or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › How to make home fries.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How to make home fries.

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm trying to make home fries using instructions I received from a chef at a local grocery store but it's not coming out correctly. I'd appreciate any help that might be offered.

I took some small red potatoes and sliced them into thin slices (about 3 / 16").

I put them into a 12" stainless steel fry pan that had about a tablespoon of olive oil in it and was hot.

I was told that each side of the potatoe should take 2 - 3 minutes to cook but mine keep coming out undercooked.

Should I try turning up the heat?

Do I need to boil the potatoes first (which I'd rather not do if not necessary)?

I'm adding salt and pepper while they are cooking. Should I wait until the end to do this?

How do I know when the potatoes are cooked - do they need to be browned to be cooked?

What's it mean when some of the potatoes stick to the pan?

Thanks - sorry for all the questions about somethign that maybe should be so simple.
post #2 of 18
You just need to cook them longer. When they stick to the pan it means it's forming that nice yummy caramelized "crust." Use a flexible spatula to scrape and turn. Add salt and pepper while it's cooking.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. I never know what it means when the food sticks to the pan. So I can not panic and just let it ride, so to speak, when that happens?

I also went back to the grocery and found the in-house chef. He also told me that he would have made the pan hotter. He said that if the pan is smoking before I put in the potatoes that that is okay. He said that once I put the potatoes in the temperature of the pan will decrease.

I'm trying it now!
post #4 of 18
Fries, re. chips (UK)
Cut potatoes (floury ie. Maris piper, king edward, Desiree) into finger sized pieces.
Leave in cold water till you're ready to cook then dry completely.
Fry in deep fat at 140 degrees till just tender, but not quite cooked. Drain well and for best results cool.
Fry again at 190 degrees till crisp and scrummy Douse in malt vinegar and salt.
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
Reply
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
Reply
post #5 of 18
Not sure why you are against boiling first, that is how my best batches turn out. I slice thickly and parboil the night before if I remember, but usually that morning since I am such a clueless, procastinating flake. You don't want the patoots to cook totally and turn to mush, you want them just be soft enough to brown fairly quickly and finish cooking in the skillet after you dice into the appropriate size. If you are like me and add lots of diced Vidalia, Mayan, whatever sort of sweet onion with some coarsley chopped green onions, it is nice to have the potatoes be done before the onions are burnt to a crisp. It helps to add the green onion tops just a bit before the potatoes are done, maybe a minute or two, so they don't get too soggy and limp.

Depending on how you feel about meat one good variation is to fry up about half a pound or so of bacon. Pull the slices out of the pan when they are fairly crisp, reserve. Add the home fries to the hot bacon grease, cook for a while, add the onions, crumble the bacon slices and toss into the mix.

Gee, I'm looking forward to sunday's breakfast, even if I didn't find any farm fresh eggs at the farmer's market earlier today.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Sounds like a very tasty recipe! My reservation about the boiling first had to do with trying to not add steps to the recipe, but I guess it is not that big a deal.

How thickly do you slice the potatoes? What does "parboil" mean?

Thanks.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Please ignore my question asking what parboil means. I googled it and see that it means to partially cook.
post #8 of 18
If I were going to use red potatoes as home fries I'd boil them first, let them cool, and quarter them rather than slicing them. Just my preference. I prefer a russet for home fries. And again I always boil them first. Well, not always. If I'm baking potatoes for dinner I'll usually throw in a couple extra for breakfast the next day or so. The only time I use raw potatoes for breakfast is with hash browns or cottage fries. Cottage fries are closer to what you described. We used to do them thin sliced and unrinsed. You'd heat up a pan put some oil and place the slices in the pan covering the inside of the pan and barely overlapping. The starch would help them stick together. We'd flip it and let the other side cook. Then S&P. Very simple.

Parboil, or , blanching, is basically partially precooking something. Like you'd blanch off green beans so you can quickly saute them in butter. So you can cook them with out the butter burning.
post #9 of 18
When I parboil the potatoes first I usually cut them into fairly thick slices, maybe around an inch or so. A modest sized russet would get cut into 5 - 6 slices. Leaving skins on or off is a matter of personal preference, I prefer skin on.

