Let’s just say, hypothetically….you’re heading into Memorial Day without a real plan for what to bring to the various cookouts; or, that you knew your house was filling up but hadn’t really planned out how to feed everyone; or, you cannot face going into the fancy grocery store looking for obscure ingredients ONE MORE TIME. I’ve got you covered!
Memorial Day weekend is no time for being fussy or experimental. It is about the basics and the classics, things that taste even better when you’re eating them outdoors in flip flops. Enter, the potato. Specifically, the smashed potato.
I’ve seen these many times but finally made them and am now a little but addicted.
Cutting to the chase: You are boiling whole small potatoes (those small ones in the mesh bags are perfect for this), then smashing them into disks/pucks, then salting them, slicking them up with oil and baking them at a high temp until they are crispy. You flip them halfway through because you know that crispy is everything.
Honestly, no need to follow the recipe if you do these things, because this is more method than recipe, more arts ‘n crafts than science. Which is to say, you can do this! And I hate being bossy but I really think you should. You can also make these in stages as you have time (and without taking up fridge space), making them perfect for the weekend.
There are a bazillion recipes for these on the interwebs, but I am running with this one from Cook the Vineyard because they had some pro tips (like using a high smoke point oil vs olive oil) That said, I included my own comments (in italics) that cut down on labor and laundry.
But that’s not all! As a bonus I’ve included the simple limey dipping sauce which is perfect on these and remarkably versatile at snazzing up leftovers, sandwiches, tacos, bowls and veggies, whatever. Any sauce that strikes your fancy will do here, and there’s never any shame in straight up ketchup.
Crispy Smashed Potatoes
Recipe mostly from Cook the Vineyard
Serves 4, or more as an appetizer
- 16 baby red potatoes, consistently sized (the little bagged ones, red or yellow, are perfect)
- Kosher salt (lots, and other seasonings as you like)
- 1/2 cup grapeseed oil or other vegetable oil I don’t think I’ve ever used that much oil. See recipe note.
- Limey Drizzling Sauce (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 475°F. Line a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Put a piece of parchment paper on top. You can also go this with just parchment paper or straight on a baking sheet. Arrange a double-layer of dishtowels on a large cutting board or your kitchen counter. (No need for dishtowels I’ve found. Just mind any wandering taters)
- Put the potatoes in a Dutch oven or other medium-large pot and cover with at least 1 1/2 inches of water. Add 2 teaspoons kosher salt, cover loosely, bring the water to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Uncover and cook until the potatoes are tender all the way through, but not falling apart, about 18 to 22 minutes. (Check with a paring knife.)
- Drain and transfer the potatoes to the dishtowels. (I bag the dishtowels, pour out most of the water then use tongs or a slotted spoon to lift the potatoes out of the water onto the parchment. You’re just trying to get the water off and smash them) Arrange the potatoes a few inches apart, and let them cool for a few minutes. Using another folded dishtowel (or piece of parchment or just a big spatula), gently press down on each potato to flatten it into a patty about 1/2 inch thick (or up to 3/4-inch). Let the patties cool for a few minutes more, transfer them to the baking sheet, and let them cool for 10 to 15 minutes longer. (Or, at this point, you can hold the potatoes in the fridge for up to 24 hours and on the counter for hours, covered with plastic or that top piece of parchment. Bring to room temp before roasting.)
- Season the top of the potatoes with salt and pour the oil over them. Carefully flip the potatoes over and gently rub them in the oil so they are well coated. Season the top side with more salt. Roast for about 15 minutes, carefully slip the potatoes over with a spatula, and continue roasting another 10 to 15 minutes (a total of about 28 to 30 minutes) or until they turn a deep orange brown color and are crisp around the edges.
- Serve warm (seasoned with more salt if necessary) with Limey Drizzling Sauce (optional) or with salad greens.
These are ideal warm from the oven, but I have yet to meet the person who turns one down at room temp. For extra credit you can bring them on their baking sheet, pop them in the oven for a few minutes and transfer them to a serving platter. If you are besties with the host bring them over pre-smashed and bake them up on site.
Limey Dipping Sauce
Also from Cook the Vineyard\
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
- Kosher salt
Whisk together all the ingredients, including a pinch of salt, until well-mixed. Refrigerate until serving time.