Friday, 15 November 2013

Potato Smashers or Potato Disasters?

Lessons learned:
1. Don’t bother microwaving potatoes.
2. Smashing a potato is not the way to check to see if a potato is tender--despite the name of this recipe. 

I’m usually a pretty smart girl just brimming with common sense. I swear. Apparently though, that is before I was actually put to the test. Last night I chose to make something super simple called Potato Smashers.
It was not simple.
This recipe told me it would take 30 minutes to make altogether.
It took me an hour and a half.  
But let's start from the beginning.

The recipe I chose is from Kraft. You can find it here!
The suggested ingredients:
8 new potatoes
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp. Kraft Calorie-Wise Sun-Dried Tomato & Oregano Dressing
1/2 cup Kraft Mozza-Cheddar Light Shredded Cheese
4 slices 33%-less-sodium bacon, cooked, crumbled
What I actually used:
8 white potatoes (I do not know what "new potatoes" means. Do people normally use old potatoes to cook? I just used what we had in our cupboard.)
9 cups water (I'll explain later.)
2 Tbsp. Kraft Sun-Dried Tomato & Oregano Dressing (Calorie-wise? I think not.)
1/2 cup Kraft Mozzarella Cheese (I don't know what "light" cheese is and I think I can manage to shred my own cheese, thank-you very much. Key word: think.)
4 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled (I prefer my bacon with 33%-more-sodium.)
And so, the ingredients have been assembled and I am ready to begin. This is where lesson 1 comes in. I am supposed to microwave the potatoes and water in a 2-L microwavable dish on HIGH for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Now, having to rewrite the ingredients and instructions for this blog, I have realized where my mistake was. I forgot about the "1/2 cup of water" and instead did 2-L of water...
Last night I did not figure this out. I had those potatoes microwaving in 2-L of water for about 30 minutes because they were NOT getting tender!! I finally succumbed to going outside to my dad and asking him how to make them tender.
"Why aren't you just boiling them in a pan of water, Erin," he says to me so matter-of-factly.
Thanks Dad. 
So, I transferred all the potatoes and the excessive amount of water to a pan and started boiling them. But wait! My common sense kicks in for a moment and I realize that I should really have scrubbed the potatoes because aren't potatoes dirty?
After the clean potatoes and new water are put back in the pan, they boil.

This is where my common sense leaves me and the second lesson comes in. I thought that perhaps the potatoes were tender after about 5 minutes of boiling. To check, I took out a single potato, put it on a hard surface, took out a potato smasher...and smashed. Instant regret.     

You may not be able to tell in the picture, but that potato was not tender. What you can tell, is that I can no longer put this potato back in the pan to become tender.

I am down to 7 poor potatoes.
After using Google to establish the proper way to check potatoes, everything went pretty smoothly.
I'm kidding.
When the potatoes are tender, you have to drain the water and flatten them. That ended up turning my potatoes into piles of mini potatoes. But, thankfully the skin managed to keep some pieces together and I was able to  push some smaller pieces back in there. After flattening,
I put them on a skillet with the Kraft dressing and let that soak in for about 5 minutes. Except I forgot to let the skillet heat up first. So, the potatoes didn't end up heating up again and becoming golden brown. All well. I then grated cheese--too much cheese. I should have just bought the shredded cheese like the recipe said. All well. I then topped the potatoes off with my shredded cheese along with the crumbled bacon and voila! My first meal is complete!
This has been an ordeal. I really don't think I could have found an easier recipe. Somehow I made it the most difficult recipe. At this point, there is no time (or patience) to make meat or vegetables. Who needs vegetables anyways?
They don't look so bad right?
I will get better at this.

Wish me luck!

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