Smashed Potato and Corn Bites

(jump to recipe)

I’d been eyeing Smashed Potatoes on Instagram forever, and I will never understand why I was waiting until now to put them together with a cheesy corn and pepper topping (reminiscent of “corn chili cheese toast” we used to have growing up in India).

These smashed potatoes (baby potatoes that are first boiled, then smashed, and then baked till crispy, almost frittered) are excellent by themselves, dipped into a nice garlicky aioli, or under a soft boiled egg (you know I try to put an egg on everything!). I imagine they would make a wonderful base for a “chaat” (savory Indian street food), topped with spiced yogurt, tamarind chutney and chaat masala (you’ll see that soon enough on the blog). A great side with meat or fish, too, although I have yet to try it.

Make just the potatoes, or top with anything that strikes your fancy, and enjoy the salty, fatty goodness of it all!

Let us begin!

Baby red potatoes, olive oil, chopped cilantro, salt, pepper, corn, chopped pasilla pepper, mozzarella cheese

We start by boiling the baby potatoes, and smashing them. “Smashing” might be a bit aggressive, so be gentle. The goal is to keep them intact, and roughly about the same thickness. Then we roast them on one side with some olive oil, salt and pepper. You could just flip them and roast on the other side and eat them straight out of the pan, and be extremely satisfied.

Or, while one side roasts, make a quick topping with corn, poblano/pasilla/jalapeño peppers, mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper. You can skip the peppers altogether and just used freshly ground black pepper, or not use any form of pepper at all. The choice of peppers and the quantity depends on the desired spice level. You could also use bell peppers, but they would have to be sautéed and cooked down first in olive oil, before adding to the filling (otherwise they will cook/steam in the oven and make the filling and the potato soggy).

Flip the potatoes gently and pile on the filling, and back in the oven it goes for another 15 minutes.

I like to broil the tops for an extra 5 minutes to get the corn extra-charred and brown the mozzarella cheese too, but you could skip this step if you like it the way it is!

I like to eat this with a cool and spicy dip (very simple, made my whisking together mayonnaise and sriracha). If you chose a much spicier pepper for the filling, you will want to adjust the spice level in the dip accordingly.

Serve it with the dip straight out of the pan!

Smashed Potato and Corn Bites

Inspired by Shutterbean and my childhood

Makes 10-12 bites

For the potatoes
1 pound (about 10-12) baby potatoes (red or creamer variety), washed and thoroughly scrubbed (do not peel)
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
Cooking spray

For the corn and cheese topping
1 cup frozen corn, thawed at room temperature for 30 minutes.
1 pasilla pepper (or 2 poblano peppers, or 1-2 jalapeño peppers, for extra heat), finely diced
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (optional) (use more if skipping the peppers)

For the dipping sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1-2 tablespoons sriracha or 1 teaspoon of hot sauce (or, to taste)

To serve
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, parsley, chives or scallions
1-2 tablespoons crumbled bacon bits (optional)

Cook the potatoes
Place baby potatoes in a saucepan and add enough water to completely submerge the potatoes, plus another cup or so. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the water, and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Continue to cook on medium heat until potatoes are cooked, about 25-30 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes.

Set frozen corn out on the counter to thaw, if you haven’t thawed it already.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

Once potatoes are cooked, drain and pat dry with a dishcloth, and set aside to cool slightly.

Once potatoes are cool enough to handle, place them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Using the bottom of a steel measuring cup or a flat bowl, smash the potatoes in place to about 1/2 inch thick, being careful to keep the potato as intact as possible. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon salt, freshly ground black pepper and olive oil, and place in the oven for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the topping
Place corn in a medium, microwave-safe bowl and loosely cover with a paper towel. Microwave for 2 minutes, and carefully dab any excess moisture off the corn with the paper towel. Discard paper towel.

Add diced peppers (if using), cheese, salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste) and stir.

Take the potatoes out of the oven, and using a spatula or fish spoon, gently flip the potatoes over, being careful to keep them intact. If the potato comes apart, just push it back together to keep it as intact as possible, but don’t fret.

Please 1-2 tablespoons of the corn mixture on each potato, trying to keep most of it on the potato. Place the baking sheet back in the oven and continue to bake for 15 minutes, until cheese has melted and corn is slightly charred.

Switch oven to “Broil” mode (“High” setting) and broil for an additional 5 minutes to crisp up the tops.

Scatter chopped herbs and bacon (if using) all over the potatoes.

Make the dipping sauce
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and sriracha (or hot sauce).

To serve
Place bowl of sauce on the baking sheet and serve hot straight from the pan!

Notes
Baby potatoes can be boiled and smashed ahead of time.
Corn filling can be made ahead of time as well.
Bites can be assembled (with corn on top) ahead of time, refrigerated, and baked+broiled when ready to serve.

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