ROASTED PUNCHED POTATOES
2½ pounds small (no more than 2 inches across) redskin potatoes, scrubbed
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
With the rack in the center position, heat the oven to 475 degrees. Set potatoes on a baking sheet and roast until very tender, about 40 minutes. Remove potatoes from the oven (leave the oven on) and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Place the potatoes in a bowl, brush the baking sheet with 2 tablespoons oil, and sprinkle sheet lightly with salt and pepper. Return the potatoes to the sheet spaced so they do not touch, and with the bottom of a mug (or a similar tool), sharply press down on the potatoes to break their skins and compress the flesh to about ¾ inch thick.
Brush the broken potatoes with the remaining oil, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, return to the oven, and roast until golden and crisp, 30 to 40 minutes longer, turning the baking sheet partway through cooking time.
Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary, then transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.
TIP Rinsing halfway through steaming helps keep whipped potatoes light.
3½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks, rinsed in 2 changes of water, and well drained
1¼ cups whole milk or half-and-half
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
Place the potatoes in a steamer basket, set the basket in a Dutch oven with about 1½ inches of boiling water over high heat, cover, and steam for 10 minutes. Transfer the steamer basket to the sink and rinse under cool running water for about 1 minute. Return the steamer basket to the pot, replace cover, and continue cooking until the potatoes are very tender, about 12 minutes longer. Remove the steamer basket, empty liquid from the pot, return the potatoes to the pot, and allow to stand, off heat and uncovered, until dry, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk or half-and-half, butter, thyme, 1½ teaspoons salt, and pepper to taste, whisking constantly until butter is melted and mixture is steamy, about 4 minutes. Cover and set aside off heat until ready to use (remove thyme just before using).
With a hand-held or standing mixer, beat the potatoes on medium-low speed until broken down, about 30 seconds. With the mixer on medium-low, slowly pour in the milk mixture and beat to incorporate, about 40 seconds. Increase the speed to high and whip the potatoes until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the bowl as necessary. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary, and serve at once.
SMASHED POTATOES WITH GARLIC, YOGURT, AND SCALLIONS
The idea with “smashed” potatoes is to keep the texture rough and chunky, so don’t mash too vigorously. Because smashed potatoes stiffen as they cool, add enough liquid so that they start out just a little looser than you want.
3 pounds small redskin potatoes, scrubbed and halved
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
¾ cup milk, preferably whole
¼ cup plain Greek-style yogurt
½ cup thinly sliced scallion greens
In a Dutch oven over high heat, bring the potatoes and enough water to cover by 1 inch to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the potatoes are very tender (you can poke them with a paring knife with no resistance), about 30 minutes. Reserve 1/3 cup cooking liquid, drain the potatoes, and return them to the pot, off heat.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the milk and 2 teaspoons salt and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly, about 3 minutes. Cover and set aside off heat until ready to use.
Using the back of a wooden spoon, crush the potatoes slightly to break the skins (do not completely mash them). Add the milk mixture and gently fold until most of the liquid has been absorbed (potatoes should remain chunky). Add the yogurt, scallions, and pepper to taste and gently fold to combine thoroughly. If the texture is too stiff, stir in cooking water, about 1 tablespoon at a time, to loosen. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary, and serve at once.
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