Smashed herbed potatoes with harissa

Ever have weeks or days where you just can’t think of anything to cook or lack the motivation to? There are just times where I feel like I’m in a bit of a cooking rut. I don’t think it has anything to do with remembering recipes or lack of ideas but sometimes I think I just get tired of the same old thing or am just plain tired. Sometimes the ‘having’ to cook can take away the excitement of cooking too. For times like those I love checking out cookbooks, Instagram accounts I follow also provide tons of inspiration, and I also love watching some of the awesome chef series on Netflix. They do wonders for inspiring and motivating you in the kitchen but one thing that I find especially helpful is meal planning.

I’m not the type to plan out every meal for each day of the week but I like to have a few meals in mind and shop for the ingredients for them weekly. I usually plan on one or two big meals (usually something I will feature on the blog) that we will have leftovers to carry over for a day, but I also plan for some quick meals too. For example I always have some bacon, fish and ground meat in the freezer that I can whip up quickly into something like bolognese, burgers, meatballs and with the fish I can quickly pan fry or roast.

These guys are crispy and perfect for topping or dipping and super easy to make

I always have some pasta stocked so that I can make a quick dish like my bacon, garlic and spinach and herbs which is a quick and easy weekly staple. I also usually have sweet or regular potatoes and rice stocked because those can provide a lot of goodness and filler even if your having a vegetarian night. I also always have lentils stocked and some basic pantry items like tuna, tomato paste and canned tomatoes which are useful for soups and sauces and casseroles.

In the fridge I usually have basics like eggs, turkey breast, onions, celery and carrots, greens, and sweet peppers. All things you could use for a quick and easy dinner like omelettes, sandwiches and salads. Just some simple stuff I can use to make food quickly even if I don’t have something planned in particular. Basically things you can whip up fast before throwing in the figurative towel and going out for dinner. Not that I have an issue with that once in a while but I much more prefer eating at home and enjoying home cooked food.


Smashed potatoes


It does help that my husband is not picky at all and really is easy to please when it comes to foods. He is totally cool with a tuna sandwich and salad for dinner if that’s what we were having. Another reason I love the guy! So the key is to have a few basics on hand but do plan ahead a little when it comes to meal prep. It will help especially on those days when you might feel like your in a rut cooking-wise.

Here is just another great way to eat your potatoes! Also a basic staple ingredient I usually have on hand. These guys are crispy and perfect for topping or dipping and super easy to make. I made these with a harissa sauce to top them with and they were absurdly awesome!! But I think they would be awesome with some chives and sour cream, some tzatziki sauce and even loaded with cheese and other goodness. So feel free to use your imagination and come up with all sort of ways to enjoy these smashed potatoes!!

Smashed potatoes


Herb butter smashed potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. of small potatoes (I used multicoloured ones) scrubbed clean
  • 1-2 tbsp of olive oil for greasing baking sheet
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tsp of Rosemary
  • 1-2 tbsp of melted butter (I used brown butter because I had some leftover from another recipe)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Bring the potatoes to boil in a large pot of salted water. Cook for approx 10 minutes or until fork tender. Drain and let cool for a few minutes.

  2. While the potatoes are cooling preheat oven to 425 F and grease your baking sheet or sheets of using more than one with the olive oil.

  3. Arrange potatoes on the sheets and use a masher or a the bottom of a flat bottom glass or small bowl to smash or flatten the potatoes so that they are approx 12 inch thick.

  4. Brush potatoes with the butter, sprinkle with the herbs and salt and pepper and bake for approx. 15-20 min or until golden and crisp. You can either flip them half way or I have also just let them be and turned on the broiler for the last couple minutes. Your choice.

  5. Once done remove, plate, and serve with whatever topping you desire

Harissa sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 roasted red pepper
  • 12 tsp of coriander seeds
  • 12 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 12 tsp of caraway seeds (dry dill weed as alternative)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 hot red chilies (sub with a 12 tsp of red pepper flakes)
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a small pan toast all the seeds for a few minutes on medium heat or until golden and fragrant and set aside

  2. In a small pan on medium heat fry up the onion, garlic and chilies or flakes for 10 minutes or until golden and then cool slightly

  3. In a food processor add the onion garlic mixture, the spice mixture, the roasted red pepper, the lemon juice and salt and pepper and pulse until it’s a sauce. I like mine a little chunky so I just pulse it a couple times.

  4. Sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks



Smashed potatoes