Sunday, 28 August 2011
As you all know I'm a potato fanatic! I'm obsessed with the spud! When you're a tater addict like moi you've eaten them in so many different ways. Bottom line? It takes a lot to impress me. Wellll, let me tell YOU! This dish impressed me and made me almost giddy with the tater love!
With the title including the words 'smashed' and 'loaded' you may have thought there was some kind of alcohol in this dish but if you were hoping for a little par-tay with some spuds you'd be mistaken. These spuds are smashed because you squish them and loaded because they taste like the best loaded potato skins you've ever had! Crispy spuds, sour cream, green onions, cheese and bacon -- Oh m'gravy!!
Not only did I love it (with all those toppings how could I not?!?) but my two boys, Boy 1 and Boy 2 (who typically hate potatoes unless they're in French fried or chip forms) LOVED these spuds! Missy Moo (who loves a good potato) didn't care for them. Say what?!? Did someone switch my kids? I felt like I was in an episode of the Twilight Zone (for those youngsters who may read my blog The Twilight Zone is a old TV show that shouldn't get confused with the Twilight series that showcases the pale and brooding deliciousness that you all love in Edward Cullen - I'm firmly on Team Jacob). ;)
Back to my point ... it was so odd to have my boys gush over these potatoes. Don't get me wrong, I loved the 'Yummy Noises' I got from them but it just confused me since they are typical Tater Haters! When Boy 2 asked me to make this dish again the next night I had to pick my jaw up off the floor! He said they were amazing because they tasted like potato chips. I thought they rocked because they tasted like potato skins with all the fixin's! :) He says Pota-toe. I say Po-tah-to.
However we say it these were a hit with me and my men folk. I've already made them twice this week (I didn't get great pictures the first time because I was just too excited to eat them. Bad food blogger!!!). Not only are they easy to make but you also get the added benefit of smashing something! See, cooking is cathartic!!
I hold out the hope that 7 year old Missy Moo will jump on board the Crispy Smashed & Loaded Potato train next time! I hope that you and yours enjoy this great side dish!
Crispy Smashed & Loaded Potatoes
1 1/2 lbs small white potatoes (or baby red potatoes) -- approximately 2-inches in diameter
salt and pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
Garnish - sour cream
Preheat oven to 450F.
Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Add 1 tsp salt to the pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and can be easily pierced with a fork.
Place a dish towel folded in half on your counter. Remove one potato from the pot with a slotted spoon and place on the tea towel. Using another tea towel folded in half (or in quarters if it's still too hot for your hands) flatten the potato with the palm of your hand until it's approximately 1/2-inch in thickness.
Some of the potato may break off but no worries! We'll use those pieces too. Smash each potato using this technique.
Line a cookie sheet (possibly two cookie sheets) with aluminum foil. Pour approximately 1-2 tbsp olive or grapeseed oil onto the foil and spread around evenly with a brush. Lay smashed potatoes in a single layer on the cookie sheet(s). Fluff up the tops a bit with a fork (this will give you more nooks and crannies to get crispy!). Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Gently and evenly brush a little more oil over the tops of the potatoes.
Roast potatoes for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Using a spatula, carefully turn each potato over and continue to roast for another 10-20 minutes. Serve potatoes immediately. Garnish with bacon, shredded Cheddar cheese, green onion and sour cream. Enjoy!
Note: Try boiling and smashing the potatoes a few hours ahead of time if you're making a big batch or short on time. Store them in the fridge on the foil lined (and greased) cookie sheets until needed. Before roasting them ensure that there is enough oil under the potatoes (to ensure browning). Roast them according to the directions above.
From: The Baking Bookworm