Home Fries

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Simple and easy home fries two ways! One recipe starting with raw potatoes, another starting with cooked. Both skillet fried.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

We had dueling home fries here the other day, a veritable home-fry cook-off between my mother and father.

Mom makes her fried potatoes sliced, using raw potatoes, and usually serves them as a side when we have fish for dinner.

Home Fries

Dad makes his home fries for breakfast using leftover boiled potatoes from the night before. Both are great.

The raw potatoes tend to brown up better. The cooked potatoes can get a little mushy if you stir them too much. You can easily dress up them up with bell peppers, ham, or bacon. And if you add some egg, you get German farmer’s breakfast.

How do you like your home fries?

Home Fries Recipe

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  • Yield: Serves 2-4

Ingredients

For home fries made with raw potatoes

home-fries-1.jpg

  • 2 large raw Russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1/8-inch thick)
  • 1/2 of one large onion, or 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp or more of grapeseed oil, canola oil, peanut oil, or other high smoke-point oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For home fries made with cooked potatoes

  • 2 large Russet potatoes, quartered and boiled for 12 minutes in salted water until just cooked through, drained
  • 1/2 of one large onion, or 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp of grapeseed oil, canola oil, peanut oil, or other high smoke-point oil
  • 1 Tbsp of bacon fat (optional, omit for vegetarian version)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method

Home fries made with raw potatoes

1 Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a medium to large skillet on medium high heat until sizzling. Place a single layer of potato slices on the bottom of the pan. Add a light layer of sliced onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add another layer of potatoes, another layer of onion slices, sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Keep layering until you've used up your potatoes and onions.

2 Lower the heat to medium and cover the pan. Let cook for about 10 minutes, until the potato layer at the bottom is nicely browned. You can move aside a little bit with a fork to see if the bottom edges are browned.

3 Gently flip the potatoes over, a section of the pan at a time, so that the layer that was on the top is now on the bottom, and the browned potatoes are now on the top. Add another Tbsp of oil. The oil will help the browning. Cover and let cook for another 5-10 minutes, until the bottom layer is now browned.

4 Once the bottom layer is browned, remove the lid of the pan and let continue to cook for 5 more minutes. This additional cooking will help the potatoes dry out just a little bit more.

Serve immediately. Serves 2-4.

 

Home fries made with cooked potatoes

1 Cut the cooked potatoes into 1/2-inch slices. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a medium to large skillet on medium high heat until sizzling. Add sliced onions to pan and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.

2 Add the potato pieces, spread out as much as possible along the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle generously with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook until nicely browned on the bottom, without stirring (about 7-8 minutes). Add 1 Tbsp bacon fat, or more oil to the pan.

Gently flip the potatoes and cook until the bottom of the flipped potatoes are nicely browned.

Serve immediately.

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Links:

Garlic Truffle Fries from Jaden's Steamy Kitchen

Black Pepper and Lime Oven Fries from Heidi of 101 Cookbooks

Home Fries

Showing 4 of 40 Comments

  • Rick Grunwald

    Where I grew up home fries were in every small restaurant that served breakfast. They would cut them into 1″ chunks rather than slices

  • Fran Duma

    What is a “ramp”. Loved reading about my favorite fried potatoes–I’ll try making them again, as I have never been very successful at it!!

  • Vanessa

    Thanks, Elise, for posting this recipe. It’s one of those types of cooking that we all should know how to do, in theory, and yet the method sometimes escapes us. Fried potatoes – how easy! And yet I’ve burned more batches, or had half of the potatoes still be raw, than I can count. Your way is the best way I’ve found so far, and this will be my new method of cooking them. All of us home cooks appreciate you very much!

  • Jeff R.

    I usually start with baked russets leftover from an earlier dinner or, if I don’t have any on hand I get by with baking them in the microwave.

    I roughly cube the potatoes, pour a liberal amount of salt in a skillet, then add some oil and heat on high. Once it’s good and hot I throw in the potatoes and maybe some shallots or onions for a basic recipe, or sometimes I get carried away and throw in anything from bell pepper to carrots, cheese, egg, mushrooms.

    Here is what I think is the secret to great, crispy homefries this way: Don’t flip or stir, let them get good and brown on the bottom first. And halfway to getting brown, smash those cubes a little with your spatula.

    The smashed potato better combines with the oil and salt to really crisp nicely. Flip them to brown the other side and eat with guilt — with all that oil and salt, these potatoes can’t be good for you!

  • Mazz

    I normally steam my potatoes for about 20 minutes, then fry them in butter. Not the healthiest of dishes, but delicious!

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