Crash Hot Potatoes
This is a much-loved, much discussed roast potato recipe of Jill Dupleix's making; Jill is an expat Australian food writer, now living in London as cookery editor of The Times newspaper. She is sorely missed back here in Australia, particularly Melbourne, where she is from. Jill has published some excellent cook books; Take Three, Simple Food (from whence this goodly recipe came), Very Simple Food etc and her website http://www.jilldupleix.com has a recipe section with a good selection from her various books and newspaper columns.
I didn't have any small potatoes, as the recipe requires, so cut up some larger potatoes into chunks. I encountered some difficulty when crushing them with the potato smasher as they kept getting all caught up in the prongs, and making a big mush. This wouldn't happen if using small potatoes. Next time....
These are just SO yummy. They're still soft and fluffy inside, but outside they're really crisp and tasty. The thyme and salt make excellent flavourings.
Jill Dupleix - Simple Food
This is one of those crazy little recipes that once tried, is immediately incorporated into your own repertoire. It's what you want when you want a crisp, roast potato, only better. And all you have to do is boil a few small potatoes, smash them flat and blast them in a hot oven until they are terminally crisp. Serve with lamb, pan-fried fish, grilled sausages, or even on their own, or topped with smoked salmon and creme fraiche, with drinks.
16 small, round potatoes
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp fennel or caraway seeds
1 tbsp thyme or rosemary sprigs
Heat oven to 230 or 250C - yes, hot. Don't peel the potatoes. Just bung them into a pot of salted water, bring to the boil, and simmer for around 15 minutes until they'll take a skewer without too much resistance. They should be just about cooked, without being soft.
Drain, and arrange on a lightly oiled baking tray or sheet. Use a potato masher to squash each potato flat, until it is twice its original diameter.
Brush the tops with olive oil, and scatter with sea salt, pepper, fennel seeds and thyme.
Bake on the top shelf of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until terminally crisp and golden. Serve hot.