Sometimes you just want something simple and comforting. Something that reminds you of eating with family. Something that tastes good, but screams homemade, unrefined. That’s how I feel about fried potatoes. Truth is, I make good French fries. I peel the potatoes. Cut them into thin, almost even fries by hand. I rinse them in cold water. I blanch them in hot oil. I fry them a second time in hotter oil so they are golden and super crispy on the outside and tender and fluffy on the outside. But, sometimes I just crave these much simpler pan fried potatoes – and my family loves them just as much (or maybe even more) than my time and labor intensive fries.
Start by washing your potatoes really good. I use a scrub brush. Then, cut them in half long ways. Cut those halves into 1/8-1/4″ thick half rounds.
Place a heavy skillet over medium low heat and add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot, add a tablespoon of butter just for flavor. When it melts and gets foamy, the pan is ready for your potatoes. If you’ve got bacon grease hanging out somewhere, feel free to fry up your potatoes in it.
Add your potatoes to the skillet. You’ll notice I over crowded my skillet. The food police may come kill me, but I hate washing dishes. Would these cook more quickly and be more evenly crispy if I’d used a couple different skillets or fried in batches – sure. And I MIGHT have done that if I was cooking for company. I wasn’t though, and I want you all to realize that you don’t have to make food that looks perfect and follows every rule for it to taste fantastic. Cover them up and cook them for about 10 minutes. You should be able to see that the centers are still raw and the edges are starting to cook. Season, stir and cover again.
When the centers are almost totally done, take the lid off and turn the heat up to crisp the outsides. Taste for seasoning and serve. It’s important to taste. Start with the lowest seasoning measurement and add a little at a time until they taste just right for you. Also, if you’d prefer fresh, diced onion over the onion powder, go for it. These are equally delicious either way.
I could eat these straight from the skillet, but I have to admit, I do like them on the plate with some ketchup.
3-4 medium sized potatoes
3-4 Tablespoons oil
1 Tablespoon butter
1-2 teaspoons salt
1/2-1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2-1 teaspoon black pepper
Wash potatoes well. Slice in half lengthwise and then slice halves into 1/8-1/4″ slices.
Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium low heat. When oil is hot, add butter. Butter will melt and foam. Add potatoes. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender.
Remove lid and turn heat up. Cook until potatoes are brown and crispy. Taste for seasoning adding more if necessary.