This technique applies the basic French fry equation – fry, freeze, and fry again – to baby red potatoes, with delicious and fun-textured results. They can serve as a high-brow accompaniment (whereas French fries can only grace certain plates, these smashed disks are appealingly abstract enough so as to fit on the finest porcelain), or an addictively delicious serve-in-a-basket low-brow side.
Step 1: Roast potatoes on a bed of salt until just cooked through.
Step 2: Crush potatoes with palm of hand – they should be flattened, but still in one piece.
Step 3: Blanch potatoes in 300ºF oil for 5 minutes.
Step 4: Hold potatoes in refrigerator or freezer until later use.
Step 5: Fry potatoes at 350ºF until crispy and brown.
Wash and dry red potatoes. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with kosher salt, place potatoes on top of salt, and bake for about 15 minutes or until just cooked through. Let potatoes cool slightly. When potatoes are cool enough to work with, crush each potato with palm of hand (being sure to keep potatoes in one piece). Heat frying oil to 300ºF and blanch potatoes for 5 minutes, or until they begin to turn golden brown. Remove from oil and place on a cooling rack. Hold potatoes in refrigerator until service or freeze for later use. To serve, heat fryer oil to 350ºF and fry blanched potatoes until crispy and brown. Toss with cheese, herbs and olive oil and season with salt and pepper.