Fried Potatoes or Patate Fritte
My father is known to tell a good story and like any gifted orator he tends to exaggerate the goings-on / facts behind his other wise excellent memory. However, there is one topic where my father is fairly blunt about his experiences and observations; viz., food. Ask my father, for example, what his favorite dish is and he’ll quickly rattle of a few fish dishes, slowly braised baby goat in the style of the Calabrese, and my grandmother’s fried potatoes. On the latter dish, nothing is as simple and delicious as expertly fried potatoes (and onions). My grandmother’s recipe is straightforward and, as is often the case, made via potatoes grown on her own land. The end result are potatoes in their greatest form.
Peel the potatoes and cut in half length wise, thereafter thinly slice the potatoes with the flat side firmly situated on the cutting board (don’t ever attempt to slice anything that’s not firmly situated on your cutting surface) – you’re looking for a thickness of 3/16th – 4/16th of an inch (this will ensure a crispy potato and shorten the cooking process). Move the sliced potatoes to a bowl of cold water and rinse twice (to remove the starch). Cut a large red onion in half and then into 1 inch pieces.
Add about 1/4 cup of olive oil to a frying pan and heat over a medium-hot flame, add the potatoes and onions and cook for three minutes (note: my grandmother uses extra virgin olive oil to pan fry and it does add tremendous flavor, but it’s not necessary nor practical unless you’re producing your own olive oil). Add a liberal amount of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place a lid on the pan and cook for ten minutes-fifteen minutes over medium heat. Remove the lid, turn the potatoes very carefully so that they do not break and fry for another five-ten minutes. The potatoes are complete when they are crispy and golden (the onions can be cooked to a golden brown as well). Drain the potatoes and onions on paper towels and season with a bit more Kosher salt. Move the potatoes and onions to a serving bowl and enjoy with a piece of swordfish (or grilled chicken breast) and tomato salad. My father often adds very fine slices of fresh cayenne pepper to his portion of potatoes.
- 3-5 large potatoes
- 1 large red onion
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes (optional)