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Crash Hot Potatoes - thanks JaneEYB

JaneEYB posted the link to this recipe on some COTM thread. Thanks JaneEYB for this great recipe.


As soon as I read the recipe, I was instantly intrigued and became a bit obsessed with cooking them. I've made them twice so far and it's a hit with C and me. The best is that I can just make enough potatoes for the two of us since these probably won't be as good, leftover.

Some little things I've noticed. You're supposed to boil the potatoes for 10-15 minutes until they are almost done. This is a bit trickly. The first time I made them, the potatoes were cooked. When I went to flatten them, they went flying (well, not really, but they came apart). The second time, I cooked it for about 10 minutes and they were fine, except for 1 potato that was a bit bigger and then I couldn't smoosh it down.

The other thing is that the author has you use a potato masher to smoosh it down. This didn't work for me because the potato started oozing up the masher. Instead, I used a wide bottom jam jar. This way, I could smoosh the potato down but it would keep it's shape.

FYI, if your potato breaks into many pieces, you can kind of glue them back together. Those bits get really crispy.

I used kosher salt, pepper, fresh chopped rosemary and thyme for seasonings. But, I think that these potatoes would take any flavor. Specifically, I've been thinking of making some cumin/cayenne ones or maybe just salt.

Lastly, I baked them at 500 degrees for about 25 minutes. The outside is crispy, the inside is soft and steamy. Seriously delicious.

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  1. The Pioneer Woman has had Crash Hot Potatoes on her site for quite a while. I have made them and they are fabulous. She also has great visuals and explinations as well.


    16 Replies
    1. re: boyzoma

      the one difference i noticed between the two is the use of fennel or caraway seeds in the OP's link - that would *definitely* work for me :)

      1. re: boyzoma

        And the pioneer woman cites to my cookbook author, Jill Dupleix. The bottom line is that these potatoes have endless possibilities and are easy to make.

        1. re: beetlebug

          Wow, beetlebug. I didn't catch that until you posted this. Thanks. Somehow I got drawn to the pix without getting that tidbit. (As my grandson's would say - Duh Oma.)

          1. re: boyzoma

            Pioneer Woman's pictures are really appealing. I've never been on her blog before, so thanks for the link.

            My potatoes don't smoosh down as nicely as hers. Now that I'm looking at her pics, maybe my boiled potatoes are a bit underdone. No matter. they still tasted great and I'm sure I'll be experimenting all winter long.

            1. re: beetlebug

              I don't use a masher either - I use a heavy drinking glass. Works just fine. I did my last batch with fresh rosemary since I had some growing. But you could use almost anything. As well, my last batch had one potato bigger than the others, so I just let it cook longer by itself since you bake them anyway to get crispy. Worked out fine. DH loves them and they are good leftover as well. DH likes to micro them at work to go with whatever else he takes for lunch.

              1. re: boyzoma

                Do the potatoes stay crisp post microwave?

                1. re: beetlebug

                  Since I have not had them microwaved, I asked DH. He said they were not as crispy, but they were still good.

                  1. re: beetlebug

                    No, they don't stay crispy. Sadly, they just become normal, soft potatoes --though seasoned deliciouisly-- after waving them.

                    We tried the Cook's Illustrated version of these from their "30 Minute Suppers" winter 2010 magazine that is on newstands right now. They call them "parmesan garlic potatoes" or something similar. They have you heat the oven, with baking sheet inside, to 500. Puncture the potatoes and wave them for about 10 minutes, then smash onto the heated baking sheet (that is greased with a little oil), sprinkle with parm and garlic and bake.

                    We LOVED these. Thanks Jane!


                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                      The Parmesan and garlic sounds like a delicious combo. But how does one wave a potato? I dont quite understand those directions. I keep picturing the Von Trapp kids singing "so long, farewell..." to the potatoes.

                      1. re: beetlebug

                        It's rather dismissive, really, to just wave them off. :). But waving and singing farewell to them is rather sweet.

                        But, 10 mins or so in a microwave does wonders, especially if you're trying to do a 30-minute supper!

                        Very easy to smash. I useds a potato ricer to smash mine. Some potato came up through the slats in the ricer, but I just smooshed them back through the slats and everything worked just fine.


                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          Duh. Microwave. Clearly the coffee hasn't kicked in. Time for another cup.

                          1. re: beetlebug

                            No worries. This is a great application for the microwave!


                  2. re: boyzoma

                    Lately I've been using a fork in each hand instead of a masher because I felt they gave me more control - I'll be trying boyzoma's drinking glass tip next time - thanks.

                    1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

                      I've used forks and they work well. I probably wouldn't use a drinking glass, because I like how the bits that stick up get all brown and crunchy.

                      1. re: Chris VR

                        Agreed that the crispy bits are the best part. I do a quick smash with my potato masher, the go back with a fork and "rough up" the surface.

                  3. re: beetlebug

                    I found the recipe long ago on the PW site...I love her pics and the instructions are awesome. My potatoes always come out perfectly. I suspect you do need to boil them longer.

