If there’s one food I will never say no to, it’s potatoes. I think they’re probably the most versatile food around. When I gave up gluten for a few years (which, by the way, was a great decision, only ruined by my obsession with hoagie rolls), potatoes were a steady part of my diet. I bet if you tried, you could come up with a new way to prepare potatoes for every day of the year. Not sure you could say that for any other food. And potatoes are inexpensive and always in season. Am I starting to sound like an advertisement for potatoes? Hmmm, maybe there’s a future for me in Idaho… In the meantime, I’ll just be making these Salt & Vinegar Smashed Potatoes on my grill or in the oven – cause, you know, versatile!
In our house, not only are we huge Harry Potter fans but we are also Lord of the Rings fanatics. I’d argue that the two kind of go hand in hand, and I’m actually hard pressed trying to think of anyone who likes one and not the other. In any case, the Hobbits love “taters” and reference them a few times in the movies. At one point, Gollum asks, “What’s taters, precious?” So, obvi, if we’re having potatoes for dinner, I’ll tell the kids we’re having taters, precious. On the rare instance when someone outside of our family actually gets the reference, they instantly earn my lifelong respect.
And these particular taters are pretty tasty, precious. If you like salt and vinegar potato chips, you’ll love these Salt & Vinegar Smashed Potatoes. They’re not quite as pungent as the chips, but you can fix that by increasing the amount of vinegar you’re using. These little guys get their crispy skin from roasting on high temperatures in a coating of oil, and their insides stay soft and fluffy, perfect for smashing. The salt and vinegar would be enough, but adding some salty Parmesan at the end of the cooking process and heating it just long enough for it to form that golden delicious crust just takes these simple potatoes to the next level.
For the smashing part, my favorite tool is a metal measuring cup. I find that I get the most leverage and best smash this way. If you don’t have a metal measuring cup, just take a baking sheet and push down as hard as you can. Moving your hands around the sheet to cover all of the potatoes. You really want to put your full weight into the smash, so for me, since I’m short, I’ll stand on a stool so that I can really lean my full weight down onto the taters.
These Salt & Vinegar Smashed Potatoes make an incredibly tasty side dish or snack. You could also top them with pulled chicken or pork for a football Sunday kind of meal. Being that it’s officially August, my mind has already started to shift to those glorious Sundays. More to come on that later though. For now, enjoy these taters, precious!
- 4 cups red-skinned new potatoes
- 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and dry the potatoes. Place potatoes on a baking sheet and sprinkle with olive oil. Toss to coat, and spread them out. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 30 minutes.
While the potatoes are cooking, whisk the vinegar, salt and mustard together in a small bowl. Remove the potatoes from the oven, smash them down with a measuring cup for second baking sheet. Pour vinegar mixture and cheese evenly over the potatoes and return them to the oven.
Cook for 5-7 more minutes, until cheese has crusted onto the potatoes and turns golden.