Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Crispy Purple Smashed Potatoes

A while back I was reading a magazine of some sort at work, I think it may have been the LCBO one, but I am not quite sure.  In the magazine was a recipe using purple potatoes, roasted with some kind of vinegar and salt.  So, to Shawn, my veggie man I went, and asked if he could get purple potatoes.  Obliging, as always, he found some, but he could only get them in 25 lb bags. That is A LOT of purple potatoes! Not to worry, he said, he would keep looking for a smaller amount.  So, I kind of forgot about them, and carried on with other recipes and such.  But, one beautiful fall Sunday afternoon, didn’t he show up on my doorstep with a beautiful little bag of purple potatoes, “All Blue Creamers” to be exact, that he had found while at a fall fair. Oh the excitement! I couldn’t wait to use them in that recipe….but….where did it go???  Not only had I forgotten about the purple potatoes, I had also forgotten where I saw the recipe!  Thus began my quest, which still remains unfulfilled.  If anyone out in blog land has an idea of what it was, I would love to hear from you.  So, needless to say, I had to find another way to use these little purple beauties.  Most everything I found had them mashed, or used in a potatoes salad, but the roasting and the vinegar was still stuck firmly in my taste buds, so I had to improvise.  While I was browsing on The Pioneer Woman cooks blog, I came across a recipe for Crash Hot Potatoes that looked very interesting. (So interesting, in fact, that the guys at work were drooling over the picture on the computer monitor!)  Hers called for herbs to be sprinkled on top before the baking part, but I my taste buds were still stuck on the vinegar thing, so I ran with that.
Here is my version of the recipe, tweaks and all!

Crispy Purple Smashed Potatoes
2lbs smallish purple potatoes, (other small new ones would do, Just omit the purple from your recipe name or people will look at you funny!)
Olive oil
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Malt vinegar (I am sure your favourite vinegar would work here, this just seemed to pair naturally with the potatoes)

Bring water to boil in a large pot, add potatoes and cook till tender when poked with a fork.  When they are done, remove from pot and place on a pan well coated with olive oil, leaving space in-between.  Take a potato masher or a large fork and carefully mash the potato, trying to keep it as intact as possible.  This takes a wee bit of skill to hold the hot potatoes on the oily pan, but you will catch on quick, I did!  In the original recipe, she mashed first one way, then turned the masher and did it the other way.  My potatoes where quite small, and one “smash” seemed to give the desired result. The pioneer woman’s analogy of making a “cookie” from the potato is quite appropriate. 

When you have all the potatoes smashed, drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Roast in a 450 degree oven on the top rack for about 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are crispy and starting to brown.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with malt vinegar. Serve hot!

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