Posts Tagged ‘potatoes’

Sweet Corn Chowder with Yukon Gold Potatoes & Pancetta

Monday, May 18th, 2009

I do a good amount of travel for work. It’s not out of control, but during this time of year, I take a trip every 2-3 weeks at least, sometimes more often. And I enjoy it. I like to see different places, get a feel for different areas of the country. Through my work travels, I definitely have. Another thing that I enjoy is having the chance to try regional foods. Sometimes, it’s hard to get outside of the chain restaurants or airport food courts, but when I’m lucky, I get to try some real local treats.

On my last visit to Nebraska (I know, exotic, right?) we had lunch in a small-town diner. From the outside, it was nothing special. And the menu was, for the most part, exactly what you’d expect. Even so, the food was tasty and the service was good. My main dish was a baked macaroni and cheese that was quite good, but the highlight for me was the corn chowder. I had never in my life eaten corn chowder before, and I could tell by their curious glances and raised eyebrows that neither had my two coworkers. But when the person we were meeting with suggested it, we were convinced, and all three of us ordered the corn chowder.

And were rewarded.

The soup was creamy, with chunks of potato, chicken, and of course, sweet corn. We’ve joked about having that soup again, even around the office (some 500 miles away from the diner where we shared lunch) ever since. Finally, tired of thinking about a soup that I may never have the chance to eat again, I decided to make my own. Last Friday was a cool, rainy day, and sweet corn was on sale for the first time all season. It seemed like a sign. So for dinner Friday night, I threw together my version of this awesome Nebraskan soup. And it was delicious. If I was trying to convince my sister or mother, I’d tell them it was just like clam chowder. When I was trying to convince my husband, I told him it was just like potato soup. And while both of those statements were true, it tastes more like corn than either of those. If you like corn, you owe it to yourself to try this soup.

corn-chowder

Sweet Corn Chowder with Yukon Gold Potatoes & Pancetta

  • 3 ounces pancetta (You can substitute bacon, if necessary)
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups prepared chicken stock
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1.5 pounds yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • 5-6 ears sweet corn (do not substitute cans or frozen corn–fresh off the cob is important!)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the diced pancetta and cook until crisped. Next, add the onion, garlic, and thyme and continue cooking until softened, about 8 or 9 minutes.

2. Sprinkle the flour into the pan, stirring to coat everything evenly. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir in the cream and the potatoes, bring to a boil for 7 minutes, until the potatoes begin to break down. The potatoes should be soft, but not completely broken down.

3. Cut the corn kernels off the cob and add to the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste and simmer until the corn is soft, about 10 more minutes. Stir in the chopped parsley and serve.

Note: If you’ve never cut corn off of the cob, here’s a good tip. Take a small bowl (like a cereal bowl) and stand it upside down in a large mixing bowl. Shuck the corn and remove any additional silk. Stand the ear of corn straight up on the small bowl (inside the larger bowl) and use a sharp knife to cut straight down once side. Turn the ear of corn, and cut straight down the next side, working your way around the corn. This will give you a steady platform for cutting the corn off the cob, while catching all of the loose corn kernels in the larger bowl without making a mess.

As far as the soup goes, I think it was a hit. It was flavorful, sweet and fresh, just like corn on the cob. I don’t think it would have been anywhere near as good if I had tried to use canned or frozen corn. The pancetta added a nice layer of salty flavor to the soup base, and the potatoes were good, but the corn was really the star of this soup. I’m sure we’ll be making this again. It would have been good with leftover chicken, regular bacon, or a smoky ham also.

Creamy Shepherd’s Pie Bowls

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

I have always liked the idea of shepherd’s pie.

I really like ground beef, and casseroles of any kind tend to appeal to me (even though that’s the opposite of how I was raised–very few casseroles show up in my parents’ kitchen). I also like mashed potatoes, and can’t seem to make them without having a bunch of leftovers.

Leftover potatoes is what lead me to shepherd’s pie this time. I read through a bunch of different shepherd’s pie recipes, before deciding how I would make mine.

I really liked the flavor of the dish, but I’ve got to say–the pictures leave something to be desired. Once it came out of the baking dish, it did not look like something you would want to eat, which is why I have no plans to post pictures. If everyone really wants to see, and leaves comments to that effect, I might be persuaded.

That being said, even though it wasn’t pretty, it was very, very tasty.

