Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Posts Tagged ‘Smashed potatoes’

Baking Paper

Posted by terrepruitt on April 26, 2014

One of the best things for me — besides the potatoes — that came out of the Amateur Chef’s Crispy Smashed Roasted Potatoes recipe was the use of parchment paper.  I have always heard about parchment paper.  A lot of recipes call for it and a lot of people use it, but I never had.  I always thought it was a waste.  Why buy paper you are going to put in the oven just to use once?  I didn’t really understand it.  And I probably still don’t understand all of the benefits of it, but the benefits I do understand make it worth it — to me — to use it.  I love using parchment paper to roast/bake on!

One thing I love about it is easy clean up — of course, right?  I mean you just put the paper down on the pan and roast/bake/cook on it and then when your food is done you just take it off the pan and throw it away.  As I mentioned I used to think that was a waste, but it saves me a few other things.  It saves me time . . . . I am not standing at the sink scrubbing a pan.  It saves water . . . . again, not standing at the sink scrubbing a pan.  Not even really having to wash the pan most of the time.  Some times I can just wipe the pan clean.  Sometimes I wash it, but it is so quick it is not even comparable.  Along the lines of washing, I am saving soap, if you want to go so far as to say that — it would be true.  So the clean up alone is GREAT.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle YogaAlso the food tends to cook differently.  I say differently as opposed to better because not everyone might like the way it cooks.  It tends to help allow the food’s moisture to evaporate better.  Perhaps the paper helps soak it up then it dries.  Not sure of the science behind it, but I know that using foil does not allow the food to dry as much so the food does not get as crispy.  That is why I broke down and bought some when I was going to make the potatoes.  Actually I had bought some a long time ago I just never saw the real point in using (read “WASTING”) it.  So the food seems to get “crispier” than without the paper.  I like that!

One thing I do when I use parchment paper is I wet the pan a little.  The parchment paper I have comes on a roll so it tends to have that curved shape.  It also seems really slippery.  The paper always wants to move around the pan.  So I put a little water on the pan so the paper stays in place.  Then usually once the food is on it, it doesn’t slide around.

I usually use it for roasting veggies.  Tonight I am roasting sweet potatoes.

I always thought that parchment paper was good up to 450° F so that is what I roast/cook/bake at, but the box says 420° F, which I just noticed as I was taking a picture of it for this post.  Oh!

I know there are other uses for parchment paper.  I can think of a few, but what about you?  Do you use parchment paper?  What do you use it for?  Don’t you love it?


Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Amateur Chef’s Crispy Smashed Roasted Potatoes – Time Bake

Posted by terrepruitt on March 16, 2013

My last post was about how I have two late Nia classes in San Jose so I use my “Time Bake” feature on my oven.  I think something that would be GREAT to put in the oven to have ready when I get home is the Rantings of an Amateur Chef’s Crispy Smashed Roasted Potatoes.  I made these this week for the first time and I don’t think I will make potatoes any other way again.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaBasically you boil the little red potatoes in salted water.  Then you drain them and let them cool.  Then you smash each one individually only so much as to make them a bit flat, but not so much they break apart and end up mashed.  Then you put them on a pan that is covered in aluminum foil AND parchment paper.  Oil and salt each potato and bake them.

I only used 8 potatoes.  The recipe instructions include placing the potatoes on a towel to dry and covering the potato with a towel for smashing, but I am not sure that is necessary.  I did it that way because I was thinking the towel helps soak up some of that water and less water makes for a crispier potato.  Plus I usually follow instructions when trying a recipe for the first time.  I will try it without the towel next time because I don’t need the extra laundry.  I will let you know if the towel is imperative.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaThe initial cooking time (boiling) was longer for me and I didn’t turn it to simmer.  “Simmer” on my stove is almost off so I left it a little below medium and boiled them for about 40 minutes.  I used the foil and the parchment paper as per the recipe.  But my potatoes took a bit longer than 30 to 40 minutes.  BUT . . . . I also put asparagus on my pan.  The pan I was using is so large it takes up an entire rack in my oven and I didn’t want to put another pan on the rack above or below, so I decided my asparagus and potatoes could share a pan.  They both came out GREAT.  But the potatoes needed a few more minutes than the asparagus.

I was so excited to eat the piping hot crispy gems that I forgot to take a picture of them once fully cooked.  Not taking a picture was due to my excitement AND the fact that we were already eating the rest of dinner and so I was in a rush to get them from pan to plate!  But they were delicious.

The smashed potatoes would be a perfect thing to put in the oven on Time Bake.  But . . . . maybe not, huh?  Parchment paper.  That stuff kind of freaks me out in the first place.  I mean it is PAPER in the oven.  I don’t know that I would want that baking with me not home . . . . .

If you like potatoes these little smashed potatoes are GREAT.

Do you like potatoes?  Can you imagine these little crispy nuggets on your plate?


See comment below for an alternative way to make these — all bake, no boil!

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »