Author Notes: This is pure comfort food, designed to make you feel cozy and satisfied. It’s perfect for lazy days when you don’t want to make anything too complicated or weeknights when you feel busy but still want something nice and warm to eat. Feel free to get creative and play around with different combinations of fresh herbs or spices to garnish this dish. I chose to garnish with fresh thyme, but you can use anything that inspired you (like rosemary, sage, or a pinch of cayenne). —Josh Cohen
Serves: 2-3 people
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 1 hrs
pound fingerling potatoes (the smaller the better)
tablespoons butter (plus extra for if/when your skillet looks dry)
dash freshly ground black pepper
teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
ounce to 2 Comté cheese, finely grated on a microplane
- Fill a large pot with cold water and add the fingerling potatoes. Set the pot over high heat and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat so that the water is simmering. Lightly salt the water. Cook the potatoes until a fork can easily prick the skin (approximately 10 – 15 minutes).
- When the potatoes are cooked through, remove them from the simmering water and hold them at room temperature. Set a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and add the butter. When the butter is melted, shut off the heat. Add a potato to the skillet and smash it with the back of a spatula or any flat object that works for you. Keep adding potatoes and smashing them until the skillet is filled with a single even layer of smashed potatoes. Do not overcrowd the skillet. If you have a few extra potatoes that don’t fit, cook them in a separate smaller skillet or set them aside for another use.
- When your skillet is filled with smashed potatoes, turn the heat to medium. When the potatoes start to sizzle, you should lower the heat slightly. Don’t move the potatoes around in the skillet, just let them cook. You want to cook the potatoes slowly, for approximately 20 minutes, until the bottoms of the potatoes are nicely browned and crispy. Use a spatula to peek underneath the potatoes and see how they are doing. Whenever the skillet looks too dry, add an extra tablespoon of butter. The potatoes will absorb a lot of butter, so expect to add another couple of tablespoons throughout the cooking process.
- When the bottoms of the potatoes look brown and crispy, season the potatoes lightly with salt and pepper, and then flip them. Cook the potatoes for an additional 10 – 15 minutes, until both sides now look brown and crispy. When the potatoes look beautiful and ready to eat, sprinkle them with the fresh thyme, and add 1 ounce of the grated Comté cheese. If you like your potatoes to be extra cheesy, add the other ounce of grated Comté. Shut off the heat, and cover the skillet for 3 minutes. Remove the cover and eat the potatoes. Make sure to to eat them right away, while the cheese is warm and perfectly melty.