Creamy Shepherd’s Pie Bowls

For filling:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 can beef consumme
  • 1 can mixed vegetables, drained
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon mild curry powder

For potato topping:

    • about 4 potatoes, mashed (I used leftovers)
    • 1 cup shredded cheese (we had Gouda on hand, but Parmesan would be good, or anything you like, really)
    • 1/2 cup sour cream

    1. Brown ground beef in a large skillet, with garlic powder, salt & pepper, and curry powder. Do not drain the drippings (they will be used to build the sauce).

    2. When the meat is cooked through, add the can of vegetables.  Sprinkle with the flour and stir until everything is evenly coated. Continue cooking for one or two minutes so that the flour is browned, to remove that chalky raw-flour taste.

    3. Add the can of consumme, Worcestershire sauce, and balsamic vinegar. Continue to cook over medium-high heat until sauce thickens. Pour into a baking dish. (I used a Corningware casserole dish, 2 1/2 quarts. Pyrex would probably work fine here as well.)

    4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees while you prepare the potato topping.

    5. In a medium mixing bowl, combine mashed potatoes, 3/4 cup of the shredded cheese, and sour cream.

    6. Carefully spread the mashed potato mixture over the top of the meat filling. Spread to the edge of the dish to avoid the sauce leaking out of the dish. Use a fork to add texture to the top of the mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 25 minutes, until heated all the way through. The mashed potatoes should be brown and crispy at the top and edges.

    Note: I’m calling this a shepherd’s pie bowl (and this is part of the problem with the pictures) because the mashed potatoes kind of ran together with the filling once you scooped it out of the pan. It was delicious, but not really the two separate textures that you expect from a true Shepherd’s Pie. I do have some ideas to correct that, and will try them next time. One is simply more mashed potatoes. A thicker layer of potatoes would have browned better and held up more easily I think. My other idea was to treat the mashed potatoes like a potato pancake batter, adding an egg and a little bit of flour along with the cheese and sour cream. I actually would have done that this time, but we were out of eggs. I’ll definitely be making this again, but I do hope to get the potato crust better next time.

    Ranch Crockpot Pork Chops with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

    Thursday, March 12th, 2009

    Crockpot recipes really are fantastic. Even though I absolutely love to cook, and making dinner is one of my favorite parts of the day, there is something very satisfying about coming home from work to the smell of dinner simmering away. No exception here. When I opened the door and walked into the kitchen, I was met with the delicious scent of slow cooked pork chops.

    The picture below doesn’t do this dish justice. It’s not pretty, or flashy, but it was one of the tastiest dishes I’ve made in the crockpot in a while. The recipe calls for a regular can of soup, but I substituted 98% fat free cream of chicken soup–I don’t find enough of  a taste difference to warrant the extra calories in the full fat version. I used a regular packet of ranch dressing, but I don’t think it would suffer if you wanted to lighten it further by using a fat free packet of dressing.

    pork-chops

    Ranch Crockpot Pork Chops with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
    Adapted from www.picky-palate.com.

    • 4 pork chops, 1 & 1/2 inch thick
    • 1 packet dry Ranch Dressing Seasoning
    • 10 oz can Cream of Chicken Soup
    • 4 lbs peeled, cubed yukon gold potatoes (I leave the skin on for my mashed potatoes most times. I like the taste of them!)
    • 5 Tablespoons real butter
    • 6 cloves roasted garlic (leftover from a Chicken & 40 Cloves)
    • 1- 1 1/2 Cups warm milk
    • 1 Tablespoon salt, or to taste
    • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper, or to taste

    1. Place pork chops, Ranch seasoning and soup into a medium sized crock pot over high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 6 hours.

    2. Place potatoes into a large pot of cold water. Place onto stovetop over high heat and bring to a boil. Once water is boiling, cook for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain and transfer to the work bowl of a stand or electric mixer. Mix on low until potatoes are mashed then add butter, garlic, milk, salt and pepper.

    3. Scoop mashed potatoes onto serving plates and top with pork chops and soup gravy from crock pot.

    Note: I ended up thickening this sauce with a corstarch slurry, because it was a little thin for my tastes. Otherwise, I’d call this perfect. We used thick cut pork loin chops that stood up well to the crockpot cooking.

    Baked Potatoes with Yogurt & Sour Cream

    Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

    I made these baked potatoes from the Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics cookbook, and for the first time, I was slightly disappointed.

    Disappointed probably isn’t the word, because the potatoes were…good. They just weren’t as good as the other recipes I’ve tried from the book. The sauce was fine, but nothing spectacular, and I know that oven-baked potatoes are supposed to be better than the microwave kind, but since this recipe didn’t do anything to the skins, there really wasn’t much of a difference in the actual texture of the potato.

