My Smashed Potatoes, Peas, and Corn with Chile-Garlic Oil from Afro-Vegan got so much love, I had to remix it. That recipe was a deconstructed version of irio, a staple of the Kikuyu people consisting of pureed white potatoes with green peas and sweet corn mixed in. In Afro-Vegan, I smashed steamed potatoes and baked them before covering them with a lightly sautéed mixture of fresh green peas and corn. In this version, I steam new potatoes, smash them, then pan-fry them in peanut oil until crisp. I serve them topped with sweet corn relish and caramelized onion rings alongside a bowl of flavor-packed pureed peas for folks to spoon on like they would ketchup. The day I made these for my family, my eldest daughter said it was the best dish I’d ever made.
16 small new potatoes (a little larger than a walnut)
½ cup peanut oil
2 large yellow onions, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
Sweet Corn Relish , for serving
Freshly ground black pepper
Spicy Spring Pea Sauce , for serving
Fit a large pot with a steamer insert or a colander and fill with 2 inches of water. Put the potatoes in the steamer, cover, and cook over medium heat until fork-tender, about 45 minutes, adding more water to the pot as necessary. Remove the potatoes from the steamer and let cool for 5 minutes.
While the potatoes are steaming, warm ¼ cup of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Reduce the heat to low and add the onion slices, keeping them intact. Cook, gently stirring for even cooking, until just starting to caramelize, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and set aside.
On a clean work surface, gently press each potato with the palm of your hand to flatten it to about ½ inch thick. Set aside.