Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Bacon-wrapped Smashed Redskin Puffs #BloggerCLUE

Small red potatoes, cooked to tenderness then smashed flattish, covered with bacon and fried till crispy. You can serve these as a side dish but they also make a fabulous main course alongside a big salad or vegetables. 

It’s Blogger C.L.U.E. Society time again, where I am assigned a blog to poke around in and find a recipe to make which fits our “clue” or theme. Which, this month, is potatoes. While I’m not the diehard fan my mother is – her last meal on earth would be potatoes and more potatoes of every recipe and description – I am quite a fan. I was also delighted to be assigned the blog A Day in the Life on the Farm, written by my friend, Wendy, a retired police officer who has taken up the life of a leisurely farmer. HA! Yeah, that was a joke. What she does do, between chores, is cook some pretty tasty dishes.

As I poked around in Wendy’s potato posts, it became apparent to me that my eyesight is failing. I have an annual checkup each summer but here we are in only March, and these contacts just aren’t quite working for me anymore. When I saw the first photo of her smashed redskin potato puffs crisping up in the frying pan, I thought, “Oh, my goodness, brilliant, she has wrapped the smashed potato with bacon!” Upon enlarging the picture, I realized that was just the red of the potatoes. But then I HAD to wrap them in bacon. There wasn’t any other choice. Let me say that if you are not a bacon person, I’m not sure we can be friends. Wendy’s original potatoes are still brilliant. The smashing opens the skins so the fluffy insides can fry up crunchy and crispy and more-ish. They would be an excellent addition to any meal!

I intended to serve these as a side dish, just as Wendy did, but with the addition of the bacon, I changed my mind and made them the main course, with a lovely mixed salad on the side, perfect for a meal when meat doesn’t have to be the center of attention. Since the salad was so big, we still only each ate two of the potatoes.

Small redskin potatoes – about 2 per person
1 slice of normal smoked streaky bacon per potato (Not thick cut.)
Handful chopped green onions to serve
Cayenne pepper – optional

Boil your potatoes in a large pot of water until tender, testing with a pointy knife at about 20 minutes. Cook a little longer if you still feel resistance in the middle.

Yeah, I know I said two per person and we are only two people at home but who boils only four potatoes?
Exactly no one.

Drain the water from the pot and leave the potatoes to air dry, and cool a little, uncovered in the hot pot.

When your potatoes are cool enough to handle, but are still quite warm, heat a non-stick skillet on the stove over a medium flame.

Lay one piece of cold bacon on a plate and top with a potato. Use the potato masher to smash the potato till it is kind of flattish and about the same size as the masher.

Fold the ends of the bacon over to cover the smashed potato. With a spatula, lift the bacon-wrapped potato and place it - overlapped bacon-end side down - in the heated pan.

Continue until all the potatoes are smashed and wrapped with bacon, adding as many as you can comfortably fit to the pan and leaving the rest to wait on the plate.

Overlapped bacon end side down to start.

You don’t want to crowd your pan too much because these need room around them so everything can get crispy, instead of just steaming. Also, room to maneuver makes turning them over easier.

When the overlapped bacon on the bottoms are sufficiently browned and sticking together, use a spatula to gently turn the smashed potatoes over. If little pieces of potato try to detach, just push them back where they belong with the spatula.

Push down gently on the smashed potatoes with your spatula to reflatten them occasionally.

Cook until both sides are crispy then remove the smashed potatoes to a warm plate to keep warm. Sprinkle with a little cayenne, if desired.  Continue cooking until all your potatoes are done.

Sprinkle with the chopped green onions to serve.


Many thanks to this month’s host and organizer, Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake.

One potato, two potato,
Three potato, four,
Five potato, six potato,
Seven potato, MORE!

Here’s the list of this month’s Blogger C.L.U.E. participants. Follow the links to see which blog they were assigned and which great potato or starch recipe they have recreated.

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