    In short, there’s nothing wrong with the recipe below, but I probably won’t make it again. It wasn’t special enough to be worth the trouble. On the plus side, the sour cream/yogurt sauce is lower in fat and calories than the traditional butter & sour cream mixture, and doesn’t really sacrifice any flavor.

    Baked Potatoes with Yogurt & Sour Cream
    Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics cookbook

    • 4 Idaho russet baking potatoes
    • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, plus extra for garnish
    • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

    Wash the potatoes and place them directly on the oven baking rack. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until very tender when pierced with a fork.

    Meanwhile, combine the yogurt, sour cream, chives, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and place in a serving bowl. Garnish with extra chives. Chill.

    When potatoes are done, cut them down the middle and squeeze both ends. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve the hot baked potatoes with the cold chive dressing.

    Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

    Monday, March 2nd, 2009

    When I was in college, I worked as a server at The Olive Garden. One of the staples of my diet while I was there was soup (the other was breadsticks!). One of the problems with working in a restaurant like that is you learn to like all sorts of dishes, but when you visit the restaurant as a “civillian,” you have to choose just one thing.

    Luckily, now that I can make Zuppa Toscana and Pasta e Fagioli at home, I can at least remove the soup or salad choice from that dilemma!

    zuppa_toscana_3752

    I may have stolen that picture from the Olive Garden website, but I promise–mine was just like the real thing!

    Olive Garden Copycat Zuppa Toscana
    Serves 4-6

    Ingredients

    • 1 lb sweet bulk Italian sausage (or links, with the casings removed)
    • freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 tsp kosher salt
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 2/3 cup cream
    • 4 quarts chicken stock (homemade or from a box; don’t substitute broth)
    • 3 slices bacon
    • 6 c water
    • 1/4 tsp ground aniseed
    • 1 bunch kale, cut into bite size pieces
    • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
    • 3-4 large russet potatoes, sliced
    • 1 large onion white, finely chopped

    Directions

    1. Bring chicken stock & water to a light boil & add potatoes.

    2. In a large skillet cook bacon until somewhat done & remove from the pan. Crumble the bacon and reserve for later.

    3. Sauté the onion in the bacon fat until the onions are a golden brown color. Add to boiling stock & potatoes.

    4. In the same skillet add olive oil, garlic and crumbled Italian sausage. Cook over medium high heat until the sausage is cooked through, about 7-8 minutes. When sausage is cooked, add the contents of the skillet to the boiling stock & potatoes.

    5. Continue to cook at a light boil until the potatoes are fork tender. When they are done reduce heat and add cream, crumbled bacon, kale, salt, anise, red pepper, black pepper. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, to allow the flavors to come together. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and garlic bread.

    Note: I made this as listed the first time I tried it, and it was good, but I found that we all picked around the kale, so I left that out the second time. That’s another reason to recreate restaurant favorites at home–I only have to add the parts I like!

    Potatoes Au Gratin

    Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

    The final component to our Valentine’s day dinner? Potatoes Au Gratin. This is similar to our usual scalloped potatoes, but with a creamier texture. The Dubliner cheese added a slightly nutty flavor, as well. The nutmeg sounds strange, I know, but it actually works very well with the cream. There’s not much at all compared to the other ingredients but it adds to the flavor in a big way. If you don’t have fresh nutmeg to grate, I’d probably skip it though. Nutmeg from a can tastes like pumpkin pie!

    img_1658

    Potatoes Au Gratin

    • 4-5 large baking potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced.
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 6 tablespoons flour, divided
    • 1 cup cream
    • 2 cups shredded cheese (we used Dubliner Cheese, but Parmesan, Gruyere, Cheddar–really anything you like is fine), divided
    • freshly grated nutmeg
    • salt & pepper
    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a 3-quart casserole with cooking spray.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, toss salt, pepper, nutmeg, 3 tablespoons of flour, and sliced potatoes to coat. Set aside.
    3. In a medium sauce pan, over medium heat, combine remaining 3 tablespoons of flour and 3 tablespoons of butter to make a roux. Cook until the mixture is a golden brown color. Whisk in the cream and heat until just under boiling. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese, reserving half a cup for topping the potatoes later.
    4. When cheese is melted, pour the cheese/cream mixture over the sliced potatoes and stir to combine. Transfer to prepared casserole dish and top with remaining shredded cheese.
    5. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.

    Pot Roast Pot Pie

    Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

    This beef pot pie is my favorite way to use up leftovers from a roast. The process is the same as the Chicken Pot Pie, and the results are just as good. I made this with the leftovers from the Company Pot Roast, which added a tangy flavor to the pot pie (from the red wine in the sauce) that wasn’t there when I made this dish with a more traditional pot roast.

