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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Recipe! Crispy Garlic Smashed Potatoes

There's a certain someone in my family who drives a great deal of my cooking and shopping choices. He's the man of the house and the baby of the family, and while he may be fond of my multicultural cooking, too much of it and he will have to have some good old fashioned meat and potatoes, American style. I try to keep this in mind when I meal plan and grocery shop...after all, I could eat curries over brown rice at least once a week, and I love cooking meals that are off the beaten path, but too much garam masala or turmeric and this kid asks for a burger.

Thus after last week's Libyan/Tunisian feast, a good old fashioned meat and potatoes sort of meal had to be constructed. The meat was just your average meatloaf, but the potatoes...

Well, a little while back I got a trial issue of the America's Test Kitchen magazine. America's Test Kitchen comes up with some amazing recipes, but they are often more difficult than it seems like they should be. Still, they tend to produce smashing results, and this recipe is no exception.

Just for the sake of argument, I tried making smashed potatoes the other way (i.e. boiling them then smashing them and baking them) and ...there's no comparison. Roasting is the way to go. This recipe will take about an hour and a half to complete, so it's best served with something that doesn't need the oven. It should be served immediately, hot and delicious. They can be eaten with ketchup...I preferred them without it!

Oh and...the American Food Craving was satisfied. Enjoy!

Crispy Garlic Smashed Potatoes

2 lbs small Red Bliss or Yukon Gold potatoes (1 1/2-2 inch)
6 T olive oil
1 head garlic, peeled and separated into cloves and halved
Salt, pepper, thyme

1. Adjust your oven racks to the very top and bottom positions and preheat oven to 500 F. Scrub potatoes. Cover a rimmed baking sheet very tightly with nonstick foil, arrange potatoes on the baking sheet. Place garlic clove halves between potatoes. Pour 3/4 cup water into the pan and cover entire pan tightly with foil. Bake on bottom rack for 25-30 minutes.

2. Remove the (top) foil and let potatoes cool for 10 minutes. Drizzle half (3 T) of the olive oil over the potatoes and roll around the pan until coated. Space the potatoes evenly on the baking sheet, place a garlic clove half atop each.Take a second baking sheet and place it above potatoes, pressing down evenly until they are 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme and drizzle with remaining 3 T olive oil.

3. Roast potatoes, uncovered, on the top rack for 15 minutes. Transfer to the bottom rack and roast about 20 more minutes, or until they are well browned. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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