLANNED-OVERS: Busted Spud Home Fries
Chop the potatoes. Sauté some minced onion or shallots in additional butter. When softened, add the potatoes and cook to crisp up. Toss with some crumbled feta cheese and a splash of malt or cider vinegar. Garnish with parsley.
MASTERY EN PLACE: Getting to know potatoes
When shopping for potatoes, it’s exciting to know there are more varieties and shapes coming to market. More than 4,000 varieties of native potato spuds grow in the Andean highlands of Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador. If you could imagine any number of shapes and colors you would be close to what potatoes originally looked like; from black to blue to red and shaped from spirals to rods to globes.
My favorite so far is the blue or purple potato. They are also called “Adirondacks” here in the Northeast. Their skins crisp up—almost crunchy—with a rich, deep “gotta have” flavor.
“Salt is what ruins potatoes, if you leave it off.” — Paul Harvey
© Bill Hettig, email@example.com