From America's Test Kitchen Season 6: Meat and Potatoes
Bold flavors and a rustic, chunky texture make smashed potatoes a satisfying side dish, one that pairs well with everything from grilled steak to roast chicken. But good smashed potatoes are hard to find. We were after a good contrast of textures, with chunky potatoes and skins bound by a rich, creamy puree. Testing revealed that low-starch, high-moisture red potatoes were the best choice for this dish. Their compact structure held up well under pressure, maintaining its integrity. The thin skins were pleasantly tender and paired nicely with the chunky potatoes. Cooked whole in salted water with a bay leaf, the potatoes became lightly seasoned while also retaining their naturally creamy texture, as the skins protected the potato flesh from the water. For the best chunky texture, we smashed the potatoes with a rubber spatula or the back of a wooden spoon. Cream cheese and butter lent tang, richness, and body to the dish, and stirring in a little of the potato cooking water added enough moisture to the smash to give it a unified and creamy consistency without diluting the potato flavor. Seasoned with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a sprinkling of chopped chives for bright flavor and color, these potatoes are a quick, no-fuss side dish to complement any casual dinner.
Serves 4 to 6
White potatoes can be used instead of Red Bliss, but their skins lack the rosy color of Red Bliss skins. Try to get potatoes of equal size; if that's not possible, test the larger potatoes for doneness. If only larger potatoes are available, increase the cooking time by about 10 minutes. Check for doneness with a paring knife.