Thursday, April 25, 2013

New Potatoes: Smashed, Crashed, and Blistered

LUCY BURDETTE: Writers will understand what I mean when I say that sometimes the characters in my books take over and cook things that I haven't tried. Then I get these recipes lodged in my mind and sooner or later I can't help making them too. 

In Topped Chef, one of the characters who is judging the Key West Top Chef contest is an accomplished chef named Adam Boyd. This fellow also happens to own a nice restaurant in Key West, called Boyd's Nest. Naturally Hayley and some of her pals need information from him about the murder that has occurred--but she also needs to keep working at her food critic job. So they kill two birds with one stone by having dinner at Boyd's Nest and then asking to speak with the chef. Hayley fawns all over him about his crashed and blistered potatoes before she turns up the heat on her "investigation."

After perusing a number of recipes on the Internet for this kind of potato, this is the version I came up with for Chef Boyd. Be forewarned: It is very hard not to eat all of them, so don't make too many extra:).

Cheesy Crashed/Smashed/Blistered New Potatoes

New potatoes, red or white, 3-5 per person
Cheddar cheese--maybe a 2 ounce block
Parmesan cheese, about half as much as cheddar

Olive oil
Kosher salt

Cracked pepper
Sour cream for serving

Wash the potatoes and boil them until soft, about 10-20 minutes, depending on their size. Poke them with a fork to test.

Meanwhile, grate the cheeses and mix them with a dollop of olive oil, plus salt and pepper to taste. Sliver the scallions (I used 3 for 2 people) and mix them into the cheese topping.

Generously oil a baking pan, place the potatoes on it and press on them with a big fork or potato masher or even a heavy glass until they are squashed down. 

Top the potatoes with the cheese/scallion mixture and bake in a hot oven (400) until they are crispy. Serve with sour cream.

These potatoes are so special that I decided they should be served with other dishes that were a little plain. In this case, I chose roasted chicken and steamed spinach. 

Bon appetit from Chef Boyd and all the gang at TOPPED CHEF. Which will be in bookstores near you on May 7!

For more about that, please follow Lucy on Twitter, or "like" her on Facebook, or check out the TOPPED CHEF board on Pinterest!


  1. Oh, yum, yum, yum. Potatoes in any form. But smashed....yum! Love this recipe.

    And can't wait for Topped Chef! Such a fun series.

    Daryl / Avery

    1. Thanks D/A! I forgot to say--one could add bacon bits to this too, following up on Jenn's cupcakes from yesterday:)

  2. Smashed potatoes--a great hybrid for those days when you can't decide whether to have mashed or baked. Red potatoes are so flavorful, too, and I love the way you've loaded them up. Sounds like Chef Boyd would make a fun interview subject--and I'm looking forward to reading the scene in your new release.

    1. Oh Cleo, what a good idea! he's working in a restaurant above Hartford--need to go up and have a chat...

  3. What a marvelous temptation. I think you're right about serving them with something elegantly simple. That way they can shine.

    1. Libby, I made them a second time with chicken and mushrooms--too much going on!

  4. Wonderful recipe, Lucy! I have to make these for friends. Otherwise I'll eat too many!


  5. I love the idea of the action-packed potatoes, Lucy/Roberta!
    Nice presentation too - definitely trying them!

    1. Action-packed, that's it! MJ, I just need to take a clue and write that way too:)

  6. My husband happened to walk by and glance at my screen as I was reading the beginning of this post. He read it out loud, and commented, "New potatoes, smashed, crashed, and blistered -- mystery book authors sure make strange cooks."

    And when I make them, he's going to murder them! Never mind what to serve with them -- he'll want nothing else. Sounds like a fine idea to me, and so does Topped Chef. I'm counting the days!