Tue Sep 11, 2012
I'm running close to burning out right now. As an incredibly busy summer has almost passed, where I think I've grilled and barbecues more than ever before, along with packing the days full with friends and fun, it feels like the dormancy of the late fall and winter can't come soon enough. Still, I'm not one to ever stop moving, and instead of taking a logical break, I just kind of slow things down. So for right now, the multi-day and process heavy recipes are out, and instead I'm turning to the quick and simple, like these grilled smashed potatoes
I really love potatoes on the grill, their light flavor allows them to easily pick up the smokiness of a charcoal fire. They don't come without their problems though, with the most perplexing quandary being just getting them to cook right.
The smallest of the spuds, like new potatoes, can cook fine with a standard sear and roast method, but more substantial tubers benefit with a little pre-cooking. These particular technicolored assortment of small waxy potatoes were first boiled in water until completely softened. Not only did this incredibly speed up the cooking process—it could have taken twice as long to do this on the grill with the risk of the potatoes becoming overly smokey—but it was also great since this jump start was able to happen at the same time I had a planked pork tenderloin going over indirect heat on the grill.
Once the potatoes were softened, they got a nice smashing. With the end goal being some soft and pillowy innards paired with a crisp crust, it was key not to overly smash the spuds, otherwise I wouldn't be able to get the best of both worlds.
Cooked and smashed, the potatoes then got hit with some oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary before being taken to the flames.
In the amount of time it took the tenderloin to rest off the grill after hitting its desired temp, I was able to finish cooking the potatoes. It only took five minutes per side over direct heat to give the outer shell a crisp and brown crust.
While some form of laziness ultimately led me these quick and simple smashed potatoes, it didn't make them any less impressive than more ambitious pursuits from the summer. The crackling of the skin was a great contrast to the creamy insides, with the rosemary adding a nice fragrance and flavor. The best was when a nice piece of charred potato skin was mixed in, giving a hint of the grill that made these such a nice use of the remaining heat after cooking the tenderloin. Just a few more of these easy things and I think I'll be back in business for the big time again, and I already have some plans in the works...keg can turkey anyone?
Grilled Smashed Potatoes
Adapted from Bon Appetit.
- Prep Time:
- 10 Minutes
- Cook Time:
- 30 Minutes
- Total Time:
- 40 Minutes
- 4 servings
- 16 small potatoes, mix variety of red, white, and/or purple skinned
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh rosemary leaves, divided
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Scrub potatoes and place in a medium saucepan. Add cold water to completely cover potatoes. Bring water to a boil over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon kosher salt, reduce heat to a simmer. Cook potatoes until a pairing knife can be slide into center of potato with no resistance, about 20 minutes. Strain potatoes and let sit until cool enough to handle.
- Arrange potatoes on a baking sheet. Gently smash each potato with the palm of your hand until split open, but not breaking apart. Brush potatoes with olive oil and season to taste with salt, pepper, and half of the rosemary. Flip potatoes, oil and season second side
- Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover gill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place potatoes on grill and cook until lightly browned and crisped, about 5 minutes per side. Remove potatoes to a platter, sprinkle with remaining rosemary to taste, and serve immediately.