These twice-cooked potatoes remind me of plantain tostones that are fried, smashed, and then fried again. Here the potatoes are steamed first, smashed, and then pan-fried until crisp. This is an instance where coarse flaky sea salt is called for, but kosher salt can be used as well.
NotesTo flatten the potatoes, place one in your palm, cover with your other palm as if you were going to clap your hands or make a snowball. Use firm pressure to flatten the potato until the edges crack and it is about half its former thickness. Don’t try to flatten the potato completely.
Cooking Methodpan-frying, steaming
Total Timeunder 1 hour
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Courseside dish
Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturecrisp, salty
Type of Dishvegetable
- 1½ to 2 pounds small potatoes (about 20)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Olive oil
- Coarse sea salt
Fill a large saucepan or stockpot with 1 to 2 inches of water. Place a collapsible vegetable steamer basket in the pan and place the potatoes in the basket. Add the kosher salt, cover, and bring to a boil. Steam over medium heat until the potatoes are just tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 25 minutes. Be careful not to overcook or they won’t hold together when smashed. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle.
Carefully flatten the potatoes by gently squeezing them, one at a time, between the palms of your hands so that they flatten slightly but remain in one piece; some potatoes will inevitably break but they can still be used. Pour about ¼ inch oil in a medium frying pan and heat over medium-high heat until hot. You can test to see if the oil is ready by placing a piece of potato in to see if it sizzles, or by dipping the handle of a wooden spoon in the oil. When the oil is hot, bubbles will quickly form and rise around the spoon.
Fry the potatoes until they are crisp and brown on the first side, 4 to 6 minutes. Turn the potatoes with tongs and brown the other side, 4 to 6 minutes. Depending on the size of the potatoes and the pan, this may need to be done in 2 or 3 batches. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Arrange on a platter and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. (Keep warm in the oven while frying the rest.)
2005 Susan Spungen