Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Whipped Feta, Salsa Verde, and Hot Chili Honey [recipe]

What more is there to say beyond the name of the recipe—Crispy Smashed Potatoes! Whipped Feta! Salsa Verde! Hot Chili Honey! All of the components hit one of the major taste or texture senses so the recipe is perfect. Crisp and soft texture from the potatoes, salty umami and a slight tang from the cheese and yogurt in the Whipped Feta, herbal and slightly bitter in the Salsa Verde, sweet and heat in the Hot Chili Honey.

If you don’t have it in you to make all three of the accompaniments, you can get a similar taste effect for the final crispy smashed potato dish with just the primary ingredient of each sauce: crumbled feta, a large pile of chopped fresh herbs, and drizzle with regular honey. I made it in this way last summer for National Geographic, photo and video below.

Recipe first, cooking notes/tips and shopping resources follow.

Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Whipped Feta, Salsa Verde, and Hot Chili Honey [recipe]

serves 4 as a side dish, or 1 in coronatine

INGREDIENTS

1½ (about 2 dozen) pounds baby potatoes, washed and scrubbed
¼ cup cooking oil or butter
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup Whipped Feta, recipe here
½ cup Salsa Verde, recipe here
¼ cup Hot Chili Honey, recipe here
serve with: itself

DIRECTIONS

In a pot large enough to hold the potatoes in about 2 layers, cover potatoes with water by 1-inch, then bring potatoes up to a boil. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes, but will depend on size of potatoes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside to dry. The potatoes need to be dry to the touch in order to get crispy.

Gently smash each potato with the palm of your hand or the bottom of a sturdy glass, making sure to keep each potato generally intact. Small pieces that break off will turn into the best crispy bits in the pan later.

Heat olive oil or butter in large pan (cast iron is great here) over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add as many of the smashed potatoes that will fit into the pan in a single layer.

Cook the potatoes until they turn deeply golden brown and crisp. Using a spatula, gently flip the potatoes over and brown the other side. Remove crisped potatoes to serving plate. Continue same process with the remaining potatoes.

Spoon Whipped Feta and Salsa Verde over the Crispy Smashed Potatoes. Drizzle with Hot Chili Honey. Serve additional Whipped Feta, Salsa Verde, and Hot Chili Honey in separate bowls alongside the Crispy Smashed Potatoes.

Leftovers, if you have any, will keep in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for two days. Because leftovers will likely have Whipped Feta and Salsa Verde already on them, it will not re-heat well. Just eat the leftover Crispy Smashed Potatoes cold it like potato salad.

NOTES and RESOURCES

  • POTATOES. Use the smallest waxy textured potatoes you can find, 2-inches maximum. The red, white and blue potatoes in the top photo are baby red potatoes, Yukon Gold, and Baby Blues by Melissa’s Produce, available at most national chain grocery stores.
  • COOKING OIL. I use California Olive Ranch Olive Oil for cooking the potatoes. You can also use butter, which will technically add more umami flavor, but this dish is fried potatoes with whipped feta, and that’s about all the flavor you already need right there.
  • KOSHER SALT. Diamond Crystal brand and nothing else.
  • WHIPPED FETA. Make Whipped Feta, though if you’re feeling lazy, you could just crumble straight up feta over the hot Crispy Smashed Potatoes. Feta doesn’t melt, but it does get warm and soft over hot potatoes.
  • SALSA VERDE. Make Salsa Verde. If you need a substitute, generously shower the potatoes with chopped fresh parsley, basil and garlic. As a last resort, you can use a store-bought pesto, but seriously, basil pesto is a last resort only if you have no other way to add an herbal element because pesto, made with all basil as well as pine nuts and cheese, tastes absolutely nothing like Salsa Verde, which is made with mostly parsley.
  • HOT CHILI HONEY. There really is no excuse not to make Hot Chili Honey because it is literally two ingredients mixed together. Unless of course, you’re sensitive to spice, in which case, just drizzle with honey! You can also buy any manner of hot honey online or grocery.

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