Side by Side: Garlic Smashed Potatoes
So, yesterday I talked about how to just sort of have some cooked potatoes on hand for whatever you want to use them for–and how you can do either sweet or white potatoes very easily in the crockpot. You can as easily chop them into manageable sized pieces (I usually do inch-thick slices) and boil them for 15 minutes or so until they are tender–whatever you prefer.
But–once they are cooked, you can either just eat them however you want, or use them as the basis for some really lovely side dishes.
Now, I know everyone has their own favorite version of mashed-potatoes-without-which-it’s-not-Thanksgiving (remember that episode of Friends, where Monica had to make a different kind of potato for everyone?). I’m not quite that picky, so I fix what my husband and I enjoy, which are lovely garlicky smashed potatoes with the skin still on. And they are amazingly easy.
Garlic Smashed Potatoes
Cook as many white potatoes as you want–I like Yukon Gold because they are hard to mess up. Russets work for this too. (Small waxy or new potatoes aren’t as good, IMO.) Cut them up into fairly small pieces (this keeps you from having huge slabs of potato skin in the final product…if you don’t like skin, peel the things).
In a large skillet, heat a little olive oil (or heck, a couple tablespoons of butter–it’s your call. The fact is, the more butter you add, the better it tastes. sigh…) and saute 3-4 cloves minced or crushed garlic until golden; if desired, add a few other herbs such as fresh rosemary or thyme or whatever floats your boat. Add your potato pieces and stir.
You can either smash them in the pan while heating, or you can stir it all up, remove it to a bowl, and smash them there. If you are using a non-stick skillet, just don’t put anything metal anywhere near that lining, or you’ll scratch it. No, really, you will, however careful you try to be, you’ll scratch that lovely non-stick coating and then forever be worried about fragments of Whatever getting into your food.
Add salt and pepper to taste. If it’s a little too dry, add just a tablespoon or two of milk or broth, as you like it. Mash till you’re happy.
That’s what I do with mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving, anyway…