It's our first Christmas with Just us. And while I am SO excited to be starting our own traditions and all that carry on, part of me is kiiiiind of nervous for Christmas dinner. You know those things that you never really learn to do because your parents always do them? (Like carving a chicken, which I curse myself for not learning to do every time I have to because it was always Dad's job). Christmas dinner is one of those for me. Mum has always organised the menu effortlessly, and I am always just happy to be told what to help with. Mum is so so good at it (she planned and catered our 185 person wedding like it was no biggie at all), that I normally just roll with it.
This year however, I am panicking a little. Although it won't be too many of us, just a motley crew in NYC, I still think it's so important to do it properly! This year we will be doing a hot ham, mac and cheese (because why not), a few sides, and smashed potatoes. I think thats enough? I will probably panic and add loads more stuff to the list later which will end up in way too much food and leftovers for days, but I can definitely deal with this.
I came across smashed potatoes on the internet the other night when I was making dinner and hadn't left enough time to roast the potatoes whole (classic me move). You take little potatoes, boil them until they are just tender, then squash them on a baking sheet, snuggle them up with some herbs and garlic, season well and roast them in the oven until they are nice and crispy on the outside.
And oh man. They are SO GOOD, and would make the perfect Christmas side! They could also be very easily scaled - I used 450g/1 lb of baby potatoes, but you could adjust this for however many you are needing to feed. They are also something that could be prepared ahead - you could boil the potatoes, and leave them whole until you are ready to cook, then just smash them on the tray and roast when you need them. I used a fair amount of garlic, along with rosemary and sage, but any herbs or spices would work!
Herb and Garlic Smashed Potatoes
- Serves 4, as a side -
450g (1 lb) baby potatoes
4 cloves Garlic, peeled and crushed with the back of a knife
Olive Oil to coat the pan
A few sprigs of fresh Rosemary
5-6 sage leaves, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper for seasoning
- PROCESS -
Preheat the oven to 475f/250c. Coat a baking tray with a thin layer of olive oil.
Rinse the potatoes, and place in a large pot. Cover with water, and bring to the boil. Boil for 10-15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender when poked with a sharp knife or skewer. Drain and place onto the prepared baking tray.
Roll the potatoes around so that they have a thin coating of oil, adding more if necessary. Using a potato masher or the palm of your hand (be careful if they are hot), squash the potatoes so that it sits flat on the tray. Move each potato slightly after squashing it so that it can move around on the tray without sticking.
Arrange the garlic and herbs around the potatoes. Season well with salt and pepper.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are golden and crispy. Serve immediately.