I love potatoes. Mashed, baked, roasted, deep-fried, boiled — I love them all (as long as they’re not scalloped. I don’t like potatoes combined with cheese, sour cream or other dairy products, aside from the occasional order of chili cheese fries). So, it means a lot when I say that I have found the perfect potato side dish: Pioneer Woman’s crash hot potatoes (original recipe by Jill Dupleix). You boil little potatoes, smash them, season them, then bake them until they’re crispy on the outside but fluffy on the inside. I saw them on (where else?) Pinterest the other day, and I’m so glad I made them. These potatoes are so simple, yet so divine. They go perfectly with just about any meat dish, and Johnny came up with a sinful breakfast idea involving them (an entry on that coming soon!). Perfection, I tell you. I know they don’t look like much — it’s hard to make individual smashed potatoes look amazing — but you must make them. Maybe they don’t top fries, but then again, what does?
- Any small, round potato, such as new potatoes, baby reds, yukon golds — whatever you like! Just make sure it’s small. My red potatoes were a bit on the bigger side. They still came out tasty, but not as cute.
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Any herb of your choosing, finely chopped. I’m not a big herbs person, so I used 3-4 cloves of minced garlic instead.
- Baking sheet
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the potatoes until they are fork-tender. In the meantime, drizzle a baking sheet generously with olive oil to prevent the potatoes from sticking when they’re baked. I lined my baking sheet with some foil before drizzling with oil because I live in fear of having to clean caked-on food from baking sheets. You’ll also want to heat the oven to 450 degrees.
Once the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, transfer them (with tongs or a fork, please! Not with your fingers!) onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving plenty of room between each one.
With a potato masher or the bottom of a glass, smush each potato.
Next, then rotate the masher or glass 90 degrees, and smush again.
Don’t completely flatten the potato, but you want to expose the fluffy inside. Pioneer Woman says you want the smushed potatoes to kind of resemble cookies, if that helps.
Brush the tops of the flattened potatoes with olive oil.
Sprinkle the potatoes with a generous amount of salt, then freshly ground pepper. Then, if you’re using herbs, scatter them over the potatoes.
Once the potatoes are prepped, slide them into the preheated oven, on the top rack, and bake for 20-25 minutes. Try not to drool as the smell of deliciously roasting potatoes fill your house. The sizzling sound is wonderful, too. When they’re done, remove them from the oven, and try not to burn your fingers as you succumb to the desire to eat them right then and there.