Smash Fries with Gruyere Cheese, mint cilantro basil salad and Apricot Catsup OR Real Latkes

Note: This recipe is easiest when made with a sandwich press of some sort. Just press potatoes til they are about 1/4 inch. I think it would also be wonderful with sliced sweet potatoes. If you use yams, I would suggest substituting Rosey Goat, Drunken Goat or some other hard goat cheese instead of the gruyere.

I have taken to calling them the "real" latkes because there was a real lack of oil when Judah Maccabee did his thing. So why do we use so much when we're frying our latkes and donuts? I don't know if they would have had access to the preserves or salad, but I think the entire Maccabee clan would dig these.

6 small potatoes (I mean bite sized. Think little fingerling or tiny yellow potatoes)
1 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
6 mint leaves
1 slice gruyere cheese
¼ onion chopped very finely
1 clove garlic
1 tbs olive oil
½ cup apricot preserves
1 tbsp White wine vinegar
30 mint leaves
1 small bunch cilantro
20 big basil leaves
¼ onion

Bake potatoes in the oven for 12 minutes or the microwave for three – until they're soft and some of the liquid has come out. While they cook, combine oil and garlic. When they are done, remove from oven or microwave, coat in oil and garlic, place on pan or grilling device and cover with mint leaf and small piece of cheese (the cheese should cover the mint leaf). Using a sandwich press, press down firmly on potatoes til they smash. Leave until the cheese and potato are crispy. In another pan, sauté onions and garlic in oil til caramelized. Reduce heat and add preserves followed by vinegar. Stir constantly on medium heat and remove after 4 minutes. Let cool. Chop cilantro, basil, mint and onion very finely. Mix together. Serve potatoes atop the salad with catsup on the side or drizzled on top. Leave salt and pepper on the table for people to use as they wish.