February Is National Potato Lovers Month
Sometimes it’s just plain fun to play with our food. Smashed potatoes are the perfect example. Make lots because they will disappear fast!
Smashed Lemon Herb Crispy Potatoes
Fill a large stock pot with lightly salted water. Bring water to a boil. Place small Yukon or Red Skin Potatoes in boiling water and cook until tender. Drain and set aside. The potatoes can be prepared immediately or place them in a plastic bag and store in refrigerator overnight.
To smash and top potatoes:
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
Spray cookie sheet lightly with vegetable spray
Cut potatoes in half and smash with bottom of a can (wash bottom of can before smashing the potatoes)
Drizzle 1 teaspoon melted butter over each smashed potato
Sprinkle with salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Top with a mixture of finely chopped basil, chives and parsley. Drizzle each potato with 1/2 teaspoon (or a little less depending on the size of the potato) olive oil. The olive oil will help crisp up the potato.
Top herbs a sprinkling of frozen grated lemon and 1 tablespoon finely grated sharp cheddar cheese per smashed potato
To make frozen grated lemon: Place a washed lemon in the freezer section of your refrigerator. Once the lemon is frozen, get your grater, and shred the whole lemon (no need to peel it) and sprinkle it on top of your foods. The lemon seeds catch on the grater so there is no need to worry about seeds getting into your grated lemon.
Bake smashed potatoes for 8 – 10 minutes in 450 degree Fahrenheit oven. (Watch carefully so that the potatoes do not burn.) Potatoes should be very crispy on top.
Serve warm with a bit of sour cream and/or ketchup. Applesauce and sour cream is also a delicious garnish for this dish.
Have fun playing around with the toppings on the smashed potatoes ~ try a variety of herbs and grated cheeses or spreadable cheeses. Delicious for lunch, dinner, a snack, even breakfast!
The definition of Bon Vivant is: A person who lives luxuriously and enjoys good food and drink.
To pair with the smashed potatoes I served Bon Vivant Sparkling Wine from California. California Sparkling Wine made in the French style,using the traditional méthode champenoise. This sparkler is made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. Several sources compare it to Veuve Clicquot, but I think that is more true for the yellow label rather than the bubbles inside. I am glad I tried it, but found it be just an average sparkling wine. $20 range.
So I finished the glass of Bon Vivant and moved on to Pinot Noir. As the weather gets warmer…we’ve had record-breaking warm weather in Roanoke, Virginia during February, 2018…the warmest it’s been in 100 years! …my taste turns towards Pinot Noir. One of my favorite things to do is sit outside on the deck with a glass of Pinot Noir. Although potato dishes are not necessarily classic Pinot Noir pairings, I found the earthy herbs and pop of lemon in the smashed potatoes to pair with the Pinot Noir quite well. Plus, I was just in the mood for a nice Pinot.
Sojourn Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Lush, rich cherry flavors with spice and cola notes. Balanced with a long finish. $45 range. Our source for this wine, Wines ‘Til Sold Out recommends Sojourn: “This is the kind of Pinot that California Drinkers dream about!” On the palate you get ripe cherries, cranberries, cola, nutmeg, vanilla and shitake mushrooms.
This is what the kitties were up to when I innocently turned my back to start cooking in my kitchen this morning! Empty brown paper bags are a particular favorite around our house.