Pan Fried Squished Potatoes
Baby potatoes are so cute. I just want to squish them. And so I do. The only downside about making potatoes this way is that you have to use both a pot and a pan for one side dish. You know me, I normally try to avoid that nonsense whenever possible, because around here, I’m both the cook and the dish washer. But for this recipe, it’s necessary, so if I can suck it up, you can too. Your efforts will be worth it.
Who doesn’t like fried potatoes? Seriously, there’s a reason french fries are so addicting. It’s all about the texture, am I right? The outsides are hot and crispy, and the insides are soft and heavenly. There you go. These squished potatoes are sorta like french fries. Okay, not really at all because let’s be real people, there are no substitutions for golden crispy french fries. But they’re still worth making. So here we go.
All you have to do is grab some tiny taters. I have to admit, when I go grocery shopping, I usually don’t have a game plan in mind. I peruse until I find something that calls out to me… yeah I’m a hipster like that. This time, I found an adorable mixed bag of baby potatoes at Costco, but you can use any small round potatoes you can find.
Then you place them in a pot of cold water and bring them to a boil,
until they’re just fork tender.
Place them in a colander so they can “dry out” a little, but make sure they’re still slightly warm and don’t cool off completely before you squish them.
If they cool off too much, you’ll have a harder time squishing them, or they might completely break on you.
Apply pressure with the palm of your hand, but don’t smash. Just gently squish.
You don’t want to end up with potato road kill.
I love the way the purple potatoes look speckled against the pale yellow ones.
Then fry them up in a pan with some oil. I used olive oil, but you can use grape seed, canola, BUTTAH, whatever.
When they’re really crispy and golden brown on each side, you’re good to go. For sure you can throw them on a baking pan, douse them with oil, and roast them in the oven too. But I didn’t feel like turning on the oven, or washing a big sheet pan. See? It always goes back to me not wanting to wash dishes.
If you’re smart, you will generously season them with salt and pepper, when they come hot off the pan, so that the salt will dissolve into the hot potatoes. And that’s all you really need. Now, if you’re a genius, you will add other interesting things like lemon zest, minced green onions, and garlic powder. I mean, it wouldn’t hurt.
I just wouldn’t add anything liquid-y to them because after all, you just did spend all that time making them crisp. If you add for instance lemon juice instead of just the lemon zest, the outside would turn soggy again, and then you would be sad… actually I would be sad for you.
So instead of a structured recipe, I have more of a guide line or jumping off point. Just take this method, have fun, and make it your own.
Pan fried squished potatoes are great with steak, chicken, or pork chops. But you could also eat them for breakfast with your eggs and bacon! Shoot, go ahead and dip em in ketchup for all I care. So squish away my friends, and enjoy the soft and crispy goodness.
- Baby potatoes, skin left on, left whole
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil, or any oil of your choice
- Lemon zest (zest only, not juice)
- Garlic powder (or fresh minced garlic)
- Chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives, rosemary, or minced scallions
- Wash your baby potatoes and place them in a pot of cold water. Make sure they're covered by at least an inch of water. Bring to a boil and cook the potatoes until they are just fork tender.
- Drain the potatoes in a colander, and place it on top of the hot pot you just used to cook the potatoes, to dry them out slightly.
- While they're still warm, gently squish the potatoes, one at a time with the palm of your hand. Avoid over-squishing them, or they will completely fall apart. You want them to burst from their skins, but still stay in tact.
- In a large pan, heat oil, and add the potatoes in one layer. Cook on one side until brown and crispy. Flip, and brown on the other side. Add more oil if necessary. Season the potatoes generously with salt and pepper, while the potatoes are still hot. Add any optional seasonings of your choice, such as lemon zest (not juice), garlic powder, or fresh herbs. Serve while hot.