There are things that are worth leaving alone because they’re so good and then there are things that are so good that they demand you mess with them. Take, for example, crash hot potatoes. In their original form, they are boiled potatoes that are squashed, drizzled with olive oil and hit with a handful of herbs, then baked and then broiled to crispy perfection.
And it was great.
Potatoes plus cheese plus high temperatures plus herbs equals maddeningly wonderful, mouth watering goodness. Good begets good, so I went and did what you see above. Those are nothing less than crash hot potatoes with a sinful amount of extra sharp Cheddar cheese and a fistful of chopped chives. Hello, Gorgeous.
…or should I say, “Hello, Delicious.” Yes. That’s much more like it.
As I said before, I prefer to use leftover salt potatoes to shorten the already quick process of making these lovely, addictive little crispy morsels of potatoey heaven. (I’d fail English for that sentence if I were being graded. But I’m not. Ha ha! Fragments. Double ha!) If you’ve had salt potatoes before, you may be scratching your head in bewilderment. “Leftover salt potaotes? LEFTOVER salt potatoes? Que? How is this?” It’s true. This is an anomaly, but it is one for which I plan. I make a triple or quadruple batch, let everyone eat a goodly amount, then I stand by the salt potato bowl with a fly swatter and thwack the hand of any child or husband who dares stand between me and my plans for crash hot potatoes.
The truth is, when I tell them that I made that many not so that they could gorge themselves into gluttony, but so that I could make crash hot potatoes the next night, they back off voluntarily. Such is the power of the crash hot potato.
With what would you serve this? I think the question is what WOULDN’T go well with these? Steak, chicken, fish, or pork off of the grill or roasted are a natch. I’ll tell you this, though. The last time I made these, I served them with a steak. Half of my steak was left and the potatoes were looooooooong gone.
Behold, my kryptonite.
- 1 batch leftover salt potatoes, warmed slightly, about 20 potatoes (*See here if you don't have leftover salt potatoes )
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 cups grated extra sharp Cheddar cheese (or more if you're especially fond of cheese. I am.)
- a large handful of chopped fresh chives
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Drizzle 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil evenly over a rimmed baking sheet. Scatter potatoes on the olive oil and use a potato masher or heavy mug to gently smash the potato until it is about two times as large in diameter as it was when you began. Drizzle the remaining 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil evenly over the potatoes. Grind black pepper over the potatoes to taste.
- Pop the pan into the oven and roast until the potatoes are sizzling, brown on the bottom, and golden on top, about 20-25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and turn the broiler to High. Sprinkle the grated Cheddar over the hot potatoes. Return the pan to the oven and broil until the cheese melts and gets just a couple little golden brown toasty bits.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let the potatoes rest for 3 minutes before tossing the chopped chives over the top and serving.
P.S. Do NOT throw out those crispy little cheese bits on the pan. You’re going to want to eat those. Those are classic cook’s tax items. In fact, you may want to lick them from the pan. I do advise letting it cool a bit before trying that. Not that I’ve ever done that. Ow-th.