Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hot Mess Potatoes

I started out wanting to make Crash Hot Potatoes to accompany my husband's requested big hunk of meat, but I didn't have any waxy potatoes (like red or gold potatoes). I thought, or what the heck. I'll just use my starchy russet potatoes. How bad could it be? The answer - they look bad, but they taste heavenly. When I went to mash down my cooked potatoes, they didn't stay in a nice potato-cookie shape like they were suppose to. They just fell apart and were a big hot mess. I just kept thinking, "These aren't Crash Hot Potatoes, it's just a big hot mess of potatoes." Hence the name. They look like a mess, but they are one of my favorite ways to eat a tater. Everything that is best about a potato, all rolled up into one dish. My Hot Mess potatoes are like french fries, baked potatoes and smashed potatoes all at the same time. In a word - awesome! I love happy accidents. (And it's definitely nice when they turn into something so wonderfully scrumptious.)

Here's what I did:

I got out as many potatoes as I wanted to cook . . . .

gave them a good wash and then cut them in half.

Then I put them in a big pot, and filled the pot with water. (I don't know why, but my favorite photos are always the ones of taters in a pot. This one from when I made Yummy Potatoes is my absolute favorite - probably because of the green pot. Taters just look so good. Don't they? Don't ask me why.)

Then I salted the water, and brought it up to a boil.  I cooked the potatoes until fork tender.

While the potatoes were cooking, I went out to my front yard and got some fresh rosemary. There was a rosemary bush growing in the front yard, when we moved in and it has always been the happening place to hang out - if you are a bee. I always have to negotiate the bees when I want some rosemary.  So, I was very pleased to find that my big mama rosemary bush has since spawned a baby rosemary bush that has not flowered yet. The bees now have their bush and I have mine. Thank you. :)

I stripped the leaves from the stems,

and chopped them fine. (The leaves from the baby bush are so tender I didn't need to chop them all that fine, but it's force of habit when working with rosemary.) I think I have about 1 1/2 Tbsp here.

I liberally oiled a baking sheet with olive oil - Yes. My baking sheets are well used. I probably use at least one a day. My husband is always amazed at how quickly they get dirty (because he is so generous as to wash them for me). Everything in my kitchen is well used. Yours should be too. They are for creating yummy food - not for looking pretty. - But if anyone wants to buy me shiny new ones, I'm not opposed to taking donations. :)

The potatoes are now done, so I transferred them to the oiled baking sheet. (That one small potato didn't get cut in half. It is the one that held it's shape the best in the end.)

Now comes the mashing. I took my potato masher and tried to gingerly flatten each half potato into a cookie shape, but they were having nothing of it. They just went to mush.

See? It's just a big, hot mess.  But that's o.k. It's going to taste unbelievable when it's done!

At this point I could have brushed each one with butter, but I wasn't thinking and went straight to the seasoning. I seasoned all the potatoes liberally with salt, pepper, 

and the chopped rosemary.

Then I remember that I forgot the butter, so I just drizzled them with a little olive oil on top. They went on the top rack in a 450F oven for 20 minutes.  They didn't look quite brown enough, so I turned the broiler on for another 5 minutes. (They would have been more brown if I had remembered to brush them with melted butter, or some olive oil before I seasoned them. Oh well.)

They came out looking like this.

This is how I served it with dinner. Just took a spatula and scooped some on the plate. (The skins help keep them together a little.)

Do you see this? This gorgeous piece of potato skin, that you are probably thinking looks a little too crispy? This is my favorite part. It is crunchy and almost fried like a potato chip. Absolutely scrumptious!

My hubby took this picture of his dinner plate. It's his big hunk of meat (NY Strip Steak) topped with Creamed Mushrooms and served along side Hot Mess Potatoes, steamed and buttered cabbage and an Accidental Butter Roll. He was a happy man.

Here's the recipe:

6-7 medium to small potatoes, boiled to fork tender
olive oil or melted butter
salt (to taste)
freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
fresh rosemary, chopped (to taste)

Preheat oven to 450F. Liberally oil or butter a baking sheet. Place hot, cooked potatoes on the prepared baking sheet and slightly mash with a potato masher until flattened (preferably resembling a cooking, but it's not vitally important). Brush each smashed potato with more olive oil or melted butter. Season each potato with salt, pepper and rosemary. Cook on the top rack @ 450F for 20 -25 minutes. (You can broil them for 5 minutes more if you want them more crispy, but be careful not to burn them.) Serve hot.


  1. wow, it's only 9:30 a.m. and i'm drulling over this dinner :) looks sooo yummy!

  2. oops i guess i posted as anonymous, this is Lindsey :)

    1. You make me smile, Lindsey! :) Glad I could get your taste buds going. I hope you like the recipe!