GINNA PARSONS: Little potatoes cute and tasty

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

During the work week, I can always tell when my husband didn’t eat enough lunch. Long about 2 o’clock in the afternoon, I’ll start to get a series of short emails from him.
“How about this for dinner?” one will say, and there will be a link to some yummy recipe he’s found while surfing the Internet during his lunch break.
Usually, that email will be followed by another with a different dinner suggestion. If I don’t respond immediately, I’m likely to get a third idea from him.
One day last week – I think he’d had a can of soup for lunch – I got an afternoon email that directed me to a link from the kitchen of Deep South Dish (www.deepsouthdish.com). The recipe was for these cute little Crispy Smashed Potatoes.
Because it was a pretty day out, we’d already decided we were going to grill turkey burgers for dinner that night. So instead of the steak fries we had planned, we substituted these little potatoes.
I used red potatoes about the size of Ping-Pong balls and fixed two each. They were a hit with everyone, even son Patrick, who generally likes potatoes only when they come in the form of fries. For non-pork-eating daughter, Mary, we omitted the bacon crumbles (on hers only).
I can definitely see these on the grazing table come Super Bowl Sunday. They’d be perfect paired with little hamburger sliders.

Crispy Smashed Potatoes
6 small red potatoes or 12 tiny new potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary
Thin slices of cold butter
1 green onion, sliced thin
3 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1⁄4 cup of shredded cheese
Boil whole, unpeeled potatoes in salted water until fork tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to drain.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Apply oil to a jelly roll pan, and roll the potatoes in the oil, coating all sides. Cut slashes lightly into the top of each potato. Using a potato masher, slowly and carefully press down on the potatoes to flatten them (try not to break them apart). Sprinkle potatoes with salt, pepper and rosemary. Stuff each potato with a thin slice of butter and drizzle additional olive oil over the top. Bake at 450 for 20 to 25 minutes, or until potato becomes very crisp and browned on top.
Remove potatoes from oven and top with green onion, crumbled bacon and a pinch of shredded cheese; return to the oven just long enough for cheese to melt.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.