These smashed skillet potatoes had been impressed by a weekend get-away to the backwoods of Mendocino County, California. Let me emphasize that after I say backwoods, I am not kidding. Think about – just a few miles off the closest paved highway the place a high-clearance 4×4 is a necessity. Previous quite a few cleverly-rigged hydroponic hippie buses (that is clearly the place previous buses go to die). Past a pack of car-chasing, fang-toothed guard canine, and finally down into the riverside sanctuary that’s my good friend Lori Narlock’s cabin.
Earlier than I get into the small print of our weekend, I will simply say (feeling greater than a bit responsible), I hardly lifted a finger all weekend – Lori cooked for our cabin of six females, meal after scrumptious meal. Right now I will characteristic her smashed skillet potato recipe. First, as a result of they had been scrumptious. Second, to display how equal half thoughtfulness, expertise, and prep work can culminate in scrumptious meals, even beneath rustic situations.
How rustic you would possibly ask? As I used to be packing this was precisely the query I stored asking myself as properly. I had just a few clues primarily based on the flurry of pre-trip emails – together with snippets of data like this:
“The cabin may be very rustic. There are two bedrooms with one mattress every after which two-single beds in the lounge….There isn’t any actual electrical energy. We principally learn, play scrabble, drink copious quantities of beer and wine and gab by day and lantern.”
“Please carry clogs or different slip on footwear for utilizing at evening if that you must
rise up and use the loo–there have been just a few creepy crawlers present up now and again.”
I later came upon that creepy crawlers=scorpions. Lori’s sister Lisa additionally chimed in with the next:
“Let me please add that this isn’t a “Tahoe” cabin, and any slippers or such that you simply put on across the cabin might very properly get filthy – so I would go away your favourite white slippers at house.”
So, in case your creativeness is liable to run amuck like mine does – I used to be making ready for a weekend within the rain, in a shack (moon by the slats within the roof, spiders by the gaps within the floorboard), huddled by a range in a Kaczynski-style shelter. One thing alongside the traces of an overgrown outhouse. I used to be fully up for it. I imply, there was no tent concerned, so this was going to be an improve for me any approach you have a look at it. You’ll be able to think about my shock (and delight!) after I walked into this….
The cabin sits on an enormous plot of land owned for generations now by the Narlock household. The cabin was constructed by hand, and a tremendous quantity of affection has gone into it. Footage of the household line the partitions, in addition to artifacts numerous members of the family have contributed. It is the type of place you are instantly comfy – full with wood-burning fire, the sound of the river within the backdrop – and the range! Are you able to consider the attractive range?
Lori put this household treasure to good use over the course of the weekend, however earlier than I get into that, let me again up a bit and say – it is nice to have a bunch who additionally occurs to be a meals author. I am certain a lot of you might be conversant in Lori’s work on books like The Meals Lover’s Companion to the Napa Valley, The Wine Lover’s Information to the Wine Nation, Smoothies, The Niman Ranch Cookbook , and Cocktail Meals. She’s incredible and gifted on each entrance. Watching the way in which she pulled collectively meals for us within the cabin (no electrical energy, water that takes an hour to boil) was fascinating – and it gave me all kinds of cooking/prep concepts for future “rustic/tenting outings”….partially as a result of she was so sensible about how and what she prepped earlier than she even acquired to the cabin.
The Smashed Skillet Potatoes
Lori’s meals had been coming along with barely a bead of sweat from her forehead (or a minimum of she made it look that approach). So I began asking her about a few of her methods for cooking on the cabin. The skillet smashed potatoes had been an awesome instance. She pre-boiled the potatoes and introduced them that approach – Within the morning, simply earlier than breakfast she smashed them into an enormous skillet with some olive oil and salt – in a couple of minutes they had been crispy and brown on the skin, scorching on the within, and the right complement to the frittata she threw collectively.
I even have to say the pasta she made for dinner later that evening – outrageous quantities of garlic (in a great way), tons of shredded zucchini, and grated cheese. She’d boiled off the noodles the evening earlier than we acquired the cabin. Are you aware what number of instances I’ve struggled boiling noodles over a camp range? SO many. Her pasta was scrumptious – the noodles weren’t mushy or sticky in any respect. Lori had all kinds of nice shortcuts like this that by no means compromised the tip dish.
So, here is how she made her smashed skillet potatoes. Think about all of the issues you could possibly drizzle or sprinkle on them. Thanks for the recipe and the nice weekend Lori! I will sleep with the scorpions any time…