Thursday, March 1, 2012

Skillet Home Fries

I very rarely fry foods at home for several reasons.  First, it can make a mess especially if you are prone to spatters and spills like I tend to be.  Second, it is not the healthiest way to prepare foods.  We all know this.  But sometimes, just sometimes, you must step out of the "healthy" zone and cook a little comfort food. 

This dish is the epitome of comfort to me.  It is as simple as it gets.  Crunchy, salty, garlicky and perfect with a little side of ketchup, these babies go with just about any casual dinner you might prepare.


These crispy potatoes are cubed and fried in a little oil, but unlike many home fries recipes they do not require boiling beforehand.  Rather, they are placed directly in the hot skillet and cooked until brown.  It does take a little patience and time (often around 30 minutes), but they can be cooking while you are preparing the rest of the meal.  In my experience, the outsides get crispier and the insides get creamier using this method.  They just may be my husband's favorite food, and even though we don't get them often, it is a real treat when we do.   

My "recipe" below is really more of a method than anything else.  You can add herbs, other spices, or even meat to make a hash.  They are awesome with sandwiches or breakfast or even alone with an egg and toast.  It is really difficult to pinpoint an amount of time to cook these because it really depends in large part on what type of potatoes you use, how fresh they are, etc.  Just use your cooking sense and you will know when they are ready.  The amount of potatoes cooked can also be increased, but make sure to use a larger pan or two pans so that the potatoes cook in a single layer.

Skillet Home Fries- serves 2-3

4-5 medium all-purpose or Yukon Gold potatoes (or 2 large russets)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder (you can use fresh garlic, but add it toward the end)
1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)

Peel the potatoes, and diced them into 1/2 inch cubes.  Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet on medium high heat until very hot but not smoking.  Add the potatoes to the skillet in a single layer.  Season the potatoes with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne (if using).  Allow the potatoes to cook 3-5 minutes, undisturbed, until they are brown and crisp on the bottom.  Gently stir the potatoes in the pan to brown on the other sides, allowing them 3-5 minutes between each stir (you will know when they are ready to be stirred because they will release easily from the pan).  Once brown, lower the heat to medium and cook up to 20 minutes more until potatoes are tender in the center when pierced with a knife.  Remove the potatoes from the pan and drain on a towel lined plate to absorb excess oil.   

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