December 5, 2012
Over the weekend, my friend Emily came to visit. We had a few relaxing days to catch up and enjoy each others' company. On Saturday night while we were eating dinner, we started talking about what we might make for breakfast the next morning. Often, when I am unsure of what to cook or eat for a meal I like to ask people what they would want to eat if they could have anything, practical or not. Ray wanted home fries with salsa and cheese. Emily wanted eggs benedict. We decided to make home fries, black beans, poached eggs (scrambled eggs for me) and hollandaise sauce along with bacon, fruit, hot chocolate, and orange juice.
It is not often enough that our kitchen is full of people making and sharing food. The kitchen is just the right size when one person is cooking, the limited counter space can accommodate two people if they don't mind rubbing elbows and dancing around each other. With three of us and the need for lots of burners on the stove it was a little crazy but worked out just fine. We boiled, whisked, fried, turned eggs and butter into a thick creamy sauce and learned how to rescue it when the sauce broke.
The kitchen was hot and steamy when we sat down to a table laden with food and drinks. We enjoyed every bite and it didn't take long before we were all too full to eat any more. I love it when a great, memorable meal comes together somewhat spontaneously. There are few things more satisfying than cooking and sharing good food together. It brings a glow to the table and makes the food taste even better.
This recipe is mostly a guideline and I haven't listed quantities because you can make this recipe in any amount. You can use any kind of potatoes you want and a mix of varieties works fine, too. I find that butter (or clarified butter) gives the potatoes the best flavor and crisp outside but you can also use your choice of oil. I like the potatoes to taste a bit garlicky, but that is optional, too. Finally, veggie home fries are really good, too, if you want to add chopped broccoli, peppers, carrots, spinach or whatever else you fancy.
salt and pepper
veggies, salsa, grated cheddar or pepper jack cheese (optional)
Rinse or scrub the potatoes clean, as needed. Cut the potatoes into bite size or slightly larger pieces, the size that you want your home fries to be. Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with water, add a generous pinch of salt. Bring the pot to a boil and reduce the heat to keep the water boiling, but not boiling over. When the potato pieces can be easily pierced with a fork, remove from the heat and drain out the water. Heat a cast iron skillet or other shallow pan over medium high heat. Melt enough butter to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the potatoes to the pan and let them cook until crisp, stirring occasionally so that all the sides have a chance to crisp and brown. Mince a clove (or the amount you desire) of garlic. Once the potatoes are mostly brown and crispy, add the garlic, salt and pepper and optional veggies. Cook, stirring every so often, until the potatoes are very crispy and the optional veggies are also cooked through. If you are using salsa, stir in enough to barely coat the potatoes (or add more if you want). While the potatoes are still hot, but before serving, top with grated cheese and allow it to melt for a few minutes. The home fries are best eaten warm but can be reheated and eaten later if you have some left.