Until recently, I’ve never really been able to make great home fires. I mean, they were okay–you can’t really go too far wrong with fried potatoes as long as you’re somewhere between under-cooked and burned. Thanks to this technique from Cook’s Illustrated by way of Smitten Kitchen, I have accomplished sublime home fries. (Unlike Smitten Kitchen, I think mine come out better in cast iron than nonstick; YMMV) The keys are to pre-cook the potatoes and cook the onions separately.
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 4 Yukon gold potatoes, diced
- 3 Tbs butter
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Optional: 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Put the potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl with 1 Tbs butter and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave about 5 minutes, shaking halfway through. Beware the steam build-up under the plastic wrap.
Meanwhile, sauté the onions in 1 Tbs butter over medium heat. When they’re soft and just starting to brown, turn them out of the pan into a bowl. Add another 1 Tbs of butter to the pan and cook the potatoes over medium heat until browned, stirring occasionally. Add the onions, salt, pepper, and optional smoked paprika.
Delicious with poached eggs.