Short-Order Home Fries
From Cook's Country
A diner breakfast simply isn’t complete without a side of crusty, deeply browned home fries. Diner cooks start off with roasted or boiled potatoes and use plenty of fat on a broad griddle top to generate those great-tasting potatoes. Is there a way of replicating those home fries at home? To mimic this at home, we began with medium-starch or waxy potatoes that retain their shape through cooking. Our favorites include Yukon Gold, all-purpose, and red potatoes. Parcook the cubed potatoes—tossed with butter—in the microwave before frying them, and sauté the onions separately and stir them into the potatoes just before serving. Cooking the onions with the potatoes kept the crust from crispingt.
Although we prefer the sweetness of Yukon Gold potatoes, other medium-starch or waxy potatoes, such as all-purpose or red-skinned potatoes, can be substituted. If you want to spice things up, add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (4 medium), scrubbed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 onion, chopped fine
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- Ground black pepper
1. Arrange potatoes in large microwave-safe bowl, top with 1 tablespoon butter, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave on high until edges of potatoes begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes, shaking bowl (without removing plastic) to redistribute potatoes halfway through cooking.
2. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened and golden brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to small bowl.
3. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in now-empty skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes and pack down with spatula. Cook, without moving, until underside of potatoes is brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn potatoes, pack down again, and continue to cook until well browned and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring potatoes every few minutes, until crusty, 9 to 12 minutes. Stir in onion, garlic salt, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve.
The Golden Starches
For tender tubers that retain their texture, we prefer medium-starch or waxy varieties, such as Yukon Gold, all-purpose, and red potatoes. They hold their shape in the skillet, develop a great crust, and fry up to a beautiful golden brown.
RUSSET POTATOES: A falling-apart mess
YUKON GOLD POTATOES: Intact, crisp, and browned