Everybody has their ideal preparation of the oh-so-versatile potato — mashed, boiled, baked, loaded, diced, chopped, and french fried. It seems you can never satisfy everyone at the same time.
Over the years, I have learned one major part of people’s favorite preparation has to do with the texture…soft or crispy. People will fall all over the map on their preference, so it can often seem like a challenge to please everyone.
This happened with my husband and I. I like the softness of the mashed potato and he loves a good crunch to a potato hash or french fry. When I first discovered the smashed potato, I was instantly hooked! It offered what we were both looking for. It has the soft interior for me, but still a good crisp on the outside, so William can get his texture.
This has quickly become the potato preparation of choice at the Cahill household. And it is highly adaptable with different combinations of spices and cheeses. You can easily adjust the spices to match the rest of the meal!
Initially, the biggest drawback to me was how long it takes to prepare them. However, I have found it works best to get them boiling in the pot, smash them, and pop them in the oven and then get to work on the rest of dinner. Usually, the rest of what we are eating will finish right around the same time. Most of the time required for making these is passive, so you can definitely multitask!
I hope these little pops of flavor will make your dinner time differences a thing of the past.Print Recipe
- ~20 small red or yellow potatoes
- ~1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- ~3 quarts water
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of olive oil on the foil and spread around, until the whole sheet is greased.
- Place potatoes in the bottom of a large pot and fill with water until the potatoes are completely submerged.
- Place the pot on medium-high heat. Cook the potatoes until fork tender, but not falling apart. About 15-20 minutes (depending on size).
- Once cooked, remove the pot from heat.
- Using a clean, lint-free tea towel, place 3-4 potatoes on the towel, fold the towel in half, and smash the potatoes using the heel of your hand (careful, this can be hot!). Then, peel back the towel and use a spatula to transfer the potatoes to the lined and oiled baking sheet.
- If you do not like this method, you can also place the potatoes on the baking sheet and smash with a fork.
- Once all the potatoes are on the baking sheet, drizzle with the remaining few tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and mix with your hands until each potato is covered with all the ingredients.
- Sprinkle all of the potatoes with the shredded parmesan.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are browning and beginning to crisp around the edges.
- Due to the potatoes’ heat retention, wait about 5-10 minutes before eating, then serve warm.
- You can substitute the garlic salt with 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Or you can use plain salt.
- Feel free to add in other spices to match your taste.