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Hands-Down Potatoes PDF Print E-mail

By Rachel Willen,


A simple preparation that yields a mouth wateringly tender potato with a crispy shell. Just as satisfying as mashed potatoes, but without all the butter and cream.


16-20 small red potatoes (2-inches in diameter)
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Wash the potatoes thoroughly, lightly scrubbing with a sponge or vegetable brush because you will be eating the skin. Place the washed potatoes in a medium saucepan and add enough cold water to cover them by an extra two inches. Bring to a boil then turn down to a gentle boil and cook for 10-12 minutes or until they are tender, but not too soft, when pierced with a toothpick. You don't want to test them with a fork because they may break apart. Use a toothpick, skewer or cake tester. The potato is done when the item inserted goes in easily and slides out easily.

Drain the potatoes. Take one potato at a time, place it on a flat surface and gently smash or crush it down with your palm, not enough to flatten it completely, but enough to crack the skin in several places and create an thick "disk" of a potato. Again, don't smash it so that it will fall apart, you want it to maintain it's integrity so you can pick it up whole. Repeat with all the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a cast iron, or other heavy skillet over a medium-high flame. Add 1 tablespoon of canola oil and 1 tablespoon of olive oil (or enough of both oils to cover the bottom of the pan with about ¼ inch of oil. When the oil is heated and shimmering, place the potatoes, flattened side down, in the pan. Resist the urge to move them around and let them crisp and brown sufficiently before you do, 1-2 minutes. A good sign that they've "seared" is that if you shake the pan, they will slide around.

When they are a nice crispy brown, turn them and brown them on the other side.
Remove potatoes from pan, and place them on a plate lined with a paper towel. Season again with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve hot.


Serves 4

Recipe: Kosher, vegetarian, parve

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