Big Sister’s Home Fries2014-02-23
- Servings : 2-4
- Prep Time : 5m
- Cook Time : 15m
- Ready In : 20m
Apparently, when I was a young boy, I really loved when my older sister (she’s eleven years older than me) would make these potatoes for me. Apparently, early Saturday morning cartoons could not be fully enjoyed if I hadn’t earlier bugged her into cooking me this breakfast.
Undoubtedly, she loved me, and wanted to make me happy and spend quality time with me. Undoubtedly, it didn’t hurt that there were only, like, three ingredients, so making it was no big deal for a teenager.
If she can make it, so can you! And hopefully you fill it with as much love as she did!
Another great thing about this dish is how adaptable it is. Keep it bare bones if you want the traditional, comfort food meal it aspires to be. But add something to the mix, if the mood strikes. This weekend I had some kabocha squash on hand, so I threw that in. This Home Fries & Squash variation is included below in Steps 6-10.
- 1 large russet potato (1 pound)
- 1/2 medium sweet onion (1/4 pound)
- 1.5 Tbsp canola/vegetable oil (plus 1/2 Tbsp more if adding kabocha squash separately)
- black pepper, to taste
- salt, to taste
- 1-3 tsp lime juice
- 1/2 - 1 tsp lime zest
- ketchup, if you want!
- large skillet with a lid [and another smaller skillet for the kabocha squash, if using]
- 1/4 kabocha squash [optional]
A note about serving sizes: one large potato and half an onion can serve two folks a meal-(or nearly meal-)sized portion. If it's to be a side to a larger meal, you could easily divide it among four plates. Wash potato(es) thoroughly. I don't peel mine; leaving the skin on adds nutrition and just makes things faster. Rough chop potato into 3/4-1 inch cubes. Peel and rough chop onion to a size that kinda matches the potato pieces; too small and they'll cook up too quickly alongside the potatoes.
In a large skillet over low to medium heat, add enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet....let's call that 1.5 tablespoons?? Eyeball it--you'll know better the next time you make it 😉
When the oil is heated through after a few seconds, add potatoes and onions. Mix around to coat in oil. Cover with lid and cook for 10-13 minutes. Stir occasionally. After 6 or 7 minutes, hit it with a couple of grinds/shakes of pepper and salt.
When the potatoes are tender enough to be split with a spatula without too much effort, take off the lid, and turn up the heat to start browning the taters and onions. Cook for another 5-7 minutes, stirring enough to brown them all over. During this part, squeeze the juice of up to half a lime in--up to your tastes. (My sister never did this, but hey, I think it works, right?) A minute or two before removing from heat, hit it with some more pepper and salt.
Serve it up with ketchup if you want to keep it classy and classic. Also, grate some lime zest right on top, too, for some more class (...right?).
**Home Fries & Squash: Kabocha squashes are pretty sweet. In all senses of the word! The first time I ate some in a dish several years ago, they were cooked perfectly, and I thought they were magical. I still strive for that elusive perfection...
Halve the squash (right down the middle through the top with a large strong knife). Then cut it in half again. One of these quarters will add about another 1 or 2 servings worth of food here, depending on how you portion it out. Slice the quarter of squash into wedges, and cube it from there into pieces similar in size to the potatoes. No need to peel! The rind on the squash should soften enough during cooking to be easily edible.
In a smaller skillet separate from the potatoes and onions, heat about 1/2 tablespoon of oil over low-medium heat. Add the squash cubes and stir to coat. Heat for two minutes.
Add several tablespoons of water, turn the heat up to at least medium, and cover with a lid. Cook for 4-6 more minutes. You want the squash to soften in the water/steam, but not to the point of becoming too mealy/mushy. Stir enough to make sure all sides soften. If the squash is becoming too soft, remove the lid to let more moisture escape so the squash browns more. If the squash is getting too seared/crunchy/not cooking through, add more water and/or turn down the heat so the squash cooks through more. If you haven't pan-roasted/braised squash before, it can be a tricky balance. Just pay attention to it, and you'll get it with practice! Just make sure there's enough moisture and heat to cook it through; if you overcook it to the point of being too mushy, that's cool - it's a mushy starchy dish anyway 🙂
When squash is browned a bit and cooked through, add to the larger skillet with the potatoes and onions. Stir it up and serve! (Don't forget the ketchup!)
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