Friday, April 28, 2017

Quick and Crispy Home Fries – Or as We Call Them at Home, Fries

It’s a kind of ironic that the only place many people enjoy top-quality home fries is when they eat out at a diner, but sadly that’s the case. Your average home cook’s home fries look great, and we’ll assume taste amazing, but they usually don’t get that nice crispy crust, like the ones at the local greasy spoon.

The reason is simple. There the potatoes are steamed or boiled ahead of time; then cooled, cut, and kept chilled until service. When you pan fry a cold starch, it gets a beautifully crispy surface, which is the secret to the world’s great French fries, polenta sticks, and Korean fried chicken.

To expedite this process, we’re going to microwave the potatoes for a few minutes, until just barely tender. This simulates steaming, which I think is the best way, since boiling can make them waterlogged. Once cool, all you have to do is keep cooking until you’re happy with your crustification. I really hope you give this easy home fry technique  a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 large portions:
 3 large russet potatoes, peeled, quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
pinch garlic powder
pinch onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
salt, freshly ground black pepper, cayenne to taste
fresh chives to garnish are nice

38 comments:

Dano said...

Chef, could this recipe be done with the skin on the potatoes? I actually prefer the taste and texture with skin. Thanks again for another great video!

Don Gringo said...

You throw cayenne on everything and then eat this with ketchup??? SMH...

William DiStefano said...

Worked like a charm for today's breakfast

My Scottish wife wants to know what other potato related secrets you've been hiding through the years.

Paul Houston said...

Chef John, would you get the same crust if you roasted in a cast iron skillet in a 450 degree oven?

Ann said...

Would this technique work for roasting potatoes, too? I think I've seen a version that boils the spuds first, but microwave cooking is faster and easier.

Alicia said...

I am the worlds worst potato maker since they are always crunchy in the middle and burnt on the outside. I'm going to try this method. Thanks Chef!

keyia colbert said...

That's so true the only time I every have home fries I order them at a diner, and I always order them extra crispy

Jm Cornwell said...

We used the boiled potatoes from dinner the night before to fry for breakfast or lunch. Same idea, but we didn't think about what we were doing, except using the leftovers for great tasting fries the next day.

The Incredible Sulk said...

What's in those egg? They look great.

The Incredible Sulk said...

What's in those eggs they look great.

Howard Fenimore said...

Dear John
Wow, so easy it's absurd. taste is amazing. Topped with a bit of pepper jack cheese. My wife is loving me like when we first started dating.
Chef John, "not just an incredible instructor but a Counselor as well".
Looking forward to your next endeavor.

Thanks, Howard

Markus B. said...

Chef John, first of all I want to say, as so many people always do following each and every single one of your posts, I really do love your style of down to earth cooking and presentation. I humbly tip my hat to your expertise.

One question I do have and already did have a couple of times prior to this video: Would you be so kind as to explain why and how exactly it matters to use two different kinds of fat to cook things like these potatoes? I really would appreciate an answer, so thanks again for your great content and best (food) whishes from good ol' Germany.

bacharone said...

My potatoes turned black in microwave?? I know that means oxidation but I did what you did.

Rachelle said...

From the moment I saw this home fries video come up in my feed I knew it would be a game changer. I've been making some loose interpretation of "home fries" (meaning soggy-ish potatoes) every Saturday for the better part of the past two years--even using a cast iron skillet! I tried this technique, and though I did practically everything wrong (except the "cold starch" part) the home fries turned out crispy, delicious, and surprisingly decent anyway! Thanks so much!

Sara Xia said...

I tried this with sweet potatoes; didn't crustify very well. Is it because sweet potatoes are more moist than russets?

Baron George said...

Looks great! How about the recipe for the 5-alarm scrambled eggs?

Wayne Gordon said...

Chef John,

Kiss my grits! I'm more than old enough to have gotten the Mel's diner
reference. The home fries look delicious, I'll have to try them. The best part to me would be the browned crunchy exteriors. I love that
aspect on potatoes, the same as you do on the hash browns you made,
but these don't require all the grating and water extraction, etc.
I'll be trying these out tomorrow as a lunch side at our weekly family
dinner. Thanks for posting this....

P.S. I can't find a direct link for making recipe requests, so I guess
I'll add one here. I'm looking for a perfect recipe for coconut shrimp...preferably baked (so a big batch can be done at once,
without the added calories, mess, etc. of frying)...I've found a few
here and there but they're all over the place...some call for vastly
different battering approaches ranging from using just egg whites (ala your baked Onion rings), some add pina colada mix to up the
coconut flavor, etc. etc. All the ones I've tried leave something to
be desired, from burnt edges on the breading, or rubbery, overcooked shrimp. You get the idea. Worst of all, none of the recipes I've
found call for just a pinch of cayenne!!! Up for a challenge?

David Turnell said...

We tried these this morning - they were delicious! The garlic in particular really enhances the overall taste. One question though - our potatoes started to go brown on the outside while they were cooling after the microwave. What could we do to prevent this next time?

