Sunday, July 6, 2014

Smashed Potatoes

As an avid reader of the Sunday New York Times, I often stumble upon the fascinating food pages by Mark Bittman and Sam Sifton in the magazine section. I tend to mentally park Bittman's columns to try later, and even occasionally get around to following up on them, but when one of Sifton's articles intrigues me I usually find myself trying out the recipe immediately.
The article, Steak Mock Frites, yielded one of those recipes. The article is the result of Sam's attempts to recreate steak house fries at home accompanied by a couple of recipes for steak and a herb-flavored butter. (I left those out here but you can find the full article here if you're interested.
Although I don't think that these critters qualify as steak house fries, I'll be damned if they don't come close to matching the taste and quality of the best ones I've had in various establishments, especially on the East Coast. And once you try it, you should find them as easy to make as I did.

I've more or less copied the recipe verbatim but modified the ingredient list to match what I used - YMMV.

pre-smashed

post-smashed



Ingredients:
Kosher salt
12-15 new potatoes
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450°F. Set a large pot filled with salted water on the stove. Add potatoes, turn heat to high and cook, gently boiling, until they are softened, approximately 15 minutes. Drain potatoes, and dry them well.

Grease a sheet pan with half the oil, and put the potatoes on the pan. Using a potato masher or the bottom of a heavy glass, gently smash each potato, pressing it down to a thickness of less than an inch. Drizzle the rest of the oil over the smashed potatoes, place on top rack in the oven and allow to roast until the exteriors are golden and crunchy, approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Add salt and fresh-cracked pepper to taste.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and serve with butter.