Pioneer Woman's "Crash Hot Potatoes" are one of my favorite things - I just love 'em!! But I got to thinking the other day, maybe... just maybe... I can make them even better. (I know - sacrilege, huh?) But how? As far as I'm concerned, the only thing that could make those crispy little savouries any better is - yep, you guessed it - Roasted Garlic. (In retrospect, I should have called this year's Vegan MoFo "Roasted Garlic MoFo.") But how? Then it hit me - the other day, my kids' Gramma and I spent all day canning fruit and I bought a new melon-baller to core the pears (works like a charm, by the way). A melon-baller was the perfect tool to make my little garlic-infused darlings. After that, it was super easy to put everything together.
Beside a melon-baller and the obvious kitchen equipment, you will need:
- Small, round potatoes - I used Yukon Golds
- Garlic Cloves, peeled and gently smashed - 1 for each potato
- Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt
- Rosemary, or other herbs (optional)
Step 1 - Cork:
Preheat oven to 450°. Using the small end of the melon-baller, carve out a core. You will do this in two motions - the first removing the skin and a round "cork" which you will be replacing later, and second a deeper core where the garlic clove will go. Once you have cored the potato and removed both pieces, place a clove of garlic in the cavity. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the garlic clove and sprinkle with just a little kosher salt. "Recork" the potato.
Once all your potatoes are prepared, place them all on a foil-lined cookie sheet an inch or two apart. (I kept the extra little core pieces and put them in too.) Lay a couple pieces of rosemary between the potatoes. Cover the whole cookie sheet tightly with aluminum foil and put it into the hot oven for 25 minutes.
Step 2 - Smash
Take the sheet of potatoes out of the oven, uncover and smash them with the bottom of a plate or bowl. Don't get all crazy and mash them - just smash them until they are about ½ -¾ inch thick. Drizzle each potato with a little more olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. You can add a little chopped rosemary or other herbs at this time, or just leave them as-is. Put everything back into the oven uncovered and bake for another 20-25 minutes.
Step 3 - Potato Heaven
Take the potatoes out of the oven and serve. The garlic will be fully roasted, the potatoes will be crispy and tender, and your kitchen will smell delicious.