Syracuse, New York. 1999. My typical day started with a bagel, dry, as I rushed to class in the sleet and snow. After a few hours of class, I'd be hungry again, so I'd usually order a turkey sandwich, light on the mayo, with maybe a bag or pretzels on the side. For a snack, perhaps some Snack Wells cookies or some microwave popcorn covered in fat-free, canary yellow who-knows-what. Then for dinner, a big bowl of spaghetti with fat-free marinara. No wonder I screamed at the scale for 'lying to me' and one boy described me as 'under-the-radar attractive.'
As all of us who fell victim to the low-fat craze know, you can't always believe the hype. Which brings me to the poor, forgotten potato. For years, Atkins-era on, I demonized the potato (unless I was 'cheating' with French Fries.) I capitalize French Fries because they deserve our respect due to their deliciousness.
But the thought of cooking a potato in my kitchen was ridiculous to me.
Of course, some of us have to learn lessons the hard way. Although low-carb was effective, it was not sustainable. Nor healthy, I might add. Carbs are important for digestion, brain function, and blah blah blah. You don't care about that anyway. You want to eat carbs and I support you in that, my potato-loving friend.
So have two or three fingerlings with dinner! And if you make them this way, you won't even feel like cheating next time your girlfriend orders a side of fries.
OK, I'm lying. You'll still cheat but now you can get the crunchy, salty, creamy taste of fries at home, in your comfy pants, and not feel the leering stare of the creepy guy at the bar. Enjoy!
1 lb fingerling potatoes
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in the potatoes and cook until they are soft enough to be crushed but nowhere near mashed potato consistency.
3. Drain the potatoes and dry with a towel. Lay on baking sheet (use a Silpat or parchment paper for easy clean-up) and smash with the bottom of a glass. Tip: I spray the bottom of the glass with a little olive oil or PAM before I smash each potato. You want to keep the potato in tact, so don't get overzealous here.
4. Drizzle half a teaspoon of oil on each potato and rub it around with your fingers so the whole top is coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
5. Bake til golden and crispy.
Printable version here.