Have you ever realized that the best homefries you get at restaurants always look like they may be starting to fall apart, but are held together by crispy goodness? If not, it’s probably because you don’t stare at your homefries like some sort of madman obsessed with their potatoey goodness. The reason for this falling-apart look, and the deliciousness inherent to homefries, is that they’re twice-cooked (at least). Boiled then fried – ensures the potato is cooked to a soft fluffy inside while the outside is that perfect level of crispy goodness. I have drawn a diagram to explain the process:
So, I wanted to find a way to get the same or better results while somehow avoiding two things:
1) Going to a restaurant and paying too much for a freaking potato
2) Burning my house down with a bucket of hot oil
So, here’s my adventure in deliciousness along with directions, instructions, pictures, and tasty goodness.
First things first, I got potatos. Actually, they had been sitting on top of my fridge for the past month and a bit, but potato is a wonderful magical bulbous starchy-thing that doesn’t go bad, really, it just starts to grow. So after carefully cutting off all the parts that had started to grow, I diced them up. I ended up with about 4 cups of cut potato.
Half-fill a large pot with salted water, bring it to a boil, and add your little potato friends. If you think you hear them scream, don’t worry – death is a natural part of life. Potatoes are wise and know their role.
While the potatos boil away, it’s time to prepare your seasoning. First up: the dry goods. For a batch this size I used a tablespoon of dried onion flakes, a tablespoon of granulated garlic (or garlic powder, who cares), a tablespoon of oregano, a teaspoon of black pepper, a half-teaspoon of sea salt, and a half-teaspoon of chili powder. I actually wanted to use onion powder, so I used a mortar and pestle to grind it down before adding it to the mix. What I ended up with was this:
After that, you need to make the wet component – 3 tablespoons of butter, 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Throw it in a pyrex measuring cup, melt for 40 seconds in the microwave.
Once the potatoes are done cooking – either completely cooked or just slightly undercooked – remove them from the water and strain. Put the cooked potatoes into a large mixing bowl then add your oil/butter mixture and then the seasoning mixture. Mix until all potatoes are coated, and then lay them out on a baking sheet:
It’s important to keep them in a single layer on the sheet so as to avoid sticking / undercoooking / lack of crispy goodness. Also, you should preheat your oven to 425. I should have mentioned that before, shouldn’t I? Yes, yes I should. Anyways, might as well do it now. Hopefully you read ahead before beginning this endeavour.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until you start to see the tips/edges of the potatoes getting a bit browned. The butter and oil will have created a delicious crispy skin on the expose potato flesh and the skin will be crispy as well. Serve and enjoy immediately, or you can cut the cooking time in half and freeze the product to be reheated in the oven at a later date. Deliciously economical!