Who named these? Must they be modified by that adjective in order to separate them from the usual — as in, restaurant fries?
This weekend — a first, I might add — the modifier was truer than usual. We made them from the sweet potatoes (the ones Tim dug from our backyard). A few waxy goldens were thrown in the mix too, as I couldn’t bear to eat all two pounds of the sweets in one sitting (also couldn’t manage to cut into the one that looks like something I should be scooping after walking a dog). But those were from our CSA, which means they were grown next to someone‘s home here in Indy. I think the 5-mile rule qualifies them.
Since we have proven ourselves more than once to be habitual people, I’ll confess that we eat home fries just about every time we grill burgers or dogs. And since we grill burgers or brats almost every weekend in the fall, suffice it to say we eat a lot of home fries. Cheap and easy, with only 20-minutes forethought required. A heavy cast-iron skillet is a big plus, and a tablespoon of duck fat is even better.
Excuse me, but did you just require that I have duck fat in my ice box?
I did. And while I do hate asking for obscure ingredients in recipes, my hope for all of you is that you can at some point find a provider of good-quality duck fat. We, of course, get ours from Chris at Goose the Market. He sells it by the pound, and I usually by a 1/2-pound tub of the pristine, creamy fat, and immediately freeze it in 1-Tbsp measures in an ice cube tray. When I’m ready to make home fries, I grab one lump, and add it to my pan to melt with the olive oil and butter. It really makes a difference — the fries are crispier, with a richer flavor (yes, even with just one tablespoon!). I learned this trick from someone French-like (probably David Lebovitz).
And don’t be afraid of all the fat. Most of it will be left in the pan after you scoop out all the fries, and goodness me, but how else are these things supposed to taste good without a heavy dose of it?
If you’re in need of spicy, toss the hot, still-greasy fries with an herb mixture (we like dried thyme, cumin, a little cayenne). Don’t forget plenty of salt, and of course, pass the ketchup.
- about a pound of sweet or waxy potatoes (or mixture), scrubbed well, unpeeled, chopped into bit-sized pieces
- large, heavy-bottomed skillet (cast-iron works best)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil*
- 2 Tbsp butter*
- 1 Tbsp rendered duck fat (optional)
- salt, pepper, other seasoning
* The amount of fat used can vary. You need equal parts butter and olive oil in enough quantity to generously coat the bottom of your pan.
Heat butter, oil, and duck fat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the potatoes (they should be in a single-layer in the pan) and cook, stirring frequently, for about 15-20 minutes. The potatoes are done when browned and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Using slotted spoon, scoop from pan and let drain on a paper-towel-lined plate. Toss with salt and seasoning immediately, while still hot and greasy (fine-grain salt works best).
Serve with plenty of ketchup for dipping.
This post is part of the Tuesday Twister at GNOWFGLINS.