Old Recipe Savoury,Savoury

Za’atar Smashed Potatoes

I only like food without color, like potatoes, bread, and pasta. Emma Roberts

Okay, I have a confession – I adore the Kardashians. And I’m not ashamed to say so. I wake up every morning and watch them work out on Snapchat, and then proceed to devour sometimes not-so-healthy breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes (I’m shameless that way), and then follow their (staged) antics through the day. Despite all that is said about them, I am quite in awe of them – a whole family (minus Rob) look so amazingly good, work out hard, raise so many children, live exorbitant lives, own multiple houses, and not a single millionaire male is around them to foot the bills. They do work hard – they just make it look like they don’t.

One day while stalking Kylie Jenner on Snapchat, and mind you, she does cook, she made these smashed baby potatoes that looked gorgeous and gobble-worthy. I had to recreate them despite not being such a big fan of potatoes. I guess it is true the Kardashian-Jenner sisters are trend-setters!

I highly recommend preparing double the amount normally required (I learnt the hard way!). The reasonable count per person is 3 mini potatoes – but this figure is a poor reference with a table full of hungry boys! As they are crispy and crunchy, like French fries, it’s hard to put a count on this.

These potatoes can be prepped in advance by boiling the night before and then put into the oven an hour before serving. They can also be crisped up a few hours earlier and then re-heated in the oven for a good 15-20 minutes. In short, planning is required when serving these up.

Wash and scrub the baby potatoes well before boiling. Once this is done, dry them out completely on a tea towel napkin. Then smash them with palms of your hand (it’s quite therapeutic). Drizzle with a good amount of olive oil, salt and pepper. Put them in the oven for a good 45 minutes and these are ready to be served as it is.

However I dress them up a bit with some za’atar and a thick mint garlic yogurt sauce. I served them as a side dish with the Moroccan Stew and rice.

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The Recipe
Serves Yields: 20 | Prep Time: 90 mins | Cook Time: 60 mins

Ingredients

  • 20 baby potatoes
  • 2 tsp salt (for boiling)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • Olive oil (for greasing)
  • Za’atar paste:
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp za’atar
  • Yogurt Sauce:
  • 1 cup strained yogurt
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp dried mint
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Instructions

  • Wash and scrub the potatoes well.
  • Boil the potatoes in a large pot with salt. This should take about 20-25 minutes depending on their size.
  • The potatoes should be cooked through, but not overcooked.
  • Remove the potatoes from the water and let them dry completely on a tea cloth.
  • Leave the potatoes to come down to room temperature (about 30-45 minutes).
  • Preheat the oven at 180°C.
  • Grease a baking tray well with olive oil.
  • Place all the baby potatoes on the tray.
  • Gently place a butter paper on top the potato, and with the palm of your hand, gently press down the potato, to smash it just a little, but not too much to break the potato into pieces.
  • Drizzle olive oil on top of the potatoes and season well with salt and pepper.
  • Place in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes, keeping a careful eye to ensure no burning. The potatoes should be browned and crispy on all sides.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the condiments.
  • Stir the yogurt with the garlic, mint, olive oil, salt and lemon juice and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
  • Stir the za’atar with the olive oil to make a runny paste.
  • When the potatoes are ready, remove from the oven. The potatoes should be crispy on top and soft on the inside.
  • Plate the potatoes on a serving tray.
  • Drizzle the za’atar on top of the potatoes evenly.
  • Place a spoon of the thick yogurt on top of each smashed potato, or serve it on the side.
  • NOTE: You can boil the potatoes beforehand (early morning, night before) and keep the potatoes in the fridge. But remove them from the fridge and let them come down to room temperature before roasting in the oven.