Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Surrender (you know you want to)

Have I posted about these before? These are the World's Best Home Fries (also called cottage fries, I think).

We don't have these very often but they are so wonderful when you are cold, hungry, grumpy, and need something very, very delicious and comforting.

Many people seem to turn to sugar in times of stress. I prefer my comfort food on the starchy side. Potatoes are perfect. I can also eat a ton of biscuits (if only my pants didn't complain the next day). But potatoes? Potatoes spell happiness for me anytime. I like them boiled, fried, baked, scalloped, gratineed, mashed, or in a salad or just about any other preparation you can think of.

It's freaking *cold* here this week (which is making me so happy, although dang, it's COLD in our house), perfect potato weather. If you're in the need for comfort food, make up a batch of these. You won't be sorry, I promise. We eat them for dinner, but they'd be yummy with eggs on a Sunday morning.

Perfect Home Fries (adapted from Cook's Illustrated)

2 1/2 tablespoons oil
1 medium onion , chopped small
1 medium red pepper, chopped small
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes (2 medium) or all-purpose potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (see below)
1 1/4 teaspoons table salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Ground black pepper

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add onion and sauté, stirring frequently, 5-7 minutes. Add red pepper, continue stirring another 5 minutes. You can either leave the onions/peppers in the skillet to fry with the potatoes if you like them well-browned, or take them out and add them back in after the potatoes are done. I leave them in.

2. Meanwhile, place diced potatoes in large saucepan, cover with 1/2 inch water, add 1 teaspoon salt, and place over high heat. As soon as water begins to boil, about 6 minutes, drain potatoes thoroughly in colander. (yes, this technique really works well to help potatoes keep their shape and not get mushy!)

3. Heat butter (or Earth Balance) and remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in skillet with onions (or not) over medium-high heat until butter foams. Add potatoes and shake skillet to evenly distribute potatoes in single layer; make sure that one side of each piece is touching surface of skillet. Cook without stirring until potatoes are golden brown on bottom, about 4 to 5 minutes, then carefully turn potatoes with wooden spatula. Spread potatoes in single layer in skillet again and repeat process until potatoes are tender and browned on most sides, turning three to four times, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Add onions back if you took them out, paprika and cumin, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; stir to blend and serve immediately.

You will be happy.


Barefoot_Mommy said...

one of mine and the hubby's favorite dishes. We're starchy people too for comfort food.

Rachel Cotterill said...

They look yummy - I definitely turn to potato dishes for comfort food, too :)

Tammie said...

im not a potato lover but i definitely have to admit that these look pretty good.

Stefanie said...

Oh those look yummy. I love potatoes too. They are such a perfect and versatile vegetable with so many varieties!

Daphne said...

Barefoot: starch is the best!

Rachel: Potatoes are so homey, don't you think?

Tammie: they'll turn you into a potato lover!

Stefanie: I know! And Yukon Golds are just the best.