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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Skillet Homefries

I have a weakness for homefries.  Fried potatoes of any kind, really.  If I had even just a smidgeon less willpower than what little I actually do, I'm afraid I'd be morbidly obese and fried potatoes would be the culprit.


However, once in a while, as a treat if I've been really good, I'll mix up a batch of homefries.

This can be done in the oven easily enough, in a large roasting or casserole dish... but today I wanted to use my cast iron skillet.

This method is long and convoluted, but is definitely worth the effort now and then.

First things first.

Get all your veggies ready - washed, trimmed, and chopped.

Today, I'm using garlic, green onion, and some fresh rosemary.

Then, get your potatoes chopped and boiling in some water.  Just for about 10 minutes mind you - just before they're fully cooked.

Then, get your skillet pre-heated, and add a good 100ml of butter and twice that of olive oil.

Then, we're going to saute the onion, garlic and rosemary, each for different amounts, and not for very long.  The onion goes in first, and will cook for about 8 minutes.

After about 3 minutes, add the garlic, and then after another 3 minutes add the rosemary.

In this way, the onions get about 6-8 minutes, the garlic gets 3-4 minutes, and the rosemary only gets a minute or less.

After this, carefully and meticulously separate the oil from the herbs, and then pour that back into the pan, saving your herbs for later.

 Then it's just browning the potatoes, which might seem simple, but is very time-consuming, and slightly arduous.

So, drain the potatoes,

And then place them, in batches, in your hot oil.  I like to crank this heat up to medium-high, or even high, but I'm the kind of cook who will diligently watch what I'm cooking, so if you're even remotely prone to distraction or 'multi-tasking' I strongly suggest you keep this down to medium at most.

Be sure to only place enough in the pan so that they are not 'crowded'.  Oxygen is needed to brown and crisp these puppies, so if they're over-crowded they're just going to get really hot, greasy, and soggy.

After about 5 minutes or so carefully and lovingly turn over each potato piece.  Herein lies the arduousness.  <sigh>  Just pour yourself a glass of wine, put on some music, and relax... it can be rather meditative, really.


They're going to be deliciously golden, and tempting, but try to resist the urge to nab a couple at this point (and the resultant melted flesh from the scalding oil), and just set them aside.

I mixed together my leftover sautéed herb/vegetable mix with a bunch of secret ingredients, and essentially made a 'home-made gourmet rosemary ketchup' out of it.  This can be anything you like really... feel free to go to town, and experiment with sweet, savoury, spicy, etc.  It all works!  

So, I'm just going to add the cooked batches of potatoes in here to rest.

So, after several batches of browning, flipping, and browning, and then coating them in my gourmet ketchup, they're done.

The trick to delicious homefries like this, is to actually NOT worry about the potatoes breaking up when cooked.  That is, after all, how you end up with all those delicious, crispy, gribblies, as visible in the photos above.


So, because I can't rightly just serve up potatoes for a meal, I did whip up a quick batch of green beans to accompany.  But - after blanching them for a short while, I pan-fried them in my deliciously-dirtied skillet, just to get some of that residual goodness infused into the veggies.

The addition of at least one green vegetable made me feel a LITTLE less guilty about eating a whole meal of starchy carbs.  But only slightly.

So, like I said, these potatoes are absolutely delicious.  Crispy, savoury, warm and filling, they make you feel all good inside.