Smashed Crispy Breakfast Potatoes
If I were forced to rank things I absolutely despise, waiting in super-long lines for brunch ranks right up there with Nazis and Ebola.
How can anybody seriously enjoy those things? They are all terrible, horrible, no good things. Why am I waiting two hours for eggs and maybe a pancake? There are zero pancakes that are that good in life. I can say that with certainty.
Recently, Betsy and I were going to take some friends to a local hip brunch spot that we do really like. They don’t take reservations, of course, so we show up and learn there is a 45 minute wait which means there is really a 60 minute wait.
I couldn’t have left faster.
Meanwhile, there was an old diner right across the street from said popular brunch spot that had the perfect wait time: zero minutes.
And you know what? They also had potatoes and eggs! In fact, they had this dish with crispy breakfast potatoes that were so perfectly crispy I almost had to pop my head in the kitchen.
I took a close look at the potatoes before devouring them and I’m pretty sure they smashed the potatoes before frying them. That led me on a journey of smashed breakfast potatoes and this is the result.
Do they take an hour to make? Yes. Would you rather be waiting in your kitchen, casually drinking coffee in your PJs or waiting in line?
1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2) Cut potatoes in half or in quarters depending on size and boil them for 10-12 minutes until they are fork tender.
3) Drain potatoes and let cool briefly. Then use something flat to smash each potato piece. No need to smash it really hard or it will fly apart. Try to keep the pieces together if you can.
4) Drizzle two baking sheets with some olive oil and place them in the oven to heat for 2-3 minutes.
5) Remove baking sheets and use a spatula to slide smashed potatoes onto the oiled sheets. Again, don’t worry if the potatoes fall apart some. Season potatoes well with breakfast potato seasoning mix.
6) Bake potatoes for 15 minutes. Then remove and flip potatoes. Season with more seasoning and bake for another 15 minutes until the potatoes are really crispy.
Serve the potatoes while warm with eggs on the side and garnished with fresh scallions.
Crispy Breakfast Potatoes: The Smashings
I do believe you could use any potato for this recipe, but I’m partial to using new potatoes in my breakfast potatoes lately. I like how you can leave the skins on without too much fuss and also like how they aren’t as starchy as Russet potatoes. Any potato would work fine though, I think.
You need to chop the potatoes but keep them in large pieces since we are going to smash them later. Depending on your potato size, either cut them in half or quarter them.
Boil the potatoes in salted water for about 10-12 minutes until they are fork tender, but maybe not quite as tender as you would cook them for mashed potatoes.
Then smash the suckers!
What I don’t recommend is getting a mallet and whacking the crap out of them. That method will spew potato pieces all over your kitchen. Instead, get a small flat-bottomed bowl or plate and gently press down on each potato until it’s flattened.
Doing this really maximized the surface area on the tater which means more browning and crisping later!
Crispy Breakfast Potatoes: The Spice Mix
I like to season my potatoes so nicely that they don’t need extra seasoning. I use a mix of salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder. All common spices, but mix make sure you make enough so you can use it liberally.
Crispy Breakfast Potatoes: Crisping the Potatoes
Ok. Now for the important part. Drizzle a good amount of oil on a few baking sheets and pop them in a 400 degree oven for a few minutes. Heating up the oil will help sear the potatoes.
Then use a spatula to transfer each smash job onto the baking sheet. Don’t worry if the potatoes fall a part a bit. It’s no biggie.
Sprinkle with some of that seasoning mix and pop these in the oven!
These Crispy Breakfast Potatoes will need to bake for 15 minutes. Then take them out and carefully flip the potatoes. Sprinkle with more seasoning and put them back in for another 15 minutes or until they are crisped to your liking.
Look at these beauties!
You could do any number of things with the Crispy Breakfast Potatoes at this point.
Stack them up and grate on some cheese? Drizzle some green chili over them? All of those are possibilities.
Personally, I like them just like they are with a few eggs and some chopped green scallions.
It’s far from a complicated brunch and maybe people wouldn’t wait for hours to eat it.
But then again… maybe they would?!
Take out some aggression on those long brunch lines. Stay home next time and smash a tater!