Smashed Potatoes–Literally

by Maria Theresa Maggi on May 29, 2021

In the early days of my plant-based transformation, long before I wrote this blog, I would often spend time reading recipes and gathering ideas for what I wanted to cook. It was also a way of feeling alliance and camaraderie and support from a community I didn’t have in the flesh. Still, to this day, I comb the internet for ideas, asking questions I have about something I’d like to try or make, and see what comes up.

As I mentioned in my last post, as I renewed a full commitment to only whole foods (no flour for a while, even gluten-free) I discovered Live with Chef AJ and began watching all her many interviews and cooking demonstrations, which is where I came upon Andrew Taylor at Spudfit and his year of eating potatoes.

While I was very moved by his story, my curiosity veered to the peripheral, as is so often the case. How was he eating his potatoes every day, 3 times a day? While I didn’t want or need to eat only potatoes (preferring to stick to what he calls “Mega Foods”), I sure wanted to discover any interesting tips about how to prepare them in ways I might have not thought of, and that would be pretty easy no nonsense and maybe even a little fun.

In the early days of his year challenge, before air fryers and pressure cookers, he was doing a lot of boiling and making what the Australians call “mash.” But sometimes he’d also take whole boiled potatoes, put them on a lined baking sheet and actually smash them with the bottom of a jar–and then baked them in the oven for a bit. I just thought that was too fun not to try.

I was going to steam my potatoes, but at the last minute, that little rebel voice in me said “why not microwave them instead?” And that’s what I did, until tender. Then I arranged them on the baking sheet and with a pint sized wide mouth mason jar, I smashed them. I can’t describe the delight of this experience adequately or why it gives me such pleasure, but it does. Then I put them in a 410 degree oven and baked them for between 15 and 20 minutes.

At first I thought I should try and flip them but then that didn’t seem necessary. My particular aim was not to get them as crispy as possible, but to make them a little more golden. And to my additional delight, I discovered that for the most part they stayed whole and I could just pick them up and eat them with my hands. So, along with some steam fried veggies, this has been one of my favorite dinners for the past week.

A few tips: for the penultimate “smashing” experience  and texture when eating, I suggest thinner skinned potatoes like yellow ones or golden sweet potatoes, rather than the darker, thicker skinned varieties. I found those skins got more leathery than I wanted.  But I have been sure to eat those orange ones at breakfast, added to my oatmeal, because I read there is a compound discovered in that orange pigment that slows down or stops demyelination. I thank World’s Healthiest Food’s, for that update. Visiting my old internet haunts as distraction and comfort yielded some exciting new research findings.

If you have an air fryer, I suppose you could put them in there and they might get more crispy. But I find I like this combination of a little chewy/solid/golden on the outside and tender moist on the inside a whole lot.

Here’s to a meal that’s truly a smash. Literally and figuratively–my favorite combination.

 

Maria (moonwatcher)

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gena May 30, 2021 at 4:56 am

Yum. Literally yum 🙂

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2 Maria Theresa Maggi June 1, 2021 at 12:15 pm

Thanks, Gena! xo (haha)

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3 Susan Wright May 30, 2021 at 9:25 am

cute story

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4 Maria Theresa Maggi June 1, 2021 at 12:15 pm

Thanks Susan!

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5 Nasreen Kabir May 30, 2021 at 5:55 pm

Love the idea. Thank you. Must try it for lunch.

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6 Maria Theresa Maggi June 1, 2021 at 12:15 pm

You’re welcome, Nasreen!

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