Six years ago, I started a blog. It was a bit impulsive — I hadn’t really thought about what would go into it — but I figured the Internet wasn’t really the place for hard-and-fast rules and jumped in headfirst. I was 21 years old, a grad student, and all I really knew was that I really liked food and wanted to talk to strangers about it.
Since then, this space has evolved. Posts on restaurant recs and foodie events became recipes, first easy ones (like roasted vegetables and garlic bread), then multi-step, multi-day projects (like salted caramel banana bread pudding) and showstoppers like braised lamb.
I slowly began realizing how much I enjoyed cooking and how I could become better at it, one dish at a time. Now, at 27, cooking is a way to unwind after a long day at work, a way to celebrate others (and celebrate with others), a way to nourish myself, healthfully or otherwise.
Blogging can occasionally be a challenge: there’s never enough time to cook all of the things I want to cook, or write about all of the things I want to write, or photograph exactly the way I want to photograph. The past few months have been especially hard, since I’ve been extremely busy — first with running, and then with work. There have been so many ideas that have lingered in email drafts or on Post-It notes, never making it to on the page because I couldn’t make it to the grocery store. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve had to throw away ingredients that rotted before I could get to them, or when, at the end of a long day, I finally made it home, I’d throw something together so quickly that there was no time to for even an iPhone photo, much less fix lighting or worry about the correct angles for a decent shot.
But, six years in, I’ve decided it doesn’t matter. This started as a passion project, and it’s one that I’ve returned to time and again, despite multiple moves, job changes and other life happenings along the way. This year, my goal is to present you guys with the dishes that drew me to the kitchen despite a busy schedule — the dishes that were so good that they evaded every excuse.
These smashed potatoes are #1 on that list. They combine the crispy exterior of tater tots with the creamy interior of roast potatoes, and take very little effort to make. They’re so addictive that I ate most of them before I could even finish the rest of my dinner (which also featured this creamed spinach, in case you wanted a sad little window into how behind I am on blogging). I added garlic and rosemary, but you could do any blend of spices and herbs you like. This is simple food cooked to perfection, the kind of food I hope to deliver all year long.
Thanks everyone for being part of this journey!
- 2 pounds small Yukon gold potatoes, washed (I used a mix of small Yukon gold and red potatoes)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
- Preheat oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.
- Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then add salt and cook for 10-12 minutes. Drain.
- Transfer the potatoes to a baking sheet and use the bottom of a glass to lightly flatten the potatoes -- you want the skin to break and the potatoes to flatten to roughly an inch thickness.
- Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes, then sprinkle the garlic and rosemary on the potatoes and return to the oven. Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. When done, the potatoes should be golden on the outside and the skin should be crispy.