This ultimate comfort food has a variety of names. Cottage fries, home fries, onion fries. Breakfast fries. Whatever they’re called, it’s a way to use leftover potatoes and a staple of diner breakfasts.
You can use leftover boiled potatoes if have some. You can even use canned potatoes in a pinch. Here’s the recipe. By nature, it is imprecise. And easy.
4 - 5 large, washed unpeeled potatoes, cubed 1 or 2 large onions, chopped Salt Paprika Pepper Garlic (chopped or powder) Cumin or chili powder Optional: 1 - 2 banana peppers (mildly hot Hungarian peppers) Oil for frying. All spices are "to taste."
You can use potatoes that are past their prime. Whether or not you peel them is up to you, but you do have to scrub them well, remove eyes and any suspicious spots. Cut them into bite-size pieces. Any shape will do, but it’s easier if the pieces are more or less the same size.
Boil the potatoes until they’re tender, but not mushy. Check after 5 minutes. Keep checking until a fork goes into the potatoes without difficulty. The smaller you cut them up, the faster they cook.
While the potatoes are cooking, fry the garlic, onions, and peppers. When the potatoes are ready, drain them, rinse with cold water. Pat them dry with a paper towel. Add them to the onion and pepper mix. Add spices. The paprika is for color. If you like things spicy (I do), you can use hot Hungarian paprika.
It’s done when you think it is, when it tastes the way you want it to taste, as browned as you like. Or, when the rest of the meal is ready. As long as you add oil as needed and don’t let them scorch, this dish will wait for you. Keep moving it around the pan with a spatula.
You can make more than you need. You can reheat leftovers or freeze them for one of those “I don’t feel like cooking” days. Great with eggs or any main course.