    Pot Roast Pot Pie

    For the filling

    • 1/2 to 1 lb leftover pot roast, cut into 1 inch cubes
    • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 can of beef gravy
    • 1 can of mixed vegetables (like Veg-All) or if you prefer, a can of peas and carrots
    • 1 can of sliced new potatoes
    • 1 small can of mushrooms (optional–if you’re a regular around here, you know that we always skip the mushrooms, but they’d be good!)

    For the crust:

    • 1 box 9-inch ready-made refrigerated pie crust (such as Pillsbury; you’ll need both crusts in the box for a bottom and top crust) at room temperature.
    • 1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp water
    • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

    1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place one half of pie crust in the bottom of a thick pie plate (we have this awesome stoneware one) or an oven-safe skillet. You just want it to be deep enough to hold all of the filling. Dock the pie crust by poking it several times with a fork and bake for about 10 minutes, until light brown. This helps to keep the bottom crust crispy.

    2. While the crust is baking, heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, until it the surface begins to shimmer. Add the pot roast pieces and cook until heated through, about 3-4 minutes. The edges should begin to brown.

    3. Once the pot roast is heated all the way through, add the gravy, vegetables, and mushrooms and continue to cook over medium heat until the mixture begins to bubble at the edges. Pour into the prepared bottom pie crust. Carefully cover with the second pie crust to form the top.

    4. Tuck the edges of the pie crust so that the bottom and top crust meet, and cut four slits in the top to allow steam to escape as the pie cooks.

    5. Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Bake the pie for 30-40 minutes, or until crust is crisp and golden brown. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting into the pie.

    Note: I have made this before using only canned gravy, and it turns out well. In this case, I had a delicious gravy from the Company Pot Roast recipe, so I used half a can of gravy and half a cup of the Pot Roast sauce. As I said, it was very good. Plus, I love being able to use leftovers in a second meal. It makes the second meal extra easy to prepare, and nothing goes to waste!

    Teri’s Own Chicken Pot Pie

    Sunday, February 8th, 2009

    This chicken pot pie recipe is one of the few recipes that I’ve invented on my own, and it’s both simple and delicious. It was more of a sucessful experiment than anything else. I shared the recipe with my mom once, and now it’s a part of the regular rotation at my parents’ house. It’s very simple, but surprisingly delicious, and can even be made ahead and baked fresh. The way I make it now really relies on canned and prepared ingredients, but I do play with the idea of stepping it up a bit and making my own pie crust or using fresher veggies from time to time. But then I remember that one of the things I like best about this is how simple it is, and I just keep making it like this. Not everything has to be fancy, especially on a weeknight!

    Teri’s Own Chicken Pot Pie

    For the chicken:

    • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
    • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    • salt and pepper
    • 1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
    • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

    For the filling:

    • 1 can of cream of chicken soup (if you want to lighten it up, the 98% fat free version works just as well)
    • 2 Tbsp milk
    • 1 can of mixed vegetables (like Veg-All) or if you prefer, a can of peas and carrots
    • 1 small can of mushrooms (optional–my “test kitchen” doesn’t do mushrooms, so I skip them, but my parents include them)

    For the crust:

    • 1 box 9-inch ready-made refrigerated pie crust (such as Pillsbury; you’ll need both crusts in the box for a bottom and top crust) at room temperature.
    • 1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp water
    • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

    1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place one half of pie crust in the bottom of a thick pie plate (we have this awesome stoneware one) or an oven-safe skillet. A 9-inch cast iron skillet works well here, but I’ve also made this dish in a nonstick skillet as well (the bonus pan, pictured here). You just want it to be deep enough to hold all of the filling. Dock the pie crust by poking it several times with a fork and bake for about 10 minutes, until light brown. This helps to keep the bottom crust crispy.

    2. While the crust is baking, sprinkle chicken pieces with salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, and garlic powder. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, until it the surface begins to shimmer. Add the chicken and cook through, about 8-10 minutes. The edges will begin to brown and the chicken will be hot and white all the way through.

    3. Once the chicken is cooked, add the soup, milk, vegetables, and mushrooms and continue to cook over medium heat until the mixture begins to bubble at the edges. Once heated through, pour into the prepared bottom pie crust. Carefully cover with the second pie crust to form the top.

    4. Tuck the edges of the pie crust so that the bottom and top crust meet, and cut four slits in the top to allow steam to escape as the pie cooks.

    5. Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Bake the pie for 30-40 minutes, or until crust is crisp and golden brown. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting into the pie.

