COTTAGE FRIES

This ultimate comfort food is called by various names, depending on where you live. Home fries, cottage fries, etc. The recipe began as a way to use leftover potatoes, but it has become a staple of diner breakfasts all across America.

96-MissMendonInside_08

You can use leftover potatoes if you happen to have some. You could also, in theory, use canned boiled potatoes but I think they taste kind of tinny. I cut up whatever potatoes I have in the house … there are always some potatoes in the bin.

Tonight, I used the remainder of a big bag of Idahos. They were too old to bake. I had to pick out the eyes which were barely this side of becoming a plant. There were a few bad spots to remove, too. Nonetheless, I had more than enough to make home fries that would generously serve four adults.

So here’s the recipe. It’s a seat-of-your-pants recipe, so you need to have kitchen courage in place. Be bold.

  • 4 – 5 large, washed unpeeled potatoes, cut into small pieces
  • 1 or 2 large onions, chopped
  • Optional: 1 – 2 banana peppers (mildly hot Hungarian peppers)
  • Salt
  • Paprika
  • Pepper
  • Garlic (chopped or powder)
  • Cumin or chili powder
  • Oil for frying.

I prefer corn oil because it’s pretty heavy-duty as a lubricant and doesn’t easily burn. It tastes okay and won’t kill you with cholesterol. Olive oil doesn’t taste right in this recipe and other oils burn too easily, at least in my opinion.

You can use potatoes that are past their prime. You don’t have to peel them. I don’t peel potatoes; it’s against my principles.

Wash the potatoes, remove eyes and bad spots. Cut them into pieces suitable for frying.

Boil the potatoes until they are fork tender. Don’t abandon them and wander off to the computer or television. If you over-cook them, they’ll be good for mashing, but not frying.  The hardest part of this is getting the potatoes soft enough to eat, but not mushy. After 10 minutes, start checking until you think you’ve got it.

my skillet

You’re going to need a deep-frying pan. I used to cook with cast iron, but it’s too heavy for me now. I have had to rethink it, so I’m trying heavy Calphalon. I miss cast iron, but I can’t manage it anymore.

While potatoes are boiling, fry the garlic, onions and peppers.  When the potatoes are ready, rinse them with cold water, drain very thoroughly (pat them dry with paper towels if necessary) and 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.

home fries 6

It’s done when you think it is, when it tastes the way you want it to taste … and the rest of the meal is ready. As long as you add oil as needed and keep the heat moderate … and don’t walk away and leave it to scorch — this is a dish that will wait for you. Keep moving it around with a spatula.

It’s delicious. If you have leftovers, you can reheat them for another meal or freeze them for one of your “I don’t feel like cooking” days. Great with eggs or anything else.

One of my favorite comfort foods.

COMFORT FOOD – HOME FRIES

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.

96-MissMendonInside_08

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.

home fries 6

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.

HOME FRIES

This ultimate comfort food is probably called something different depending on where you live. Originally, the recipe was a way to use leftover potatoes, but it has become a staple of diner breakfasts all across America.

75-DinerNIK-1

You can use leftover potatoes if you happen to have some. You could also, in theory, use canned boiled potatoes but I think they taste kind of tinny. I cut up whatever potatoes I have in the house … there are always some potatoes in the bin.

Tonight, I used the remainder of a big bag of Idahos. They were too old to bake. I had to pick out the eyes which were barely this side of becoming a plant. There were a few bad spots to remove, too. Nonetheless, I had more than enough to make home fries that would generously serve four adults.

So here’s the recipe. It’s a seat-of-your-pants recipe, so you need to have kitchen courage in place. Be bold.

  • 4 – 5 large, washed unpeeled potatoes, cut into small pieces
  • 1 or 2 large onions, chopped
  • Optional: 1 – 2 banana peppers (mildly hot Hungarian peppers)
  • Salt
  • Paprika
  • Pepper
  • Garlic (chopped or powder)
  • Cumin or chili powder
  • Oil for frying.

I prefer corn oil because it’s pretty heavy-duty as a lubricant and rarely burns. It tastes okay and won’t kill you with cholesterol. I do not use canola oil because it is made from rape seed which is used for making heavy-duty engine lubricant.

There is no such thing as a canola. Ponder that when you use canola oil or any “canola-based” substance.

You can use potatoes that are past their prime and you don’t have to peel them. I don’t peel potatoes. It’s against my principles. Wash the potatoes, remove eyes and bad spots, then cut them into pieces suitable for frying.

Boil the potatoes until they are fork tender. Don’t abandon them and wander off to the computer or television. If you over-cook them, they’ll be good for mashing, but not frying.  The hardest part of this is getting the potatoes soft enough to eat, but not mushy. After 10 minutes, start checking until you think you’ve got it.

my skillet

You’re going to need a deep-frying pan. I use black cast iron cookware. I have 4 sizes,  from a flat griddle to a 5-quart dutch oven. I love them and the only thing wrong with them is they are very heavy, especially when full of food.

I have had to work out strategies to use them successfully since I’m not as strong as I used to be. Mine are all made by Lodge, bought through Amazon.  It’s less than half the price of good stainless steel cookware. It’s better at controlling heat. Once properly seasoned, cast iron is more non-stick than Teflon and a great deal easier to maintain.

While the potatoes are boiling, fry the garlic, onions and peppers.  When the potatoes are ready, drain them, rinse them with cold water and 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.

home fries 6

It’s done when you think it is, when it tastes the way you want it to taste … and the rest of the meal is ready. As long as you add oil as needed and keep the heat moderate … and don’t walk away and leave it to scorch — this is a dish that will wait for you. Keep moving it around with a spatula.

It’s delicious. If you have leftovers, you can reheat them for another meal or freeze them for one of your “I don’t feel like cooking” days. Great with eggs and bacon … or anything. And definitely comforting.