The Only 4 Potato Recipes You’ll Ever Need for a Dinner Party
Ah, crispy. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…
I know crispy isn’t a food group, but it should be.
And while almost anything is better when it’s crispy, nothing is better than a salty potato, creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside. Mmmm.
Well, nothing except two crispy potatoes. Seconds please!
The thing is, that coveted crisp is not that easy to achieve at home, especially if you don’t have a deep fryer.
But never fear, in my quest for the ultimate crispitude, I’ve found (and tested) a few recipes that will yield that crunch you crave and I’ve even got one for you boiled potato connoisseurs out there.
Potatoes are kind of the best comfort food around. They have loads of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and they are cholesterol free.
They are perfect for dinner parties – they’re gluten free, Paleo, Vegan – they work for everyone who can eat carbs.
For the rest of you – Keto and Atkins I’m looking at you – I shed a tear. But no worries, I’ll post some yummy low-carb recipes soon.
In this post I’ll share my top 4 favorite potato recipes. Some are more involved than others, but all will yield that “wow” result you are looking for when you host a dinner party.
Or…eat the whole batch by yourself on a Friday night. Whatever floats your boat….
Fried Smashed potatoes
Our first contender for crispy greatness is the fried smashed potato.
You smash some potatoes, then you fry them. Next recipe.
Just kidding, it’s a little more involved than that, but seriously, not much.
For this recipe you want a smaller, thin skinned potato like a tiny Yukon Gold or fingerling.
You’ll boil those potatoes for about 20 minutes, then you can smash them with the bottom of a glass or any other object your heart desires.
No “hulk smash” here though, you need them to stay together so you can flip them in the next step.
After that, fry them in olive oil in a nice cast iron or non stick pan. If you don’t want to fry on the stove, you can bake them too. Spray them with olive oil and bake at 475 for about 10 minutes per side or until they get nice and crispy, this may take longer depending on your potatoes and your oven.
You can add wonderful aromatics for flavor, like rosemary and garlic, or just salt and pepper them for a traditional flavor.
I like to sautee the aromatics in the olive oil at a low temperature to flavor the olive oil, then I strain this to separate the solids and liquids.
I use the infused olive oil to fry or coat the potatoes for baking then add the aromatics back in at the end – this way they don’t get blackened and bitter which will definitely ruin your crispy goodness.
Read on for a fancy variation on this recipe from Bon Appetit Magazine:
the best crispy roasted potatoes - ever
This recipe is, at it’s heart, not all that different from the first.
It involves boiling potatoes and then roasting them in fat to attain a crispy outside layer, kind of the same as above, except this recipe is easier to get started before guests arrive.
Then you can just pop them in the oven and enjoy compliments on your kitchen prowess and a glass of wine – simultaneously.
However, this recipe employs a little more of a scientific approach. If you feel more like a scientist (mad scientist, crazy person, whatever) give this one a try tonight.
The skin doesn’t matter for this recipe since you’ll be peeling the potatoes and Yukon Gold or Russet varieties will work well.
The smaller chunks will cook faster in the boiling water and take about half the time of the whole potatoes from the first recipe.
The addition of baking soda breaks down the potatoes and makes them “fuzzy”.
No, I am not condoning the application of the 5-second rule here, what I mean is that the outside will be kind of gooey and frizzy looking. It’s this fuzzy part that is going to get super crispy when you bake.
Another important step is to return the boiled potatoes to the hot pot. Give them a shake and maybe even set them back onto the hot burner to evaporate the excess water.
Mom always said, the drier your potatoes, the crispier the skin.
Ok, maybe she always said wear clean underwear, but I wish I had gotten more crispy potato advice earlier in life.
Kenji Alt-Lopez is the master who developed these little crispy wonders and his recipe calls for whatever fat you like – duck fat, goose fat, or beef fat. Or olive oil.
If you’re like me, this is what you cook everything in. I can vouch for it – works fine, just not as fancy.
The same aromatic technique form the first recipe is also recommended. It may seem fiddly and annoying (like sauteeing something that is going in the crock pot) but in this case, it is a flavor sensation that is totally worth the extra pan.
Now that I’ve convinced you to try these – and I hope you will – check out the full, one and only, original recipe here:
Oh, you beautiful, plump, crispy partitions of heavenly potato, where have you been all my life?
Seriously, where the HECK have you been?
I just recently discovered this recipe and I finally feel like I am truly alive.
Ok, so maybe it’s not quite that intense, but these are really yummy and so gorgeous.
If you want to look like a superstar in the kitchen, forget the sous vide and homemade pate…make your guests a simple, well cooked roast or a ham and serve it with these fancy little gems.
The internet says “Hasselback potatoes were supposedly invented at the Hasselbacken Hotel in Sweden in the 1700’s.”
I love the use of the word “supposedly” in that sentence, like who’s going to argue with that? I originally thought they were invented by a guy named Lou from Cincinnati, but their explanation is much better…
Anyway…This is another recipe that can be mostly prepared ahead of time and while making the thin slices can be a little bit time consuming, it isn’t hard and, well, did you see the picture?
They taste as good as they look.
The original recipe calls for buttered bread crumbs, but I typically skip that part, just because I already know I’m going to eat two…did I say that out loud?
Either way, they are delicious and well worth the baking time.
For this full recipe, we’re going to defer to the original recipe queen – Betty Crocker.
Click here to read the full recipe:
syracuse salt potatoes
Finally, we’ve come to the end of our rant on crispy and arrive at our one and only creamy potato recipe.
These hideous little suckers make up for what they lack in the looks department with what they have going for them in the taste department.
To create these salty orbs, small red or white potatoes are boiled in an obscene amount of salt – about as much as can possibly be dissolved in the water.
Why, you ask, would anyone want to do that to a poor, unsuspecting potato?
Why make these ghostly, less than appetizing taters?
Because they are wonderful, of course!
These potatoes were invented (discovered?) by Irish salt miners who brought these tiny potatoes to boil at lunch time.
They boiled them in…wait for it…salted water!
I know, I know, the story is so far fetched it’s hard to believe, but historians all agree, potatoes are yummy.
The added salt raises the boiling point of the water and cooks these potatoes differently than a regular boiled potato.
The outside is salty (duh), but the inside is impossibly creamy and melts in your mouth.
Serve them with butter for dipping and your guests won’t stop talking about these for weeks.
In case “boil with an inordinate amount of salt” is not specific enough, here’s the recipe from the Syracuse Salt Company:
I’d like to do a shout out to my broker, Dave, who turned me on to both the Smashed Potatoes and the Salt Potatoes. There is so much to be learned in the break room over a good brisket sandwich…
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