Mashed potatoes are great, but, in my opinion, smashed potatoes are even better. My son might disagree; he likes his potatoes buttery, smooth and creamy – no skins, no hearty chunks, no bacon bits, no chopped green stuff. Well, he was out of town this week, so I took advantage of the opportunity to enjoy some decadent smashed potatoes. These are super easy (easier than mashed potatoes), and you can really experiment with the mix-ins. I used redskin potatoes, but you can use small white potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes, or fingerlings. Don’t use Idaho, russetts, or baking potatoes because the skins are too thick. For mix-ins I used garlic, bacon, sour cream and chives. You can skip the bacon for a vegetarian version, or use chicken cracklings for a Kosher version (omit the dairy). You can substitute Greek yogurt for the sour cream for a more tangy taste, or use a bit of buttermilk for a Southern flavor. Try different herbs like rosemary or mint, or even mix in some sauteed greens like kale or arugula. I used chives which work as an herb but add an onion flavor; green onions are another one of my favorite mix-ins. So, you get the picture… mix-in what you like, or what you have available. These are a great accompaniment for almost anything: steak, pork chops or loin, ribs, chicken, burgers, grilled sandwiches, or even with eggs for breakfast.
- 2-3 Lbs. Potatoes (your favorite thin skinned variety) – scrubbed clean
- 4-5 Slices of Bacon (thick cut if available)
- 1/4 – 1/3 Cup Sour Cream
- 3-4 Cloves of Garlic – minced
- 3-4 TBS. Fresh Chives – chopped
- Salt and Pepper
Cook bacon until crispy, drain on paper towels and, when cool enough to handle, crumble. Reserve bacon drippings/fat. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender (6-10 minutes depending on size of potatoes). Drain potatoes and return to pot. Add minced garlic, crumbled bacon, and chives. Use a potato masher and smash potatoes, mixing in the other ingredients. Add bacon drippings and mix-in. Add sour cream – adjusting the amount until the desired creaminess is achieved. Season with salt and pepper.