Crispy Loaded Smashed Potatoes

Crispy Loaded Smashed Potatoes

Summer is now a sweet, distant memory. My daughter is firmly planted in her school year and yet I still allow my mind to wander to summer. I even found myself resting on summer images when I had to go through my camera roll looking for a photo. I’ve always been the girl who kicks through piles of leaves with her flip flops when everyone else is dancing around enjoying there cozy sweaters. So I sometimes rely on the sweet flavors of summer to remind me of our carefree days. When I worked in the beauty industry, I used to write fragrance essays about the power of scent–How a fragrance can transport you to a specific time and place in your life. Food has the same mysterious powers. It’s why I’m making this easy side dish over and over lately. The food memory it provides from this past summer is too sweet to not relive.

During the weekdays when my daughter and I were living at our summer beach cottage, our dinners were really simple. We’d make cold salads using local produce or barbecue. On the weekend, when my husband would arrive, we’d make big family meals. And every weekend one of our suppers always featured these potatoes.  Dan is the quintessential meat and potatoes guy so these smashed beauties featuring the flavours of an old, steakhouses loaded baked potato are his food nirvana. After a particularly filling and satisfying dinner one evening on our deck overlooking the beach, Dan told Scarlett and I that we never have to make any other kind of potato again. These were hands down always “perfect” as he described them, so why bother making anything else?! And we listened. We made them every weekend.

Now as the leaves pile onto the green grass we padded around on in bare feet this summer, we are making crispy smashed potatoes still. Dan thinks we make them because they’re his favorite. But I know the truth. We make them to remind me of our slow family dinners as the sun set over the water.

Photo by Ashley van der Laan

Crispy Loaded Smashed Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 3 strips of bacon, chopped
  • about 30 mini white potatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 grated cheddar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onion

Method

Preheat oven to 400. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

Place three strips of bacon on one baking sheet and bake until crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon from the oven and transfer strips to a paper towel. Once cooled, chop bacon strips and set aside in bowl.

Place potatoes in a pot of water over high heat. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and allow potatoes to cook until they are cooked halfway, about 10 minutes depending on their size. Drain potatoes and carefully arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Place each potato between the folds of a tea towel and, using a wooden spoon, press down to flatten the potato. Transfer each potato to the second baking sheet.

Drizzle oil onto all the potatoes and sprinkle the sheet with salt. Place in the oven and roast at 425 until the potatoes are crispy and deep brown around the edges, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle bacon, cheddar and onion over warm potatoes and serve with sour cream on the side.

 

 

 

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