Saturday, November 7, 2009

fried and true

I might as well just put it out there bluntly. Amanda, what wine pairs well with FRIED? Um, you know, fried anything. A few years ago I purchased a deep frier and my life has never been the same. Once you get that baby going there is a compulsion to run around the kitchen looking for things to throw in it. Now, we don't do fried every night at my house, not even once a week. More like barely once a month. And no, I am not ashamed nor do I feel guilty. Properly deep fried at the correct temperature (350F), food will absorb far less fat than by a pan saute technique. Yes it is true.

 Roxbury Farm's beautiful red potatoes
Fried potatoes are as close to an American classic as we can get. Don't get Michael Pollan started on the evils of the ubiquitous Idaho potato which produces the BEST fried potato going. Yes, the Idaho is crowding out other worthy potato crops. So what about some other root vegetables? A recent fry fest with parsnips yielded some very tasty chips, a little sweet and slightly bitter. Really good and super cute, they resembled flower petals.
Parsnip chips doing their thing in the deep frier.
I don't always pull out my deep frier when I want a crispy potato. A quarter inch of oil in a pan heated to just about smoking will provide a great vehicle for cooking up cubed potatoes.
The real fun of fried foods is what condiment you serve with them. One of my favorite treats is a fantastic tomatillo salsa I buy in Saratoga Springs that is blessedly HOT and so pretty with its pale green color dotted with bright yellow kernels of corn. I LOVE the stuff!

Fried Cubed Potatoes

2 Idaho potatoes unpeeled and cut into 1/2" cubes (sorry Michael P.)
Canola oil- enough to cover bottom of pan to about 1/4"

In a pan large enough to hold all the potatoes in a single layer, heat oil under medium-high heat for at least 4 minutes to make sure oil is hot hot hot. Test for heat by dropping one piece of potato into pan and expect to hear an immediate sizzle. Place potatoes in hot oil in a single layer and adjust temperature to keep the sizzle sound going. Leave potatoes untouched for 6 minutes or so until you start to see some browning on the bottom. Turn one potato piece over to check the color. If it isn't perfectly golden leave the potatoes to fry until you have the desired color, then turn with a spatula. Cook on other side for another 6 plus minutes. Once the potatoes are golden toss them around in the pan and continue to cook until all sides are golden & crispy, another 2 or 3 minutes.
Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and salt immediately. Best served hot from the frier. They don't reheat in the most exciting way.

serves two

Of course this looks delicious! Why wouldn't it be? It seems to me this would be a side to something. Is this how you would serve it - with something else? If so, I would probably choose a wine to match the main course. If you were just going to eat the potatoes by themselves, I immediately think of prosecco. Just something light with enough fruit to hold its own against the heat. I also see these potatoes plated with an omelet or fritatta - again, a prosecco would be absolutely perfect and fun! Deb, try it the next time you make these potatoes, and let me know what you think!


  1. I'm coming to your house next time I have a craving!

  2. Hey Amanda- I came across a Picollo Ernesto Gavi this weekend that reminds me of a prosecco. It is dry, fruity and light with lots of flavor and a tiny fizz. Really nice! Im thinking it might be another good choice for the fried potatoes? No?

  3. Yes, I would agree. The Gavi could be a good alternative to Prosecco. Both would work particularly well in a brunch or lunch setting.


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