Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, these smashed potatoes will rock your world. Top with salt and pepper and a bit more evoo, or sprinkle with a gremolata, some finely chopped herbs (think rosemary, thyme and/or parsley) or Parm to add even more flavor to these delightfully crispy and life-changing potatoes. Think about serving them with sour cream and chives or homemade aioli.
In a large pot, place potatoes and cover with three inches of water, place over high heat and bring to a boil. Add one teaspoon salt to the water. When the water boils, lower heat to a simmer and let cook for 10-25 minutes (depends on the size of the potatoes), until a fork or the tip of a knife easily slips in and out of each potato.
Drain well in a colander and place on a baking sheet lined with a clean kitchen towel. Let the potatoes cool and dry completely.
To speed up the cooling process, you can round up the potatoes in the kitchen towel by grabbing all four corners of the towel and carefully placing the potato filled towel in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450.
On a rimmed baking sheet, add 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil and spread the oil around with your fingers so it coats the entire pan. Now rub the olive oil into your hands and just let it soak in for a few minutes. You can either wash your hands or enjoy the moisturizing properties...
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove them from the fridge and carefully place them on the baking sheet. Using a potato masher, the flat side of a meat tenderizer or the palm of your hand, smash the potato until it is 1/2" thick while keeping it in tact. Though the skin will split, try and keep the potato from falling apart. Repeat with the remaining potatoes. (I used all three methods--potato masher, meat tenderizer and the palm of my hand. I felt I had the most control when using my hand...)
Place the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a small bowl and generously brush each smashed potato with the oil. Then sprinkle the potatoes liberally with salt and pepper and herbs, if using (herbs can also be added after cooking the potatoes--your choice).
Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, carefully flip the potatoes (I used a spatula and a fork--one in each hand) and, if using, sprinkle the Parmesan.
Place the baking sheet back in the oven for another 20 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.
When the potatoes are done and while they are still hot, sprinkle lightly with Maldon salt and more pepper, if desired. Add herbs now or gremolata and serve immediately. Though these are spectacular as they are, consider serving with a dollop of sour cream and chives or a homemade aioli.