Friday, July 11, 2014

The World's Best Fried Potatoes

It's a good thing I love to cook because this house has a lot of mouths to feed. I believe in real food whenever possible. Although it is definitely hard to take the plunge and leave convenience foods in the dust, I know it can be done. Because my table seats eight and it is almost always full, and the plates on it hold from-scratch meals 90% of the time. 

I am not superwoman. I am actually just a frazzled, mildly overstretched mother like many of you. And if I can feed my family real food, you can too. Really. 

One of the tricks to putting a real meal on the table is keeping versatile staples that don't spoil quickly. You can always, always, always find red potatoes in my house. Red Potatoes are surprisingly healthy, relatively cheap, and can be used with just about any meal. They can be grilled, mashed (I always leave the skin on), or roasted.

The most common way for me to cook them, though, is to fry them. Now don't assume I've just ruined the health benefits. Hear me out. 

Fried red potatoes (or "spicy little potatoes" as my Asher calls them) are kind of my plan B. If I forgot to defrost something, or forgot to start the crock-pot, or forgot to stop at the grocery store on the way home (I told you, I'm frazzled), I can throw a meal together in less than 30 minutes with red potatoes and whatever is in the fridge or freezer. Usually, some baked fish and sautéed veggies will accompany these for dinner. Or maybe they will be topped with easy over eggs and served alongside fresh fruit. Or they might be rolled into whole-wheat tortillas with scrambled eggs and cheese, or else baked into a frittata. Really….you can scrounge up a meal without convenience foods. And if it has potatoes in it, even a family with four small boys, a couple of visiting teenagers and a hungry husband won't complain. Ask me how I know.

I've had several friends attempt fried potatoes in their own home, and quite a few of them have told me that theirs didn't turn out the same. Here's why:

I'm a firm believer that these things are a must if you really want the world's best fried potatoes. Otherwise, they may just be average. First, you need a cast iron pan. You can read my feelings on cast iron here. When you are using well seasoned cast iron, hardly any oil is necessary. See, I told you this wasn't an unhealthy recipe. Next, the oil I DO use is very important. I cook primarily with coconut oil. You can get a 54 oz jar on Amazon for around 20 dollars here: Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, 54-Ounce Jar. If you have a membership to somewhere like Sam's or Costco, you can check with them. I buy my jars there for about 16 dollars each. I know this may seem steep for oil if you aren't used to buying it, but it lasts a good while and it is totally worth it. Check out this link for the health benefits of coconut oil. And lastly, I only use kosher salt and course ground (or fresh ground) pepper. I don't have a lot list of why you should use these. You just should. Because they taste exponentially better.
Also, on fried potatoes, I used granulated garlic. I'm a big fan of using fresh garlic, but for this purpose, the granulated is better because it won't burn or add extra moisture while you are trying to get crispy potatoes. Go with granulated on this one.

Another important part of making your fried potatoes a success is to get them cut into fairly small pieces. Big chunks just don't cook through as quickly, and they are better this way.

So here is the "official" recipe, the best I can do it. I usually don't measure things, but I did for the purpose of telling you how to do this. However, you may want to taste and add more seasoning if you life things spicy. We do. I usually put more seasoning than this but I toned it down for the sake of this recipe.

The World's Best Easy Fried Potatoes

5-6 medium red potatoes (diced)
2 T. Coconut oil
1/2 T. Kosher salt
1/2 T. Course Ground Pepper
1/2 T. Granulated Garlic

Heat cast iron pan over medium heat.
Melt the coconut oil in a well-seasoned cast iron pan (if you feel like you need more oil, add it a little at a time. If you put too much in, your potatoes won't get crispy).
Once the pan is hot, put the potatoes in.
Evenly sprinkle on the salt, pepper and garlic.
Stir every few minutes to keep them from sticking.
They will be cook through in about 20-25 minutes. You can keep cooking them to get them crispier, but just watch them and make sure they don't burn.

Turn off the heat and serve.


  1. LOVE fried potatoes! Ours MUST have chopped onions too, cuz that's how Grandma cooked them and they taste sooo good! LOVE my cast iron too, can't live without it.

    1. Oooh, I love onions in mine too, but my picky eaters won't touch them. And yes, I think you are the only one I know who loves cast iron as much as me!