There is almost nothing more comforting than a good old-fashioned fried potato dish. I love the crispy crunchy exterior which enfolds a pillowy soft interior. I am definitely a meat and potatoes girl, so I feel like I am on a constant quest for the perfect potato side dish. Boiled, fried, baked, the versatility of the potato is boundless! I try my best to avoid deep frying in my everyday cooking because it makes a mess, wastes oil, and creates oily unhealthy foods. That being said, everyone needs a splurge now and then. Who can resist the umami goodness of a perfectly crisp potato? So skillet fried potatoes it is! Cubed potatoes caramelized on a pan with a delicious blend of herbaceous salts and spices.
Crispy home fries make me reminisce about the delicious brunch spots that I frequented during the years I lived in San Diego. Sunday Brunch was a way of life in San Diego, especially after a long night out. But nothing compares to the delicious home fries I would order from Ann’s Soup Kitchen during my school days in the Bay Area. Fried to a firm crisp but fork tender and moist in its center, Ann’s Soup Kitchen delivered the best home fries I have eaten in my life. They were seasoned simply with salt and pepper, then topped with green onions. Despite its humble sounding name, this restaurant was a popular breakfast and brunch spot that boasted of long lines and even longer wait times. I was heartbroken when I went back to visit only to learn that this favorite had been turned into an Italian café. I attempted to recreate this dish and found many delicious ways to prepare skillet potatoes in the process.
If you are anything like me, then patience is a rare resource that is exceedingly difficult to access. One of the main lessons I learned from experimenting with food, and remains an important philosophy to follow when cooking: LEAVE THE FOOD ALONE when it is sizzling on your pan. The surface area of the food that kisses the pan is working diligently to caramelize and develop flavor and texture. That being said, once you drop your potatoes in the pan, set your timer for ~10 minutes and walk away. Do. Not. Touch. I’m serious. Drop the spatula (or in my case, chopsticks), and just stand back and watch while the pan and the fire bless your potatoes with their magic. Do not touch your potatoes until they’ve formed a firm crispy golden brown layer on the bottom. Then, check each cube and flip to the next side so that the same miracle can happen again. Making this dish takes time and patience, but trust me: your taste buds and dining companions will thank you for your efforts!
Using the same logic of maximizing surface area of the potato that makes contact with your pan, it is important to remember to add your seasonings at the very end, once your potatoes are fully armored with their delectable golden brown coats. Be generous with seasoning, but do not over-salt. Salt can always be added when it is lacking, but it is hard to take away once you’ve gone a bit heavy-handed.
I love this potato recipe because there are so many different variations. I chose to season mine with truffle salt, garlic salt, paprika, and black pepper. You can coat yours with some melted butter and add rosemary, use this as a base for a delicious hash, splash lemon juice, garlic, and parsley for a Greek/Mediterranean twist.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
2 Russet potatoes
6 tbsp oil for frying
½ tsp truffle salt
½ tsp garlic salt
½ tsp paprika
Peel potatoes and cut into 2-inch cubes. Use paper towels to absorb extra moisture on potatoes.
Place oil in frying pan and heat until oil begins to glisten.
Place potatoes into frying pan and fry on medium low heat for approximately 10 minutes each side, or until golden brown. Turn potatoes to allow all other sides to brown.
When potatoes are golden brown on all four sides, remove from oil and sprinkle with truffle salt, garlic salt, and paprika. Toss to coat evenly.