Definitely not the best looking potatoes in the world, but they taste divine!
My kid brother is a maniac. He’s an in-training bodybuilder who has shoulders broad enough to carry a house and seems to subsist with low-carb, low-fat, high protein meals nearly all the time (usually containing tuna or chicken). Now me, I can’t understand this obsession and I certainly can’t understand the meal plan he sticks by (eurgh! Tuna salad and boiled eggs for almost every meal? No thanks!), and I feel sorry for him when I see him sadly plowing through his own meals, so I’m always on the search for something that will tempt his tastebuds, yet be healthy enough that he won’t feel too bad about enjoying.
Now, even though he sticks to a fairly strict low-carb diet, he has a deep-seated love of potatoes, with one of his favourites being a twice-baked potato dish that he usually devours. The only problem is that though it is ridiculously tasty, it’s also very high in calories so after he enjoys a few, he usually sits and complains about how he’s eaten too much and how many hours at the gym he’ll need to work out in order not to pay for the meal.
I don’t know about you, but when you’ve cooked for someone, the last thing I want to hear is them lamenting over the fate of their waistline. I usually just throw something at his head and tell him to shut up, but lately I’d been pondering a potato dish that would have just as much oomph in terms of flavour, yet not send him into a shame-spiral once consumed.
Mixing the spices beforehand gives a few extra photo ops – and makes the cooking process just a bit easier!
While these potatoes were baking, they filled the house with such a delicious smell that my brother descended from his room, sniffing every step of the way. He asked me what I was baking, and I told him to hang around for a few minutes till it was done, when I plated the potatoes in front of him. However, before I could say another word he’d grabbed one of the steaming hot taters and popped them in his mouth – spitting it straight back into his hand as his tongue blistered from the heat.
This of course earned a slap on the hand as I reminded him that photos had to be taken before they were all consumed, and as I carried the dish outside I swore that I heard him mutter a comment about how ugly they were. Well, he’s right – this is definitely not the best looking potato dish in the world, but when it tastes this good, I’m sure you can forgive such a shortcoming!
Oh, and as for the potatoes? As soon as I was done with the photos, he grabbed the plate from me and devoured almost every single one right then and there. I think that’s a sign that I should make this again, don’t you? 🙂
Looks like an absolute mess, but they taste so good you won’t be left looking at this mess for long!
Spiced Smashed Potatoes
Approx. 700g potatoes, scrubbed and cut into smaller pieces (small enough to hold comfortably)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Put a large pot of water on to boil, and once it is boiling, add the potatoes and boil till they are half cooked (they should be able to be pierced with a fork but still be somewhat firm and hold shape well), then drain the water from the pot.
2. Drizzle some olive oil over the potatoes, then mix together the spices and add 2/3 of the spice mix to the pot. Put the lid on and hold it tight as you roughly shake the pot about to smash the potatoes and toss the spices around (make sure to give them a good roughing up as those smashed/rough edges and bits of potato will get deliciously crisp). Once the spices are evenly distributed and the potatoes have been nicely roughed up, layer them onto a lined baking tray, cut surfaces up.
3. Sprinkle the remaining spices on the potatoes and bake them for about 15-20 minutes, or till the surface is dried and the edges start to get crisp. Turn the potato pieces over and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or till the outside has nicely crisped up and the inside is wonderfully soft and easily pierced through with a fork.
4. Plate the potatoes and enjoy as is, or if you feel like upping the level of sinfulness, with some sweet chilli sauce and sour cream on the side 🙂
[tags]baked potatoes, smashed potatoes, spices, snacks, carbs, low-fat, side dishes[/tags]