            2. Wow! Sort of like a potato tostone only baked. Can't wait to try it!

              1. I make these often. DH calls them "Stepped On Potatoes"! :-)
                Lately, I've been microwaving the potatoes instead of boiling...one less pot to wash. It works fine.
                I usually just smash down on them with a tea towel and my hand. I like to use smallish new potatoes and bake them until they are quite crispy. I can't remember where I first saw this idea, but it was long before Pioneer Woman popularized them!

                1 Reply
                1. re: onrushpam

                  Add cheese & crumbled bacon. EVERYTHING is better with bacon.

                2. Made them for the first time last night and loved the ease and texture. Thought they were a little bland, though, so would add a little more oil and salt next time.

                  1. I had never heard of such a thing, and then they were in this month's Cooks Illustrated (or a variation of them) and now here. They said you can also just use another cookie sheet to smash down the whole lot instead of individually mashing down each one. (at least that's what I remember, I just took a quick look at it).

                    1. There are so many great variations on this one. My favorite is using sweet potatoes, cut into quarters. Those really flattened ends end up golden and crispy.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: chowser

                        chowser - do you leave the skin on the sweet potatoes? And do you otherwise follow the same directions for preparing? I have made these with new potatoes but never thought about sweet potatoes. Yum!

                        1. re: Susan627

                          I have but prefer them without. I cut them to about the size of new potatoes. This was actually greygarious's idea but it sounded so good I had to try it. I make it fairly often now, with variations. I love the sweet crunchiness of them.

                      2. beetlebug, we have had problems smashing these as well and I do think that your hint about not cooking too much might hold the key. What I like about them is that they have a bit of a fried potato mouth feel with the crunchiness without being too oily.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: roxlet

                          Finally got around to making these for the first time last night (to accompany the Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb from "Ad Hoc at Home" which was just spectacular, by the way) and thought my problem with smashing them was that they were a bit undercooked. ?!? Go figure. But as someone else mentioned, you can just smoosh all the potato shards together on the roasting pan and they seem to hold together once cooked. What a versatile recipe. Can't wait to try them with fennel.

                        2. "...the author has you use a potato masher to smoosh it down. This didn't work for me..."

                          Possibly because she used a UK-style masher (photo on the left) vs a US-style masher (photo on right).

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: BobB

                            That's what I figured. However, looking at the Pioneer Woman's blog (in a post above) she used the US style masher and her potatoes look beautiful. Not a huge deal since the jam jar worked well.

                            1. re: BobB

                              OMG the one on the left is the only potato masher I've ever known. I knew I was weird!

                              PS I started making these in the last year or so, and husband heartily approves. They're good leftover for breakfast with eggs too.

                              1. re: coll

                                The one on the left is the style I've always had. I never really use it for potatoes though, I prefer to mash with a cooking fork. Now I have a use for it!

                            2. I really like them too - but I don't like boiling the potatoes, so I cut them up into the size I want and microwave them with a towel on top to keep the cut sides from getting leathery, then put them on the oiled sheet and smash them with the bottom of a glass (I grease the bottom of the glass) and rough up the tops a bit and/or scrape the bits on the bottom of the glass back onto the potato. I tried both kinds of mashers and each one made a big mess and held on to too much potato; the glass works much better.

                              Then, instead of brushing with olive oil, I spray it on liberally with my pump sprayer (very liberally). Add salt and pepper and (for me) chopped rosemary. They turn out crispy but not greasy this way.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Marsha

                                I hardly ever use my microwave, so I have to ask. What settings work for microwaving a potato for this recipe. I have visions of exploding and/or partially raw potatoes if I just popped them in and turned the machine on. I'll probably stick with boiling on the stove, but I'm willing to give the nuclear option a try

                                1. re: punto

                                  Stab the potatoes in a few places with a fork to avoid sploding spuds. I nuke them for two minutes at a time, at full power, turning them over each time. Takes about 8 minutes.

                                  1. re: clamscasino

                                    I love using this method here in SWFL when it's hot and you are running the a/c...last thing you want to do is turn on the oven...so m/w potatoes are top notch...ok, you don't get a crispy outer skin, but what the hey...it works for a fluffy delicious ?baked? potato...hee hee!

                              2. This all sounds great - but I'm wondering if you could do the same sort of thing with larger potatoes, cut into quarters or so. Reason I ask is I just stocked up on a pile of local, freshly dug potatoes from the farmers market yesterday, but they're all medium size, not little ones.

                                Anybody tried this?

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: BobB

                                  I've done it with "round white potatoes" that were about 3 inches in diameter and it worked just fine....

                                  Also, when I smooshed them with a potato masher i didn't have any issues, although my masher has relatively small slots. They did spread/break apart somewhat, but that just made those outside pieces more crunchy.

                                  1. re: BobB

                                    I routinely cut my larger potatoes into the size I want (since I microwave them, I also protect the cut side(s) so they don't get tough). Works fine.

                                    1. re: BobB

                                      I was just about to ask this! Glad I read the whole thread. I made these a long, longtime ago and had forgotten about them.

