Is there anything better than a crispy potato? I don’t think so. These oven-roasted, crispy smashed red potatoes will make you smile!
I have spent the better part of the last fifteen years trying to perfect a perfect oven-roasted potato. Not a fry, mind you. I got the hang of that one long ago. No, I’m talking about roasted potatoes in non-fry form. I’ve made a lot of them over the years, most of them roasted under a chicken. I’ll admit, nothing quite lends the flavor to a roasted potato that chicken fat does. However, just sticking the potatoes under the chicken and giving them a few stirs along the way is not the way to get the most divinely crispy potatoes that you could hope for.
Of course, the piece that I was missing was right there in my baked fries recipe…parboiling. If you boil some of the moisture out of the fries before you roast them, they’ll crisp up significantly more than if you don’t This is similar to the double-frying method that is used for most of the good fries that you eat in restaurants, but without all the popping oil that you have to either trash or somehow store. I am really not a fan of dealing with large amounts of oil unless I’m going to get some fried chicken on the other side.
So anyway, I mentioned The Food Lab by Kenji Lopez-Alt a while back. I’m a little obsessed with his book (I read it all in its almost 1000-page glory) and Kenji may have replaced Alton as my food science icon (gasp!). Kenji fries his smashed red potatoes (which I tried…I’ll admit it was amazing, but very time-consuming) but before he fries them, he boils them for a good long while (20 minutes). Reading that was my face-palm moment. I’ve been making great parboiled crispy baked fries for years, and somehow I missed the boat on the perfect crispy oven-roasted potato recipe. It’s okay, though. I finally got there.
I knew that I wanted to serve my crispy smashed red potatoes with some great sauce (for dipping or drizzling, depending on whether you want to eat your potatoes with your fingers or a fork). I had some feta cheese left over from a tabbouleh recipe that I made for WHISK Magazine and decided to stir it into some sour cream to make feta crema. Sprinkled with just a little parsley, this side dish is easy and fun or tasty and sophisticated, whatever you want it to be. Either way, these crispy oven-roasted potatoes are an easy and delicious side dish or even a great snack!
What’s your favorite way to cook potatoes? Comment below and let me know!
Yield: 4-6 servings
10 minPrep Time:
1 hrCook Time:
1 hr, 10 Total Time:
- 2 pounds tiny red or yellow potatoes, washed
- 1/4 cup lard, vegetable oil, or duck fat
- parsley, for sprinkling (optional)
- 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons milk
- To make the crema, stir together the sour cream, crumbled feta, and milk. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water heavily (I used 1/4 cup kosher salt) and add the potatoes.
- Boil the potatoes for 20 minutes and drain. Place your fat of choice on a baking sheet and place in the oven to preheat.
- While the fat is preheating, smash the potatoes to 1/2-inch thickness using a heavy skillet or the bottom of a glass.
- Place the potatoes on the preheated baking sheet. Brush the tops of the potatoes with some of the oil from the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn the potatoes and return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
- Remove the potatoes to a plate, sprinkle with parsley if desired, and serve immediately with the feta crema.