Poor potatoes. Everyone hates on ’em but for no good reason, if you ask me. They’re a vegetable and they have more potassium than a banana. Plus, when they taste this good the health aspect pretty much goes out the window.
I had this recipe on homebeccanomics from a dinner party my parents threw about four years ago. These potatoes were a big hit and though I snapped some photos, they did the recipe no kind of justice. I decided to give it another go, tweaking directions and ingredients as needed. The biggest tip I can give is to take the word “generously” from step 7 quite literally. Potatoes’ bestie is salt, and without some salt on each bite the flavor is pretty diminished.
If baked potatoes are your go-to for weeknight dinners, then consider these for company. The level of hands-on work is a just a smidge out of my weeknight cooking range. When planning a meal, there are several considerations to keep in mind. On the plate, you would ideally find a variety in color, in temperature, in shape and size, in texture, and in flavor. Here is a sample test question from the “meal planning” unit I used to teach at school; “What would you add to the hamburger on your plate to make it a more appealing meal, and why? A few possible answers – a watermelon wedge, potato salad, tossed green salad, baked beans, or corn on the cob (all options would produce variety). If you mind these considerations, you’ll find it a lot easier to plan a meal.
Smashed Baked Potatoes
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
2 lb. small red skinned potatoes (about 18), scrubbed clean
1 head garlic, broken into cloves, papery skin removed
6-8 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1-2 tsp. kosher salt and fresh pepper
1-2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees and set a rack to the top and bottom position in your oven.
2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and arrange potatoes and garlic evenly on pan. Pour 1 c. water into the pan and cover with foil, sealing the edges.
3. Bake for 35 minutes on the lower rack in the oven. Remove from oven, remove foil, and let cool 10 minutes.
4. Pour 2-3 tbsp. of the olive oil over the potatoes and roll them around so that the oil coats them completely.
5. Place 1 clove (or cut in half depending on how much garlic you have) on top of each potato and make sure they are evenly spaced.
6. Using the base of a juice glass or measuring cup, smash the potato by pressing down while holding the edges of the potato with your other hand, so it maintains it’s shape.
7. Drizzle each potato liberally with the remaining olive oil (using more if you want), and top generously with kosher salt, black pepper, and the rosemary.
8. Bake in top rack of oven for 15 minutes, then move to bottom rack for and bake for another 15 minutes.
9. Let cool slightly and serve.