A simple, basic definition of parboil is to boil something for a while, but not until it is fully cooked. Blanching is similar but different. For potatoes, as an example, you might slice them thick and boil in salted water for 35 - 40 minutes until they were tender all the way through, if you were making mashed potatoes. For home fries you might take those same slices and boil for only 20 minutes or so, without the salt, until they were starting to soften, but still somewhat firm in the center. I'd then drain, rinse generously with cold water (overnight in the fridge covered with water is good ) drain and let dry for a bit. Cut the big slices into whatever sized pieces, sticks, shreds you desire at the time before putting into your hot oil or bacon grease or duck fat or whatever, adding your salt, pepper, onions, bell pepper, chilis, etc. as they cook. Some folks like to add things like paprika, or sprinkle with chopped parsley before plating.

In my opinion, good home fries are not a uniform pile, but chunks in a range of sizes, some extra brown and crispy, some soft and tender, most bits a mix of the two, but always a good old home grown comfort dish.

Something I have been meaning to do for a while is to take a cue from corned beef hash and make a smoked prime rib hash for sunday brunch. Who knows, maybe someday I'll actually have some leftover smoked standing rib roast on hand - it tends to all disappear the night it is cooked!

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
post #10 of 18
I think we have a definitional problem building here.

I was brought up that home fries are always made from previously cooked spuds. Ideally they'd be done the day before, and chilled before frying the next morning. Baked are better than boiled, btw.

For home fries we cut them in very thick chunks (and inch or so) then divide those in half. But this is an instance where you do not want everything even. They cook better if there's a randomness to their size and shape. Like Teamfat, I prefer them with the skins on. But that's a matter of personal taste.

Home fries should always, IMO, include chopped onions, as well as salt and pepper.

Raw potatoes cooked on the stove top the same way are called pan-fries, rather than home fries. If you dice them first, they are hash-browns. If you saute some onion and peppers before adding the diced spuds they are O'Brien style.

Deep fried are called French fries in America, whether single- or double-fried, although pommes frite is gaining in popularity.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #11 of 18
I find that if they are not cooked before you put them in the pan then they don't cook evenly.

I like the red potatoes as well, although lately I've found a deep fondness of yukon golds. I poke holes in them with a knife, put them in a shallow bowl, add 1 cup of water, and stick them in the microwave until cooked through.

Then remove the skin and dice or chop the way you like. They'll be crumbbly but that's what makes the home fries unique.

I like to sautee in generous olive oil with sliced onion and green pepper. Salt, lots of pepper, and dried oregano for flavor. Sometimes my husband wants me to throw in some mushrooms or diced tomato as well. My Dad likes more onions than potatoes.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Is the point of the parboiling to make sure that the potatoes end up cooked enough when you cook in the fry pan afterwards?
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Sorry - my bad. I used the term "home fries" because it was what a nutritionist had told me (we're seeing a nutritionist because my son has a digestive disorder).

The nutritionist gave me a recipe: melt 1-2 tblspons coconut il in a fry pan; heat to medium; chop up onion and put in the pan; while onion is sauteing slice up some potatoe; throw the potatoes in the pan; stir; add vegetables to it (red, yellow, orange bell peppers, summer squash).

I'm supposed to make the whole dish be at least 50 percent vegetables.
post #14 of 18
Exactly. They will already be cooked. You will just be browning them. And always boil your potatoes whole with the skin on. When you can easily stick a knife into the potato without breaking it, they're done. Some people like to cut them up first to save time in the cooking process. This is not desirable as it causes the potato to absorb water. Ideal circumstances is boil them far enough in advance to fully cool. Then slice or cut or whatever you want.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll try it that way. Thanks for the tip on how to tell if the potato is cooked enough (sticking the knife in the potato).
post #16 of 18
Ok so , after reading this thread i now know my idea of home fries has been lost in transatlatic translation. I thought you meant the equivelant of fries Novice_01.
Home fries obviously means something totally different in the US - Sounds tasty by all accounts though.
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
Reply
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
Reply
post #17 of 18
I'd add some hearty veggies to it like, turnips, more squash, and beets. Cut em big and just roast it all in the oven. I love brussel sprouts but the kid may not.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Sorry. Clearly my use of the term home fries was way off base. Basically my question had to do with cooking potatoes that I would cut in thin slices (3 / 16" or more thick) and was having trouble cooking them enough.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › How to make home fries.