Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The go-to spud

Goat and beef bone aft. Go-to spuds fore. Goat's homegrown beans midship.

I like to use your redskin potatoes.

You want to go and use your Idahos? Go and use your Idahos, but I'm not handing out any guarantees on that action. Smaller and flatter is better. You either know what I mean by that or you don't.

Okay, fine. I can see from here that your lower lip is quivering, so I'll explain it. A smaller spud is about as big as a regular lemon to me. When I say "flatter" I'm not talking about anything that has to do with compliments, I'm talking about a spud that's sort of flattened out. As you can see from today's graphic, you're going to be cutting these muthas lengthwise and you don't want them too thick.

Can you people understand me?

No, you do not have to peel the spuds. Yes, you can if you want. I usually just scrub 'em and cut out the eyes and bad parts.

Drop those spuds whole in enough hot water to cover them, put the pot on a high fire and set the timer for about 20 or 25 minutes (depending on size).

You can do that part in advance, even a day or two before you make the spuds. If you do, throw 'em in the fridge after you boil 'em. Then take them out an hour or so before you're ready to make 'em so they can come to room temperature.

Cut those parboiled spuds lengthwise like I'm showing, or if you have big taters, cut them into thirds. (Social discord note: if you cut the spud into thirds, the center slice will have two crispy sides and will naturally be the preferred portion. People might fight. Things could get ugly. Do the thirds thing at your own risk. For the record, your humble hostess has been known to slice a thin piece off the rounded skin-side of the spuds just to create a flat, pro-fry surface.)

Melt two tablespoons of butter in a skillet. I use a 10-inch cast iron number. Four small spuds cut in half like that with 2T of butter is about a perfect ratio.

This is where you people eff up.

When I talk about the ratio, I'm talking about having enough butter in the pan to properly fry the spuds. If you use a bigger pan with lots of empty space, 2T of butter will spread out too much. Are you still with me?

Yeah, yeah. When the butter starts to foam, put the spuds in cut side down. How long? Dunno. One of the best things about these spuds is that they if you boil 'em too much or not enough, you can adjust the frying time and heat to compensate. I check 'em after a few minutes to see if they're browning up nice. When they look nice and crispy, I flip 'em over and sprinkle them with Lawry's Seasoned Salt, which is a gift straight from heaven that I put in just about everything. Go to hell.

Let those babies ride cut side up for a couple more minutes. Okay, you're ready to roll.

These taters are great right out of the pan, salted to taste. Or you can drizzle some ranch on there or dip 'em in ketchup. Sprinkle cheddar on those bad boys or some bacon bits if you like.

Leave any leftovers on a plate on the counter and they will disappear. I like to smear the leftover spuds with herbed cream cheese spread. Does sriracha work on these beauties? You bet. You can put the leftovers in the fridge if you like and have 'em for breakfast the next morning. Just nuke 'em for a half-minute or so to take the chill off.

You're welcome in advance.

Love, Erin

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glittermom said...

you could do them in the oven also and use olive oil...

Elisson said...

You are an evil, evil woman... what I love about you.

I wonder how these beauties would be if I fried 'em in ghee. I just ran up a quart of that stuff, and I'm looking for stuff to fry in it.

Erin O'Brien said...

That's a roasted version, GM, but plenty good as well.

Go for it, Elisson. I don't have much experience with ghee. I have tried to do these in bacon fat and didn't like the outcome. Butter always gets me that tender crispness. And as these cook, they fill the house with a sublime aroma.

What I like about these is that they are so easy and forgiving. And you can make just one or two potatoes. The trick is getting the right size pan. Err on the side of too much butter, which is really just a frying element. You end up pouring most of it out for another use or into the trash.

Anonymous said...

I just picked up some beauty redskins at a farmer's stand in the wilds of southern Portage County. Honor system 3x5 box for payment. Now my purpose comes into focus.

PS-If the little sign on the yellow peppers peck says 'Hot! HOTHOTHOT!' you'd better take note.