Okay, so it doesn't have quite the same ring to it as "smashing pumpkins." Or the seasonality. Or the music reference. But who cares? It's fun, and more importantly, delicious. As best I can tell, when you smash pumpkins all you get is a mess.
If you're a die-hard Pinterest-er like me, then I don't doubt you've seen this recipe floating around on your friends' boards, or maybe even your own. It's not exactly the stuff breaking news is made of. But we have a secret. Our secret is...Trader Joe's.
All right, so that's not much of a secret, either. But they do hold the key to the best smashed 'taters you can imagine: little blue potatoes. Seriously. This recipe can be done with little red 'taters or even little Yukon 'taters, but the little blue ones are what take it over the top. At Trader Joe's, I buy the mixed bag of little red, white and blue 'taters so we have a mix of all the 'tater flavors (which are patriotic, to boot).
This recipe is stupidly easy. Preheat your oven to 425. I actually did ours on 400 last night because we had other stuff going in the oven with the 'taters that doesn't require that amount of heat. Then, poke several holes in each of the potatoes and microwave for 4-7 minutes, depending on the size of the potato and how your microwave works.
Then, generously drizzle a baking dish (I use Pyrex) with olive oil. Take your microwaved potatos, use a potato masher, and mash each potato flat. You don't want to completely mash it, like mashed potatoes. You want it to still be (hopefully) in one piece, kind of like a potato cake.
Once you've got them in the pan and all flattened to your satisfaction, use a pastry brush to brush the tops of the potatoes with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. You can then chop up whatever fresh herbs you have on hand (I used rosemary), and sprinkle a little on each potato. You can leave out the herbs if you want - the recipe is still delicious with salt and pepper. Just don't stint on those two.
After you're done seasoning to your heart's delight, pop those potatoes in the oven for 20-25 minutes until they're crispy and browned on top. We flip ours over halfway through the baking process so both sides get crispy. After that, voila! You have delicious crispy, soft smashed 'taters, and you don't even have to make a mess to get them.
Check out the original recipe with the link above, or see below with my modifications.
Smashed Red, White, and Blue 'Taters
1 bag Trader Joe's mixed little taters (or your taters of choice, but I highly recommend the blue ones)
Salt and pepper
Fresh herb(s) - rosemary, thyme, chives, all good.
Preheat oven to 325.
Prick the potatoes with a fork several times, and microwave for 4-7 minutes.
When the potatoes are tender and give a little, transfer them to a well-oiled baking dish.
Using a potato masher (or the bottom of a bowl), mash each tater into a cake shape.
With a pastry brush, brush the top of the potatoes with olive oil.
Sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper, and chopped herb of your choice.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.