                                    2. I remember when this recipe was first done in the Australian food magazine 'Delicious' by Jill Dupleix. It's my all time favourite food publication and it has never let me down. I am so excited to see some Australian influence infiltrating into Chow :)

                                      1. Wow, wow, wow! I can't thank you enough for posting this. I do not love potatoes (yep, I'm weird), but I liked the name of the recipe, so I went to the pioneer woman website and checked it out. I made these crash hots for the first time tonight and we loved them. My daughter, usually a potato hater, called them "potato cookies" and asked for thirds. The fennel seed, wow, that just makes it. And it goes without saying that you can't have enough oil and salt when it comes to potatoes. There were only three of us home for dinner tonight and we polished off 12 of these. Served them with the Tuscan Beef Stew from the Epi website, supposed to be served with polenta, but these were perfect!

                                        1. I made one crash potato a few days ago, threw a fried egg on it and called it breakfast. It was excellent.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: small h

                                            Now there's an idea - what about cooking these guys in bacon fat? !!!

                                          2. My daughter has an over-abundance of sweet potatoes. I think I'll try the smash concept with a few of those.

                                            1. I have been following this thread but have been so snowed under recently that I've had no time for posting (and little for cooking). I'm so happy you all love the recipe - it's been one of my favorites for years so it's great it's spreading around the hounds. I wonder if Jill Dupliex has cottoned on to it?

                                              1. A friend posted these as a suggestion for how I could use up some of my 50 pounds of potatoes (bulk order from CSA) and good LORD are they good. I've tried both microwaving and boiling. I then cut them in half. My potato masher works well to mostly squash them down but still leave some bits sticking up to get crispy. I think I'm using too much olive oil on my cookie sheet but I'm not going to change because they get all brown and crispy and beautiful. To make up for it I only drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top, which works fine.

                                                Love LOVE this recipe!

                                                1. I tried this technique for the first time last night (I wanted something to go with leftover chili but didn't want to go to the store - and I had a bag of potatoes left from Thanksgiving) - and I loved it! My potatoes were quite small Yukon Golds. I microwaved them on high for 7 minutes, smooshed them with a non-slotted spatula, sprayed with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and then baked them at 450 for 15 minutes. They came out great. Next time, I think I'll try baking them at 500 to get them even browner and crispier. I don't think anyone's mentioned it so far on this thread, but in addition to how delicious they are - the act of smooshing them is REALLY satisfying! I kept them plain since I was planning to spoon my chili on top, but they would be fantastic with any manner of accoutrements - herbs, chili flakes or cayenne, cheese, bacon, etc., etc.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: aching

                                                    My favorite way is to sprinkle them with caraway seeds and chopped fresh rosemary.

                                                  2. This recipe is definately a keeper. Those small potatoes go surprisingly fast. Better make extra. Rather than boiling, however, I prefer to steam the potatoes. Even if using sweet potatoes, steaming leaves the peeling tender.
                                                    I am not sure how best to reheat them and keep them crisp. Any ideas?

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: condie

                                                      The toaster oven works best for me. If you don't have a toaster oven, a couple of minutes under the broiler would work.

                                                      1. re: TorontoJo

                                                        I don't have a toaster oven, but tried using both the broiler, and the oven at 350 degrees, each for about 10 minutes. Both methods worked fine, but the oven achieved the best. results.

                                                      2. re: condie

                                                        These also work very well by steaming the potatoes in the microwave. Simply place the potatoes with a little water in a covered microwave safe dish and cook on high about as long as one would for baking potatoes.
                                                        I have now also used this same recipe for cooked sweet potatoes and, believe it or not, turnips. This recipe is fit for company.

                                                      3. I've been making these potatoes for a while (from a recipe in the book Yummy Potatoes.) I usually drizzle them with some olive oil and than serve them with condiments like sour cream, capers, even a little hot sauce. My men and I love 'em. :)

                                                        1. I've had this under Favorites for a while, and finally made them tonight. Another fan, thanks JaneEYB!

                                                          I used 1 to 1-1/2 inch red potatoes and the Cook's Illustrated tip of skipping the boiling step by putting the potatoes on a baking sheet with water, covered in tinfoil and baked at 500 for about 20 minutes, then removing the tinfoil and any water, flattening, drizzling with evoo, and returning to the oven for another 20. I seasoned them with Penzey's Sandwich Sprinkle (garlic, coarse salt, basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, black pepper). The leftovers are going to make delicious home fries tomorrow. I tossed them with some caramelized onions and served them as a side dish with pan-seared tilapia with a spicy lime butter, and brown sugar and marmalade-glazed carrots

                                                          Re-posting links:

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: Rubee

                                                            Dinner looks scrumptious Rubee! We also love those potatoes, Jill Dupleix has some real winners and this one is right up there. I've steamed the potatoes also but finally landed on microwaving them first as we really didn't find any discernible difference . . . . and its super-quick!

                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                              Thanks Breadcrumbs! We especially liked how crispy the potatoes were. I'llt ry the microwave method next time.

                                                              1. re: twilight goddess

                                                                Still some water, but not enough that I had to pour out. I was able just to blot it with paper towels.

                                                            2. Giada De Laurentiis does one also with lemon and thyme and they came out so good.