Loosely adapted from Cook’s Country
There are two secrets to making great home fries, if you ask me. The first is cooking the onions separately. As potatoes need to cook quite a bit longer than onions, it saves them from become burnt specks by the time the potatoes are ready. The second is more of a shortcut (so you can make them more often because they’re easier!) which is that I reduce the pan-frying time by half cooking them in the microwave first. As the best French fries are twice-cooked, this follows that line of reasoning well, yielding home fries with a soft center and crisp edges.
As you may guess from my tirade above, I do have more success with these (and can greatly reduce the amount of butter needed) when I cook them in a nonstick pan, but I’ll leave it up to you whichever you prefer working with.
1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch cubes
4 tablespoons salted butter
1 onions, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Seasoning of your choice: Garlic powder or salt work great, as does smoky Spanish paprika or chopped chives
1. Arrange potatoes in large microwave-safe bowl, top with 1 tablespoon butter, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave on high until edges of potatoes begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes, shaking bowl (without removing plastic) to redistribute potatoes halfway through cooking.
2. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in large regular or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer to small bowl.
3. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in now-empty skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes and pack down with spatula. Cook, without moving, until underside of potatoes is brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn potatoes, pack down again, and continue to cook until well browned and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring potatoes every few minutes, until crusty and golden on all sides, 9 to 12 minutes. Stir in onion, seasonings of your choice and salt and pepper to taste.
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