David Turnell said...

We tried these this morning - they were delicious! The garlic in particular really enhances the overall taste. One question though - our potatoes started to go brown on the outside while they were cooling after the microwave. What could we do to prevent this next time?

Walter H said...

i like my home fries cooked together with coarsely chopped fried onions. how would you incorporate them. would you fry the onions in advance, set aside, then cook the potatoes and just add and toss them into the cooked potato at the end? or would you add the uncooked onions to the potatoes together at the same time from the beginning of cooking the potatoes or adding the onions a little after begining the potatoes? Thanks

TVB said...

Made these for breakfast this morning and even my my ketchup-loving wife chose to add nothing to these perfect potatoes. Thanks Chef.

bloggee said...

How long do you steam these for if going that route?

fluffy said...

Fresh rosemary is a perfect addition to these. :)

ScienceSusan said...

Were I to add onion and green pepper, when?

Pyrofish said...

Ahh, the cool part is what I've been missing! I've been precooking them for years, and still always find them just a touch less than completely satisfying.

Now that I think about it, the times I've used a left over baked potato came out the best, and I never connected starting from cool. I just figured that method was better than the microwave, but the microwave is obviously much faster for when you don't have baked potatoes left over.

Thanks Chef John!

J Wolford said...

Howdy Chef. Just wanted to let you know this link is bunk. When I click the link on the Youtube video for the New York Style Cheesecake to go to the blog post, it brings me here. Also, I'm lazy and I don't want to have to do more wok and type it in on your blog. So why am I taking the time to write this instead? It's all for you big guy. Take care!

Monica said...

They look so good!

SugarMagicCakes said...

Thanks for this recipe chef John.....cant wait to try it, great idea to microwave first

Sam said...

The potatoes you use make a big difference as well! Different starch types and amounts are a thing.

Russets are the king of crisp. For creamier, less crispy breakfast potatoes, look to Yukon Gold or "Chef's" potatoes. Skip red or bliss potatoes almost entirely, they sort of just turn to fluff and don't hold up to the pan very well.

msPaulaA1 said...

Chef John,
I love your home fries, well I mean my home fries, since we don't have taste-a-vision yet so I made them myself. I have a question, recipe request

Being from Upstate do you have a Michigan Sauce recipe you can share? You know without being cut out of the will. They are after all heavily guarded family secret; a good Michigan Sauce is, so if you cant share I understand.. BUT it is BASEBALL season ergo hot dog season and chili sauce isn't nearly as good as a Michigan.

Thanks so much for all that you share.
Paula

Gemfyre said...

Oh yummm. I prepared 2 potatoes and was going to only cook up 1 for this morning and the other tomorrow. But it looked like so little in the pan, and they were sooo good. Woops, I ate 2 whole potatoes for breakfast.

When I peel potatoes I peel the sides into nice wide strips and save them and compost the little endy bits.

When you have enough potato skins - toss 'em in a bit of oil, some salt, some dried rosemary is also nice, and bake 'em for 10-15 minutes until crispy. Hey it's part of lunch!

Northern Homespun said...

I made these the other night. My husband said, and I quote, "These are the best potatoes I've ever eaten.". He didn't even use ketchup.
These are definitely going into our regular meal roster. Thanks Chef John.

Alex Brod said...

Chef John,

Would you please do a (not savory) bread pudding recipe? You did french toast and savory bread puddings but not a classic dessert bread pudding. I like mine with (a lot of) chocolate chips and you can even do an anglaise sauce.

Thanks

Breann Brown said...

Please do a video for that egg recipe. Looks so velvety!

Karen said...

Made this tonight to serve with eggs and fruit.
I thought I'd be smart and microwave them before work but I must have underdone them because they turned brown in the refrigerator. I used that for batch one and accidentally overcooked more potatoes for a second batch (I thought they weren't cooking through but really the tops were just drying out and tough and the insides were falling apart. I finished microwaving with a damp paper towel over them. I wonder if I'd do better microwaving them whole and then removing the peels after?)).
They were both delicious but the undercooked first batch came out better.
My seven year old tried them and said, "Mommy these are AMAZING!" Thanks for a great recipe!

JPJ said...

Nice one. I used Maris Piper potatoes because here in the UK we use potatoes that actually exist.

There were some doubts about the par-microwaving technique, as when I knife-tested them they still seemed raw, but when I took them out to revert to the par-boiling technique it turned out it was only the top surfaces that were telling lies to me.

After that the recipe went well, though we didn't have garlic powder. The pan-frying stage took about 15-20 minutes rather than 10, but that was okay, and was probably due to me using potatoes that actually exist. King Edwards might be better though, but the store I went to didn't have any in stock.

Salli Gillespie said...

You have been talking to my Mom, haven't you? Only she puts chopped onions in hers. Good work C.J.

Stacy M said...

I've been cooking for over 40 years, and these are EASILY the best "breakfast potatoes" I've ever had come out of a skillet. I have a strong hunch they're going to be requested by my family fairly often. Thank you!