Oven-Roasted Smashed Potatoes with Gremolata Topping

For an easy side-dish, great for entertaining, try my new favorite potato dish.

Oven-Roasted Smashed Potatoes with Gremolata       serves 4-6

  • 1 dozen new potatoes (you could also use redskin potatoes)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, whole & peeled
  • sea salt
  • cracked black pepper
  • olive oil

Fill a large pot with water and 2-3 heaping tablespoons of sea salt, bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and reduce heat to medium.  Cook until tender – use a sharp knife to test.  Drain and cool them for 5 minutes.

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Line a large baking pan with aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil. On a cutting board, place each potato under a spatula (or lunch plate would work), I use a heavy meat tenderizer from Williams Sonoma. Press down with even pressure – gently – smashing but not pulverizing.

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My heavy-duty potato smasher.
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Place each smashed potato on the foil-lined baking sheet.

Drizzle the potatoes generously with olive oil, sprinkle sea salt and black pepper over them. (I also put the garlic cloves that boiled with the potatoes on the sheet pan)

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Heat oven to 450 degrees. Bake the potatoes for 18-20 minutes, remove, flip each one. Drizzle with more olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Bake for another 18-20 minutes. Remove the pan from oven, turn off heat. Top the potatoes with Gremolata (see recipe below) and place the pan back in the oven for 5 minutes and serve.

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Enjoy!

Gremolata

  • Zest from 1 orange, 1 lemon and 1 lime
  • 1-2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1 t coarse black pepper
  • red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup chopped parsley

I use a mezzaluna given to me by my lifelong BFF, to chop the parsley and garlic, having first place the citrus zest, salt and pepper under the parsley and garlic. Cover until ready to serve.

This is what is looks like:

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Gremolata – delicious!

Arancini

I was looking for a recipe that would work with my leftover Butter Baked Rice. I’ve seen Giada make Arancini and so I scoured Pinterest for a version that would work with what I had on hand. It turned out better than I could have imagined. Here’s what I did:

2 c leftover Butter Baked Rice (see below for link to recipe)
3/4 c Parmesano regainno
1 egg, lightly beaten

Mix together the rice, Parmesan and egg, using your hands.

Block of mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese cut into small chunks (think sugar cube size)

Take a large spoonful of rice mixture into your hand, press a chunk of cheese into the center. I used a small ice cream scoop to form the rice mixture into well packed balls.

2 eggs, lightly beaten
Italian breadcrumbs

Line a platter with wax paper. Take each ball, gently roll into the egg, then dredge in the breadcrumbs. Place on the wax paper.

Heat vegetable oil in a deep fry pan. Place the balls into the oil, once browned on one side carefully flip them and brown that side. Remove from oil onto a paper towel.

Serve immediately with marinara sauce. This made 10 balls. As you can see I served these as a side with an oven baked herbed chicken breast but these could be appetizers or a vegetarian entrée.

Here the link for the recipe for Butter Baked Rice:

https://spencesgirl.com/2014/12/30/butter-baked-rice

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Hot from the fryer with melted cheese in the middle.
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Plated with marinara sauce and served alongside herbed oven baked chicken.

Butter Baked Rice

BUTTER BAKED RICE         serves 4-8

  • 1 c long grain brown rice (white rice may be used as well)
  • 2 c boiling water
  • 5 T butter
  • 1 3/4 c chicken stock – heated (see Chef’s Note below)
  • 1-2 t garlic seasoning blend (I love Melting Pot’s Garlic & Wine Seasoning)
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2-3 T chopped parsley (I prefer flat leaf but curly parsley works fine here)

Butter Baked Rice - a crowd pleaser

Preheat oven to 325. Soak rice in 2 cups of the boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse. Try to remove as much of the water as you can by gently pressing it or dabbing with a paper towel. Then in a large skillet, melt the butter over a medium low heat. Stir in the rice and keep stirring gently until all the butter is absorbed. This should take about 8 to 9 minutes. Add the butter rice to a 2 Qt casserole. Add the heated chicken stock pouring over the rice. Add garlic seasoning, red pepper flakes and sprinkle the parsley on top, stir. Cover tightly and bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour.

Chef’s Note: You can substitute the heated chicken stock with vegetable stock for a vegetarian version. If you should have any leftovers, throw it into a pan with chopped veggies, a shot of soy sauce and make a quick fried rice.  See my 1/6/2015 post for Arancini (or click the link below)- using the leftover Butter Baked Rice – for an easy appetizer, side or vegetarian main dish! 

Arancini

Five Bean Salad, my way

Five Bean Salad
Five Bean Salad, my way

I LOVE FIVE BEAN SALAD.  So great to take to a potluck or picnic (no mayo), it’s a favorite of ours to have as our salad or veggie side with any number of meals year round. It makes a lot and only gets better each subsequent day.  It keeps for up to two weeks in the fridge but never  lasts that long!  I use my mom’s recipe but tweak it in my own way to give it a bit more pizazz!

Five Bean Salad, my way

serves 15                      Weight Watchers Smart Points 7

1 can garbanzo beans (or chickpeas as they’re also known)
1 can great northern or navy beans
1 can cut green beans
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 can wax beans
2 large shallots finely minced or red onion finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
4-5 finely chopped peppadew peppers (these come in a jar) or substitute 1 tablespoon chopped pimento
1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeños (first removing ribs and seeds) or green pepper if you can’t take the heat.

Drain and rinse beans and put into a large serving bowl. Add the shallots, peppadew peppers and jalapeño, stir taking care not to break the beans.

Marinade:

3/4 c red wine or champagne vinegar
3/4 c vegetable oil (canola or olive oil)
1/2 c sugar
1-2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
sprinkle of red pepper flakes

Mix this together well – making sure that the sugar has “melted” into the marinade. Pour over the beans and stir together. Refrigerate. Stir every 30-60 minutes to further distribute the marinade. This is best made at least 8 hours prior to serving.