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Smashed fries

Time 1 hour
Yields Serves 6 to 8
Smashed fries
(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
1

Place the potatoes, water and salt in a large, heavy bottom saucepan. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the potatoes until they are just tender when pierced with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes more.

2

Drain the potatoes and set aside until cool enough to handle. (The recipe can be prepared to this point up to three days in advance; refrigerate the potatoes until needed, then continue with the recipe.)

3

Using a fork, gently smash the potatoes. The thicker the smashed potatoes, the fluffier the fries; conversely, the flatter the potatoes, the more crisp the fries. Set the smashed potatoes aside while you heat the oil.

4

Fill a heavy-bottom deep saute pan with oil so the oil comes up the sides of the pan by one-half inch. Heat the oil to a temperature of 350 degrees; the oil will shimmer in the pan.

5

Fry the potatoes in the oil until crisp and golden, about 2 minutes, careful not to crowd the potatoes (fry a single layer of potatoes at a time; this will need to be done in batches). Drain the potatoes on a rack until all of the potatoes are fried.

6

Season the smashed fries with additional salt to taste, and serve immediately.

For additional flavor, substitute duck fat, lard or bacon fat for the frying oil. Duck fat is available at select gourmet and cooking stores, as well as online.

Noelle Carter is the former Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen director. She left in January 2019.
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