    Note: As I said, this recipe for pot pie is quick and tasty. The pie can be prepared ahead through step 4, and then regfrigerated until ready to be baked. If making the pie ahead, bring it to room temperature on the counter before baking. This method is actually pretty versitile. You could make just about any pot pie you’d like, just by changing around the ingredients. I’ve successfully made Beef Pot Pie, with just a few substitutions, but I plan to try others. I’ll let you know how they turn out!

    Not From a Box Scalloped Potatoes

    Monday, February 2nd, 2009

    These are the scalloped potatoes I grew up with, and they’re much better than anything you might find in a box, as you can probably imagine. They’re also just about as easy. Just do what I do:

    Not From a Box Scalloped Potatoes

    • Potatoes
    • Milk
    • Flour
    • Butter
    • Salt & Pepper

    1. Slice 4-5 large potatoes about 1/4 inch thick. No need to peel the potatoes, skin is fine.

    2. Layer the potato slices in a large baking dish and top with two or three 1/2 tablespoon sized pats of butter, a sprinkle of flour, and a bit of salt and pepper.

    3. Repeat. Top that layer with another layer of potatoes, butter, flour, salt and pepper. Garlic powder is welcome, but not required. Continue layering the potato slices in this way until you’ve reached the top of the baking dish.

    4. Pour 1 & 1/2 cups of milk, half & half, cream, or any combination thereof (I like half and half, but we don’t always have it on hand) over the potatoes, tilting the baking dish back and forth to help the milk move through each layer.

    5. Bake in a 350 degree oven until fork tender, about 45 minutes. Let cool for 10  minutes or so before cutting into the potatoes, so they have time to set up.

    I served this with Alton Brown’s Baby Back Ribs, which you’ll be hearing about soon, but it is a good side dish for lots of things. Of course, I think the traditional partner for scalloped potatoes is ham. Yum.

    Mustard Roasted Fish

    Thursday, January 1st, 2009

    David and I are not normally fish eaters. Sometimes we think we’d like to be–and we’ll both enjoy restaurant Fish & Chips from time to time, but fish is not normally something I make at home.

    The success of the previous Barefoot Contessa recipe, Coq au Vin, and the desire to be people who actually eat fish led to me making Ina Garten’s Mustard Roasted Fish for dinner this week. I served it with Skillet Smashed Potatoes from 101 cookbooks.

    The fish was easy enough to cook, and the sauce was creamy and tangy. The first couple of bites were impressive, but somehow, David and I both lost interest in the dish pretty quickly. It was a nice recipe, and maybe people who enjoy fish more than we do would enjoy it more. One of these times, I’ll remember that we don’t really like fish!

    img_1380

    Mustard Roasted Fish
    From the Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics cookbook. Serves 4

    • 4 (8 ounce) fish fillets such as red snapper (tilapia was what we used)
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 8 ounces creme fraiche
    • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
    • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
    • 2 teaspoons drained capers

    1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

    2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Place the fish fillets skin side down on the sheet pan. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

    3. Combine the creme fraiche, two mustards, shallots, capers, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Spoon the sauce evenly over the fish, making sure the fish is completely covered. Bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until it’s barely done. Be sure not to overcook it! Serve hot or at room temperature with the sauce form the pan spooned over the top.

    Note: Even though David and I were not huge fans of this recipe, our friend Leah liked it a lot, even though she is not a big fan of mustard. She likes fish a lot, an was impressed with this preparation. Because she doesn’t like mustard, I baked her a “safer” fish with olive oil, lemon pepper, and garlic, and she liked that, but she loved the mustard roasted fish.

    I probably won’t make this again, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth making if you do like fish.

    Skillet Smashed Potatoes

    • one small bag of small potatoes (I used Russian fingerling potatoes, but baby yukon golds or baby reds could work here )
    • salt & pepper
    • 1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil

    Start by placing the potatoes in a large saucepan. Add a teaspoon of salt and cover with water. Don’t peel the potatoes, because the skin helps keep the potatoes together. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and cook at a low boil until they are tender enough to slide a knife in easily. It is important not to over-boil them, for golf ball size potatoes about 10 minutes or a little less. Drain the potatoes.

    Heat the olive in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Keep in mind it needs to be big enough to hold the potatoes, which double in size when they are smashed. Smash each potato with a masher or the bottom of a heavy glass. Season with salt and pepper and cook until crisp, and them turn and cook the other side. Sprinkle with chives, fresh herbs, or any seasonings you like and serve.

    Note: These were good, but not great. They turned out mostly like fried potatoes, which are good, but a lot less work than par-boiling and smashing them and all that, so I’d probably just fry the potatoes the next time.