Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Punched Potatoes

In Lexington, VA, besides farmer's markets, the only markets are Wal-Mart and Kroger. There's also a Food Lion, but that was a little out of my way so I always went to Wal-Mart, which was literally 5 minutes from the house. Wal-Mart may have a good selection in the aisles, but the produce section is lacking and challenging to find fruits or vegetables in good condition.

Here at home, in South Jersey, we've got Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, ShopRite, Target, Genuardi's, and the Asian market, Hanahreum. You name it, we've probably got it. I love shopping everywhere except Genuardi's, where the food is too pricey and is poor quality. My mom loves shopping at the Asian market. We usually go shopping there on days she comes home early, so when I got back last week, she bought a whole bunch of food for the birthday dinner party we had for my dad on Sunday and I grabbed some new potatoes.

Punched Potatoes

I call this Punched Potatoes instead of Roasted Smashed Potatoes because it's just more fun. Plus, I literally did punch them. The potatoes are hot so cover your fist with a towel when punching. You could also use the back of a fork or a knife. I love the thin crispy skin on the potatoes when baked. And even though the garlic is baked unpeeled, the flavor still gets infused into the potatoes. If you don't like the taste of garlic too much but still want a light flavor, you can opt not to toss everything together at the end.

Punched Potatoes

Punched Potatoes
From Honest Cooking

- 650 grams (about 22 units) small yellow potatoes, unpeeled
- Olive oil
- Coarse salt
- 4 large garlic cloves, left whole and unpeeled

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large pot, pour about 1 liter (4 cups) of water and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, add the potatoes and 2 teaspoons of salt and cook, at a medium boil, for 10 to 12 minutes. To make sure the potatoes are cooked, run a knife into one of them: if the knife slides easily, you’re good to go. Also, do your best not to overcook the potatoes, or they’ll fall apart when you mash them.
2. When the potatoes are boiled, wash them under cold running water to prevent them from continuing to cook, and also to make them easier to handle with your hands. Now, place the potatoes in your cutboard and, using your fist, punch them so that they flatten a bit.
3. Place the potatoes and the garlic cloves in the baking tray. Add a pinch of salt and drizzle a little olive oil over each potato. Bake the potatoes in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes. After that time, turn the potatoes, drizzle more olive oil over them, and bake for additional 15 minutes.
4. When the potatoes are done, transfer them to a large serving dish. Peel the garlic cloves, mash them with the back of a fork, and add them to the potatoes, mixing well to combine. Serve immediately.

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