Potatoes are such comforting food. Earthly, soft or crisp or soft and crisp, amenable to lots of other flavors. They're a friend you can seat next to anyone at a dinner party and not worry they'll talk radical politics or details of their last health issue. They play well with others.
This dish is simply russet potatoes, a red onion, a red pepper and a few scallions. There is a wee-bit of preparation in that you need to precook the potatoes (cooking potatoes twice will get them crisp) but you could do this anytime and stash them in the fridge until you're ready to hash it out.
The other thing I should mention is patience, something I lack in cooking. You need to let these fry gently for 10-15 minutes before flipping IF you want a little crispy (and who doesn't?). You could add sausage, bacon or a fried egg to this. Avocado, smoked salmon or spicy black beans would also be delicious (see what I mean about this being the easy-going friend of the vegetable world?).
|Cooking potatoes whole and in their skins gives them better flavor .|
I leave the skins on for the hash
(but you could peel them if you prefer)
Crispy Potato Hash
3 large russet potatoes
1 large red pepper
1 medium red onion
1/4 cup olive oil (approximate)
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper
Chopped Italian parsley (optional)
Scrub potatoes clean and prick a few times with a fork. Place in large pot and cover with cold water and a tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and cook until fork slides in easily but potato is still firm and not falling apart or cracking (about 20 minutes but will vary based on size of potato). Immediately remove from water and set on a towel until they're cool enough to handle. Peel if desired. Slice into approx. 1/2 inch planks, then dice into 1/2 inch cubes. Set aside.
Slice scallions and set aside.
Dice red pepper and onion. Heat butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add peppers and onions and saute until soft, 10-15 minutes.
Add potatoes and scallions, gently mix to spread the onions and peppers throughout, and salt generously. Drizzle more olive oil around the outside ring of potatoes so you see a little bubbling around the edges. Let them fry gently for 10-15 minutes until bottom is brown. Then carefully flip over, one section at a time using a metal spatula and scraping all the good brown crust off the bottom. Add more olive oil around the outside edge and cook for another 5- 10 minutes, tasting for salt and adding if necessary. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Now you must be patient and wait for the little buggers to brown.
- Ann Burrell