Friday, May 18, 2012

Recipe: Crispy Smashed Fingerling Potato Bites with Taco-Seasoned Cream and Scallions

Alright kids. I’m back... again. With announcements! And confessions! And purple potatoes!

First order of business – I miss you. And I miss blogging and rambling about the radness of whipped egg whites and the uncanny similarities between squash and pasta. It’s not that I haven’t been cooking – I have – this whole perfectionist thing just seems to get in the way sometimes. Perfectionist, as in, I habitually tear pages out of my work notebook and start from scratch if my cursive or a check box isn’t absolutely flawless. And who sees my work notebook? Um, me. That’s it.

So. From now on if I forget to measure, or if I forget to take a picture of the ingredients beforehand, you’re still getting the recipe. (As long as it tastes utterly divine, of course. No compromise there.) Moreover, I rarely measure when I’m cooking myself, so there’s no reason why you can’t use your intuition either. Taste as you go! Eyeball it! You’ll be just fine. I promise.

(There will be some measurements moving forward, of course – mostly because my measuring cups are too darn shiny and cute to neglect.)

Next up – some of you may have arrived here from a Tumblr called When I Went Gluten Free. If that’s you, welcome! If it’s not, you should check it out for some serious giggles. The Kitchn even did a sweet little write-up on it. So I mean, I’ve pretty much plateaued in terms of Internet fame.

And finally - I've been toying with the idea of posting more than just recipes on here. What do you guys want to see: Product recs? Products I wouldn't recommend? Restaurant suggestions? Weekend photo recaps? Pictures of puppies? Please let me know in the comments, or puppies it is. You can consider it your good deed for the day.

WHEW. Now without further ado, here’s a recipe for a bite-sized appetizer that is extra pretty if you can find tri-color, baby fingerling potatoes. It’s like a baked potato bar, except classier. Because tiny = classy, right? Right.

Notes
-This can be easily sized up or down, so that’s why you’ll see proportions as opposed to measurements. (Also, I forgot to measure.)
-Potatoes can be boiled the day before, and the topping can be prepared the day before. Pan-fry and garnish potatoes the day of.
-Extra sour cream/cream cheese mixture makes a great dip for tortilla chips!

Ingredients
Baby fingerling potatoes (preferably purple, red and white; I used ~2 lbs)
Sour cream (fat free or reduced fat)
Cream cheese (reduced fat)
1 packet taco seasoning
Scallions, sliced
Butter (salted or unsalted)
Olive oil
Sea salt (optional, for garnish)

Recipe
-Wash potatoes. Place in a large pot and cover with water. Salt water like you would for pasta. Place over high heat.
-Once water is boiling, cook for 10-15 minutes, or until potatoes can be pierced with a fork. (Cooking time will vary based on the size of your potatoes - don’t let them go completely to mush!)
-Drain potatoes and return to pot; set aside to dry and cool.
-In a small bowl, mix together equal parts sour cream and cream cheese with an electric beater or a whisk. Add more sour cream to thin out, or cream cheese to thicken. Once desired consistency is reached, add taco seasoning to taste.
-Scoop seasoned mixture into a zip-lock bag and cut off a corner so there’s a hole about the width of your pinky. Set aside.
-Spread out cooked potatoes on a cutting board. Using a fork, smash each potato twice – the tongs should make the shape of an X or a cross. You want the skin to break a bit, and for each potato to flatten to about a half inch thick.
-Place a heavy bottomed skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat. Melt about a tablespoon of butter with a tablespoon of olive oil. Place some of the potatoes in an even layer in the pan, and cook each side for ~2 minutes until crispy and slightly browned. Move to a paper towel to drain, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining potatoes.
-Transfer crisped potatoes to serving platter and top each with a dollop of the seasoned cream cheese and sour cream mixture.
-Garnish with sea salt, taco seasoning, and a generous shower of scallions. 
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