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Thursday, September 18, 2014

How to Make Fried Potatoes as Good as Granddad's

No, I am not yet the expert he is and he may have a different process but this is the best I have figured out.

Rule #1: get the right kind of potatoes
 This is the one I haven't figured out yet. Some kinds are waxy, some are mealy, some keep their shape, some mush, some are dense or starchy and each one has a different flavor. I do know that even the right kinds turn out different each year. Our garden was all potatoes for the first time this summer and I think they turned out pretty good.

Rule #2: boil the potatoes the day before
Let them cool and put them in the fridge. Next morning is the easiest time to peal them if you want to. The kind of potato matters here too, some have thick or bitter peals, some taste ok. Cut them in small cubes which don't smush as much as slices.

Rule #3: use well seasoned cast iron
Non-stick can work but it won't give a good flavor. With steal or aluminum the crunchy, buttery part of fried potatoes will stick to the bottom unless you have a tall strong dad willing to stand there and scrape. Even then, you end up with crispies instead of hash browns.

Rule #4: don't crowd the potatoes
Use two pans if needed. You should not have more than a double layer. Less is better.

Rule #5: Use enough butter or oil

You can't see in the picture but it takes more than you think. If it starts sticking add more. A well seasoned skillet takes less. Salt and pepper to taste.

Rule #6: have patience!
This is the hardest one. You want them to be nicely browned before you flip them. I haven't counted but I would guess you don't need to flip more than 5 times. Flipping instead of stiring helps them not mush.

So there you have it. My favorite fried potatoes. They don't even need ketchup if done right and those of you who know me know that is saying something.

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