By Three Guys from Miami
The recent KHC Oyster Roast featured an alternative meal for those non-oyster eaters – a Cuban themed meal prepared with love by a great group of friends for their fellow club members. What stood out was a potato side dish, called Papas Aplastadas – Crushed Potatoes.
The backgound is simple, Cubans are known for eating many types of root vegetables: yuca, malanga, boniato. But they do also enjoy potatoes, the number one root vegetable of Americans! This recipe uses new potatoes, the small red potato you see in the supermarket. The skin of the new potato is very thin, so leave it on! It gives this dish a great flavor and nice color!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
We came, we saw, we smashed to make a delicious potato side dish.
- 4 strips bacon, chopped
- 12 to 16 new potatoes, unpeeled (golf-ball size)
- 1 cup chopped green pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (to taste)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin (to taste)
- 3/4 cup chopped green onion
- 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Monterrey Jack cheese
Cover potatoes with lightly salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Remove from heat and drain.
While the potatoes are cooking, sauté chopped bacon in a large frying pan until crispy. Remove bacon bits but do not drain the oil. Add the green pepper and a little olive oil to the pan and sauté until tender. Add the minced garlic and sauté an additional minute or so only.
Lightly grease a jelly roll pan, pizza pan, or baking sheet; you need a flat pan with a raised edge that can go under the broiler. Arrange the cooked potatoes on the pan. Spray the bottom of a coffee cup with some vegetable spray, and use the cup to smash the potatoes until they are crushed and flattened in a thin layer that more or less covers the bottom of the pan. Crush — don’t mash — the potatoes! They should look like you dropped them on the floor, NOT like you ran over them with your SUV!
Drizzle the potatoes liberally with olive oil and sprinkle to taste with salt, pepper, and cumin. The amounts listed in the ingredients are approximate. The best way is to start conservatively, taste a bite of the potatoes, and add more spices are needed! Top the potatoes with the green pepper, green onion and bacon bits.
Evenly spread the grated cheese over the top of the potatoes. Place in the oven under the broiler at the LOW setting. You want to bring the dish back up to serving temperature and melt the cheese. Your goal? A pan of potatoes that looks gooey and bubbling with the cheese lightly browned on top.
Make sure you keep the pan low enough (NOT the top rack!) so that the cheese isn’t immediately scorched. This dish needs only a few minutes for the cheese to melt and brown slightly, so watch it carefully! Once hot and bubbly, remove from broiler and serve immediately.