Thursday, April 15, 2010

'Smashed' Ontario Potatoes dressed with Olive Oil, Kosher Salt and Fennel Seeds

Awhile back I admitted to having a particular fondness for potatoes, which is a good thing when you live in a northern climate and you are trying to eat local. During the winter months there is not much to be found beyond squash, potatoes and other root vegetables.

The good thing about potatoes is that they are very versatile and fit perfectly into my winter appetite for soups and stews and roasted things. But even though they are so versatile after awhile you begin to think you have tried everything there is to try with a potato and you get into a bit of a rut…mashed, roasted, fried…yawn.

I was beginning to feel that way and then one day I was watching Michael Smith’s Chef at Home. He did something different, something that I had never thought of, and all of a sudden the rut was over. It was a simple idea, as most good ideas seem to be, but the results were great. He took an already roasted potato, smashed it flat with his hand, drizzled some olive oil, kosher salt, pepper and…fennel seed (my new favourite ingredient) on the top. He then roasted them at high heat so that they got nice and crispy. So good.

I have already made them a number of times. I have served them plain, and with a little dollop of sour cream. Either way they are great, crispy flavourful and the fennel seed adds such a nice touch. Hurray for versatility!

"Smashed" Ontario Potatoes dressed with Olive Oil, Kosher Salt and Fennel Seeds
adapted from Michael Smith Chef at Home

For this recipe you need already roasted potatoes.  Yellow flesh potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, are my favourite. I find them sweeter and fluffier but you could always use New Potatoes or Baking Potatoes. 
To roast potatoes place them in a 350 degree oven and roast for 30 to 45 minutes or until a fork easily pierces to the centre of the potato.  The roasted potatoes can be made a day or two ahead and left in the refrigerator.

6-8 roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 tablespoon of olive oil per potato
kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon of fennel seeds per potato

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Smash your roasted potatoes with the heel of your hand or the bottom of a plate and place them an inch apart on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil on top of each potato and sprinkle with kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper and fennel seeds.  Roast in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are crisp and golden.  Serve warm as is or with a dollop of sour cream.

Next Post: Orange Cheesecake with a Citrus Shortcrust and Burnt Orange Caramel Sauce


  1. I know what you mean, last summer I was set on only eating local but couldn't make it though the winter... good for you for sticking to it!
    I love your site, it's always great to find another Canadian to share the love of local food with!

  2. Coco Bean, Thank you for your comment. It is nice to connect with fellow Canadians who are blogging about food. I love the recipes on your site!

  3. I have never really liked roasted potatoes but these are very tasty. The skin is crispy and the fennel seeds give it a nice flavour! Great recipe.

  4. This looks so simple, and I imagine must be really delicious, especially when dolloped with sour cream.


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