Crash Hot Potatoes

So, foodie friends. I have a special fondness for Australia as I have a niece who lives there permanently. It's quite a fun little love story. Following college, my niece, who had been an education major decided to travel to Japan to teach. I believe she left intending to spend a year teaching there. I remember saying good-byes to her before she set off on her trip and her actually saying, "Well, maybe I'll meet some hot guy and I won't come back." And I'm pretty certain that she even inserted the word "Aussie" in front of guy. 

Well, when she returned home, she was engaged to a charming Australian gentleman who was also a teacher and spending time in Japan either taking a class or teaching a class. Not long after that she moved there and they married. They now have two beautiful little children.

Unfortunately I've not yet been to Australia, but my other nieces (her two sisters) and my brother and sister-in-law have. The other foodie sis has been there, as well. One of these days I plan to make it there myself and see this beautiful place they call home - and of course I'll have to try out lots of good food.

This recipe is an easy one that I understand is a common dish in Australia called Crash Hot Potatoes. 

4 large red potatoes
2 tsp. butter
2 tsp. minced garlic
Italian seasoning
Mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Scrub potatoes, poke with a fork and put in the microwave on high for 6 to 8 minutes until they are soft like a fully cooked baked potato.

Transfer to a baking dish and use a potato masher to press down and smash each potatoes a bit. Since my potatoes were HUGE, I cut each in half before I did he mashing. After that, add your butter, cut into little cubes and then garlic. I used the some from the Aldi brand jar of minced garlic that I always have in my fridge. Much better than using dried. Sprinkle your cheeses and seasoning on top. I planned on throwing some bacon pieces on top, but (SURPRISE) my boys had gotten into them and eaten them all. The Aussie way doesn't include the cheese

Put dish in the oven for about 10 minutes or until your cheese is melted. Leave them in a little longer if you like for the skins to get a little crunch on them.

This was a fabulous side dish for the New York Strip Steaks my husband had made on the barbie. :) While it's definitely grilling weather in the Land Down Under right now, iwe have a long way to go here. It was about 18 degrees the night my husband made the steaks on the grill. We are some tough ones here in Chicago, mate!