Friday, November 22, 2013

Crispy Tandoori Smashed Potatoes for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving and I have a tenuous relationship. On the one hand, what's not to love about a holiday centered around food? And about giving thanks. But really about food! On the other hand, Thanksgiving inevitably brings about this crazy spike in chaos and relatives, singing loudly off-key. Some years, it all feels a bit much.

There was the year we went out for Thanksgiving dinner (don't ask). It was a nice place with nary a paper napkin or golden arch in sight! But with Little Man only a few months old, I spent the entire meal in a freezing car, wedged between a frosty window and car seat, gnawing on a cold piece of turkey, attempting to soothe a screaming newborn while my family wined and dined inside. Minus the wine 'cause you know, Muslim and all. It was not a great Thanksgiving.

Then there was the Thanksgiving where we had TONS of extended family visit and every single one of them took a solemn oath to not wash a single dish the entire weekend! You know how many dirty dishes twenty people produce? It was enough to make me swear off of china for good.

But even in the crazy and god-awful Thanksgivings, there are really fantastic memories of warm pumpkin pie served a la mode, midnight games of charades, and babies wearing blazers. I love a man in a blazer but a baby in a blazer?!? Sweetness overload!

So I was kinda bummed when everyone in my family abandoned the holiday spirit and pulled a Scrooge on Thanksgiving this year. You'd think the Mr. Wilson in me would have loved it but I missed the flurry of emails about the menu, the mad dash to secure extra bedding for guests, and the crazy desire to secure the "best" turkey.

So I did what any sane person would do, I volunteered to make Thanksgiving dinner. Don't get me wrong, I'll have tons of helpers and a peanut gallery of tasters and critiquers, but yours truly, will be making the turkey, gravy, potatoes, stuffing, and quite possibly, some rolls and a triple berry galette. Wait, I didn't tell you I've never made a turkey before? Or that giant, raw birds weird me out? Needless to say, I'm panicking a bit about my initial bravado and enthusiasm.

So I've been doing what any sane person would do. Frantically testing delicious Thanksgiving side dishes to supplement the traditional mashed potatoes and stuffing and distract people from the fact that the turkey may very well be slightly raw (or burned to a crisp, one or the other). I figured I'd start with potatoes. They're more popular than turkey, right? Right, she said not-so-confidently. Introducing, the crispy tandoori smashed potato. Creamy baby potatoes, dripping with butter, infused with tandoori spices, and perfectly crispy around the edges. What's not to love?

Plus, it's the perfect recipe for getting your babies in the kitchen (and yes, Little Man will always be my baby, even when he's 16 and driving and going on dates and and and, quick, pass the potatoes so I can forget this will happen one day). It's pretty much impossible to mess these potatoes up. I mean, the entire point is to squish them in to the pan so you get jagged crevices, perfect for browning and holding spiced butter. In fact, we had a hard time convincing Little Man they were smashed enough and it was time to put them in the oven. Once they're done, it's hard to stop eating them directly from the pan. But it'll be Thanksgiving and all so I'll try to bring my holiday manners and not eat from the cooking dishes. Heck, I plan to serve these little babies on a fancy platter, with a side of creme fraiche speckled with cilantro and spiked with fresh lime juice. I'm sure no one will even look at the turkey.

Oh, and lest you think my plan for the deliciously distracting sides is crazy, I am making a practice turkey this weekend. Come on people, I'm an optimist, not an idiot.

Crispy Tandoori Smashed Potatoes
1 lb. mini Yukon Gold potatoes
3 tbs. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground corriander
1/2 tsp. paprika
Salt and Pepper

Boil potatoes in salted water until cooked through but not falling apart (when you poke them with a fork, there should be no resistance). Drain. Grease a cookie sheet with oil. Line up the potatoes on a cookie sheet with 2-3 inches of room in between each potato. Smash the potato with a potato masher so the potato is flat and you have neat ridges in the top of the potato.

In a small microwave safe bowl, melt butter. Add spices and mix thoroughly. Brush potatoes with spiced, melted butter mixture. Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden around the edges.

Inspired by Pioneer Woman's Crash Hot Potatoes.


  1. I dont do thanksgiving but this year we are doing a thanksgivingish potluck; I have volunteered for chicken and couple side dish and this smash potatoes is happening for sure :) I love babies in a blazer too. I am so glad little man is assisting you already with potatoes, next year he might volunteer for dishes :P

  2. A whole family didn't help with dishes and you're still hosting Thanksgiving this year? Wow, you're brave (or crazy). I love the shot of Little Man's chubby fingers. I could just eat them up! Same goes for those potatoes, my friend. They look amazing.

  3. This looks amazing and I bet it smells amazing!

  4. very nice.. you have many of good recipes.. do try to visit my place when time permits love to have your feedback dear Recipes Passion ..i have followed u glad if u follow me back.. Have a good day.. Happy Blogging.. hope you have a great weekend..

  5. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. No doubt your Thanksgiving dinner will be wonderful.

  6. This is great - since I am planning on a sweet potato and chickpea curry for our veggie guests, this will be a perfect side! Have a great Thanksgiving and thanks for stopping by Cocoa & Lavender! ~ David

  7. I'm loving your little man's green sweater, so sweet of him to help u out.
    Wow, you are doing the dinner, have a good one.
    We generally have just the four of us on thanksgiving and we meet with friends the next day which is so much fun. Love this day/
    Have a great Thanksgiving sweety.

  8. These look absolutely extraordinary. I am a huge potatoes person! I might actually make these - they seem doable, even for me. :)

    Wish we could be at your dinner table this Thanksgiving! Sadly we were abandoned and know few people in NY so we'll be all alone this year. (Let the violins play lol).

    Happy Thanksgiving my friend!

  9. These look so awesome and yum. Need to make them for my boys and me soon.
    Thanks for sharing.

  10. Tandoori potatoes is such a good idea! I'll eat Thanksgiving at your table anytime :) Right now I'm imagining a baby in a blazer and trying not to squee out loud.

  11. These sound like a fantastic addition to the table. I know your turkey will come out perfectly (lol). I wish I had room for one more item on the menu I'd add these, good thing we will be hungry around here a day or so after Thanksgiving. Wishing you and your family an amazing day and full bursting tummies.

  12. Azmina - these look so delish! What a perfect Thanksgiving Day side dish. Hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving Day Holiday!

  13. Looks scrumptious.. perfect for thanksgiving :) Wish u and ur family a very happy thanksgiving :)

  14. I love love love smashed potatoes! The crispy edges are to die for. The change up in spices sounds yummy!

  15. How sweet that the little man is helping you out. We didn't do a big Thanksgiving this year. Just the two of us, eating out and discovering some new cuisines. I was glad to not have to cook. You are right, it does get a bit much sometimes. Happy Thanksgiving to you :)


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