Saturday, March 29, 2008

Spud Stud

As I mentioned, during the height of the lunacy I refer to as "Winter Term", I was tagged with a food meme. The basic requirements were that the food be "peasant" food (or the American equivalent), that it be delicious, simple, cheap to make, and not too healthy.

I think the ideal dish would be my mother's fried potatoes. I was blessed with a heritage of poor working class folks on both sides of my family -- my maternal grandmother was a Dustbowl Arkie, her husband a working rancher, sailor, and plant supervisor. My father was a pastor, a sailor, a firefighter, a ranch hand, and grew up the poor son of an alcoholic carpenter/singer/migrant farmer. So I grew up with cooks who new how to really stretch a food dollar, and make very little go very far and taste very good. The following recipe is a reflection of my mother's southern roots and my northwest childhood:

Pan Fried Potato Rounds
2 lb. russet potatoes (here in Ore-Ida country, that can be as 2 or 3 potatoes)
Salt TT (To Taste)
Pepper TT
Onion Powder TT
Garlic Powder TT

Scrub and rinse the potatoes, but do not peel. Slice crossways into 1/4" thick rounds, rinse again.

Fill a 10" cast iron skillet to 1/4" deep with oil, this recipe tastes best if at least some of the oil is replaced with bacon fat. Heat over high heat. Once the oil is hot, lay the potatoes in the oil and cook on high heat, turning occasionally so that all sides get browned and crispy. If you turn them too often, they'll turn mushy. Too seldom and they'll burn. Once the potatoes are golden brown and crispy, reduce the heat to low and cover, cooking 10-15 minutes or until the centers are fork tender. Season to taste with the salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder, serve hot.

To this day my mouth waters just THINKING about these potatoes.

In the spirit of this being a meme, I'm tagging Ken at It Comes in Pints, Maximum Leader at Naked Villainy, and Ted at Rocket Jones.