Today is Earth Day.
I’ve written past articles on things to do to save the earth, like using reusable bags and water bottles and having a compost bin in the kitchen and a rain barrel in the backyard. There are also ways to recycle leftovers, which helps save the earth and hard earned money. The leftover pork tenderloin I made last Sunday was made into shredded bar-b-que pork sandwiches last night and leftover chicken, whether from rotisserie or homemade, can be used in a wide variety of dishes, from quesadillas to pasta.
Food waste is a major problem in our country. An average of one pound of food per person a day is wasted in the USA. That equates to 103 million tons or 30-40% of the food supply each year, according to the USDA. While we may think of ways to reuse meat, cooked vegetables are a bit trickier. I’ve recently discovered a recipe of smashed potatoes and I love making them because they are #1 Easy and #2 A way to use leftover potatoes that transforms them.
Smashed Potatoes are best made with small to medium potatoes (like red or fingerlings) with a soft outer skin. It also doesn’t matter if you’ve tossed the potatoes with butter, olive oil or herbs. Rosemary or thyme are welcome herbs with potatoes, but I recently had tiny red potatoes tossed with butter and dill and they worked fine. You can also sprinkle the herbs (like parsley or chives) on the smashed potatoes after you bake them, as these herbs may burn at the high heat.
Once made, these are a great side dish with meat, poultry, pork, fish or eggs but can also be totally transformed and made into delicious appetizers.
To do this, follow the recipe and then top the smashed potatoes with a plop of creamy sour cream and either a spoonful of caviar, a slice of smoked salmon or a bit of olive tapenade for an elegant appetizer. You could also serve these with ranch or blue cheese dressing as a dip on the side, for a more rustic appetizer. Either way, they are delicious!
Smashed Potatoes from Gimme some Oven
- 1 1/2 pounds small potatoes
- Olive Oil
- Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put parchment paper or foil on a baking sheet and brush parchment paper with olive oil.
- Boil the potatoes. Put potatoes in pot, cover with water, 1 inch above the potatoes. Add 1 Tablespoon salt to water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook 10 to 15 minutes, until a fork can be easily inserted. Drain water from potatoes.
- Place drained potatoes on the parchment paper and smash potatoes until flattened. Some do this with a potato masher but I feel it works best with the bottom of a drinking glass.
- Spray (or brush) potatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Bake 20-30 minutes until crispy and golden.
- Remove and serve or top with toppings for appetizers.
Up Next: The Best Guacamole.