Friday, September 25, 2009

Fried Potatoes ~ Why do you mock me?

Ok... so I can't seem to make fried potatoes to save my life.

My mom makes awesome fried potatoes.

She cubes raw potatoes. Shakes them in flour. Fries them up.

They end up being golden brown crispy cubes of deliciousness.

My friend Whitney (who you've met at my Wine Tasting Parties) also makes awesome fried potatoes.

She boils the potatoes, then slices them, then fries them up with butter or bacon fat.

Again, golden brown crispy deliciousness.

On very rare occasions, I have slight success with Whitney's version.

So tonight I wanted to make them. I was making one of my mom's standard dinners. Her friend used to joke with her that you could tell the day of the week by what my mom was cooking for dinner.

Ok... not a lot of variety growing up. But it never occurred to me to care. (although if I did complain about it and I probably did, I just don't remember... but I'm sure my mom will let me know when she reads this)

So, tonight's dinner, one of Mum's standards.

Ham Steak, Fried Potatoes and Peas.

I loved that!

And it was peas from a CAN. Yup. I love canned peas.

I never make them, because Jon says they're gross.

He said they aren't even green. But they are green. They're pea green. At least that's the color I think of when I think of pea green. Canned Peas.


I decided to make Ham, Fried Potatoes, Peas and Balsamic Bacon Brussel Sprouts. (I added brussel sprouts because really no one else likes canned peas)


I boiled the potatoes last night and just popped them into the fridge.

Tonight, I just had to slice them and fry them.

Boiled baby potatoes.

Cut into slices and sliced an onion too.
(Obviously working in a different part of the kitchen as you can tell by the big shadow!)

Whitney often has some bacon fat left over from breakfast that she uses to fry her potatoes. So I fried up some bacon. I figure bacon would good in there in addition to cooking them in bacon fat. Sounds good right?


Fried up some bacon and set aside.

Put the potatoes & onions into the bacon fat... just like Whitney does.

Now I want golden brown crispiness. So I try really really hard not to touch them.

They cooked for a little while.

Then I shook them.

Like my new oven mitt?

I picked that up at Sur La Table on my last trip there with Ericka (you've also met her at Wine Tasting!)

I LOVE it!!

But the potatoes... they mock me.

Look at them... starting to stick in my well seasoned cast iron skillet.

Oh well... just add bacon... that should help right?

Mmmmm.... bacon...

Not crispy... not golden brown...

Ya know why?

The golden brown crispies are here...

Yup... on the bottom of my pan.

They tasted fine... but not crispy.

mock mock mock... damn you non-crispy fried potatoes!!!

Sigh... at least the leftovers are PERFECT for breakfast burritos!!

What's the secret?!!!


DDpie said...

K, first, the best fried potatoes I've ever had in my LIFE, was at Pamela's, in Pittsburgh!!! :) That aside, frying them in cast iron is hard, but you did everything right girl! I dunno, maybe more grease? maybe turn them a bit sooner? You did them the way me and the fam has???? Only now, I use a teflon skillet. try that???

Cathy said...

I'll share a secret with you...I like canned peas, too...shhhh! My fried potatoes are hit and miss. Usually, I boil the heck out of them so they are too mushy to begin with, but I love them just the same.

Danielle said...

I dunno if this will help or not but I start with raw potatoes...and I cook them, covered first (so they cook)...and I dot the top with butter (of course, oil in the bottom). and I try to only turn them once. I think I have the recipe (Raw Fries) somewhere if you're interested. But heck...potatoes are potatoes and are always good.... and of course bacon makes everything tasted that much better :) (I'll bet shane has an answer for you :D)

Michele said...

I've already declared my love for canned peas so i'm so glad to see you love them too! I can't believe they'll eat brussels sprouts over peas. lol Anyway, I think the secret to the potatoes is not to overcrowd your pan. That creates steam. Use the largest pan you have and plenty of oil. Cook them on a medium heat so they don't burn. Hope this helps!

Bella Foxglove said...

I have to agree with the comment on the raw potatoes.

I have always started with raw, and not boiled, because it does tend to make them have more of a tendency to be mushy instead of crisping up.

They looked great however, and really make me crave some! I think I will work on that this weekend lol..

Dajana said...

I love potatoes any way. I think all these advice put together might help you.
And, sorry but I prefer frozen over canned peas.
But Brussel sprouts are one of our favourites, and most other bitter veggies

teresa said...

i like canned peas too. and the potatoes still look GREAT to me, especially with that bacon!

Patti T. said...

One year for Christmas my father's gift to me was a non-stick electric skillet. He told me they make the best fried potatoes ever. I am a believer, I use it all the time to make crispy fried potatoes. Just this week I decided to try cooking them in a cast iron skillet and ended up with all the crispies on the bottom, just like you. In the electric frying pan I usually use a combo of butter for flavor and Crisco so it crisps up good without burning.

Bob said...

Nice, that looks wicked good. I love ham steak, I haven't had one in forever.

I've had the best luck with anodized aluminum when I'm frying potatoes. You get better browning than with nonstick but less stick than with iron or steel.

rebekah said...

if you figure out how to make them, let me freaking know because i have the SAME PROBLEM. damn potatoes >:(

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Well it's hard to tell in a picture, but are those new potatoes? Try a baking potato or russet. They have a higher starch content. New potatoes are good for boiling and potato salads, but russets are better for fries, etc.
Hope that helps!

Meadowlark said...

Sadly, I'm another "potato moron". Your occasional success in the pat will have me trying again. And I'm just not sure I want to switch from cast iron, so I hope that's not the problem.

Donna-FFW said...

First let me say they look so so so good. Maybe try a different type of potato?? Nonstick pan? Not sure.

I usually make Pioneer Womans version and havent had a problem yet. Hope that helps.

Ingrid said...

My Mom makes awesome fried potatoes too. Me not so much. They come out good but like yours most of the "goodness" sticks to my pan. Psst, I just throw some shredded cheese on it and call it done! :)

I think they may be on to something using the nonstick pan over the cast iron.

girlichef said...

LOl...mock, mock, mock! Tee Hee. I don't know, but they sound delicious anyway. And I like canned peas, too. Huh. Go figure.:)