Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Garlic Dual-Basil Smashed New Potatoes...

My first recipe post of this year-- with nary a time to write since the flurry of activities readying for back-to-school. New year's was actually welcomed in with a healthy Chinese meal of steamed fish with ginger and onions and hot pot brimming with tofu, konnyaku bundles, shiitake, vegetables and pork slices. Wanting something homey, easy and non-fussy to cook up over the first week back to normal routine, whole chicken was on sale and oven-roasting it fit the bill along with some simple tasty sides. A few sprigs of basil leftover from making bruschetta for new year's eve, landed me on garlic-basil smashed potatoes-- a recipe I've been eyeing in the Toronto Star Cookbook by Jennifer Bain inspired by Food Network star Bob Blumer, and here was my opportunity to make it :). Roast new potatoes, pop them, toss them with garlic, basil, oil and salt and it's gold! Taking it to the next level, I added my own twist with a few chopped fermented black garlic my mom had cooked up a while back (these guys seem to last forever in a jar in my fridge)-- little bits of sweet mellow tamarind-like chewy bits add another dimension of flavour and texture. Scrumptious!

Garlic Dual-Basil Smashed New Potatoes (adapted by Toronto Star Cookbook)
Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 bag (1-1/2 lbs./680 g) mini or new potatoes
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 tsp. flaky sea/kosher salt, or to taste
6 garlic cloves, minced (or add as much as you love or can handle)
a few black garlic cloves, chopped (optional)- you can buy these in Korean supermarkets
fresh basil, leaves plucked and chopped

A jar of my mother's batch of fermented black garlic

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a small roasting pan or medium baking dish, toss the potatoes with oil, then sprinkle with salt. Roast in the oven until the potatoes are fork-tender inside and crispy outside about 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. 
Using a fork or chopstick, gently press each potato just until it pops. Transfer the potatoes to a serving dish, along with any oil and salt in the roasting pan.

A minute before finished roasting time, I tossed potatoes with a bit of garlic to add roasted garlic notes.

Add the garlic(s) and basil and,drizzle with a little more oil if desired. Toss gently until well combined.

Delicious flavour combination elevating the spud experience at the table!
This rockin' potato dish has both casual and elegant appeal at the table!

Roasted chicken with its gravy served with garlic-smashed potatoes, roasted broccoli and raw vegetables with yogurt chive dip. Oh, yes and a can of my favourite alkie cider in apple :)!

Eat up my boys-- so you can fatten up the brains to study again :)...

Hope your week is going swell with getting back-to-routine....

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