Mrs. P’s Breakfast Potatoes
It’s time to get unreasonably excited about another skillet seasoning opportunity! Cast iron and home fries enjoy a perfect symbiosis, the oil from the potatoes greasing the pan while the starchy buildup seals it in for a nice long moisturizing. The frequent scraping off and incorporation of the browned coating lends a crispness that contrasts delightfully against the clumps of soft potato and caramelized onion. I don’t recommend adjusting the salt in this recipe; were I facing dietary changes due to high blood pressure, I’d sever my relationship with the home fry completely before I’d witness it lose its soul to the realm of the low-sodium.
3 baking potatoes, diced
1/2 large red onion, diced
1/4 C vegetable oil, plus more on hand
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried cilantro
Heat the oil in your skillet over high heat until it’s hot, about a minute and a half. Add the potatoes and spread them out in the pan, then leave them alone for 2 minutes. Fold them over with a wooden or metal spatula and leave them for another 2 minutes, and repeat this process until all the potatoes have at least two browned sides.
Open up a small circle in the middle of the pan and pour in another tbsp or so of vegetable oil, wait 10 seconds, then add the onion and fold into the potatoes. A metal spatula works best, as the potatoes will want to break apart as they soften. Scrape any stuck-on residue off the bottom of the pan and you fold.
Turn the heat down to medium, add the salt, pepper and cilantro, and continue to cook, folding and scraping every 3 to 5 minutes, until you achieve your desired level of done-ness. This will take a while, and you should plan on chopping your first potato about 45 minutes before you want to eat. The picture directly above illustrates the stage at which you’ll want to eat them, but remember that you trade looks for taste when it comes to home fries. I cook mine to the stage shown all the way at the top, then let them sit in the pan for 10 minutes or so off of the heat for a final crisping. Whatever your preference, don’t forget the eggs over easy for yolk-dipping, and jelly should figure into this in some capacity, whether on toast, English muffin, or a buttered and grilled bagel.