Saturday, 29 September 2012

Perfect Sauteed Potatoes

Well, perfect as far as we're concerned!  The secret of a perfect sauteed potato is time.  And a non-stick frying pan.  If you rush your spud, it will brown too quickly and not be cooked on the inside.  Don't par-boil them, either, as they go mushy.  The other secret is not to stir them too often.  And use waxy new potatoes, as maincrop will just go mushy too.  OK, so that's four secrets, not one, but I like to give you value for money.  Chop as many spuds as you like, but make sure you have a big enough pan for them to be in one layer.  Cubes of about half an inch, or the metric equivalent, will be fine.  Heat 3 tablespoons of oil (I never said these were low fat!) in your pan - I like a blend of rape seed and extra virgin oil.  Keep the heat to medium and let the oil heat properly before adding the spuds, which should gently sizzle as they hit the pan.  As they do, toss them in the oil, shake them out to an even layer, sprinkle in some salt and pepper, and LEAVE THEM ALONE.  Let them cook at a moderate sizzle for a good 5 minutes without disturbing them.  Meanwhile, chop a large red onion and a clove or 2 of garlic.  After 5 minutes, stir and toss the potatoes and throw in the onions and garlic.  Stir again, then leave for another 5 minutes.  Stir every 5 to 10 minutes until all sides are brown and the onions have gone a delicious caramelly gooey texture.  Taste the potatoes after half an hour.  Add more salt and pepper, and if they are cooked through, turn up the heat and fry briskly until everything is crisp.  Keep an eye on them so they don't burn and adjust the heat accordingly.  Chop a handful of flat-leaf parsley and stir through at the very last moment before turning into a bowl and eating promptly with whatever takes your fancy - steak, fried chicken, lamb or pork chops, or grilled mackerel, which we had last night.  DEE-lish!

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