Monday, December 3, 2012

Grandma's country fried potatoes

When I was a kid, I used to look forward to a cookout at my grandma's house.  My mother was one of 5 girls, and when grandma had a cookout there were the 5 sisters, 5 husbands, 6 or 7 or maybe 8 kids (depending on the year), add in a couple of aunts and uncles, and of course grandma.  So it wasn't unusual to have 20 people out in the backyard on a Sunday afternoon.  And while I remember playing with my cousins, and climbing an apple tree or two, one of my fondest memories is grandma's country fried potatoes.  They were a standard at any family gathering, probably because they were inexpensive so you could fill up a big family for not a lot of money.  So out on the wood fired grill there would be 2 or 3 cast iron skillets, filled with her country fried potatoes.  I can still remember the smell of those delectable spuds, mixed in with the smoke from the embers on the fire.

I never got grandma's actual recipe for those potatoes, but over the years I have experimented with different methods and this recipe is about as close as I can get.  It is not a lot of work, and the result is sure to please anyone who likes fried potatoes.  And who doesn't like fried potatoes?


3 pounds of potatoes (or however many potatoes your family will eat)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tbsp. olive oil or canola oil
3 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground pepper


1.  Wash the potatoes and I leave the skins on, but you can peel them if you like.  Depending on their size, cut them into quarters or halves, so they don't take all day to cook.  Place the potatoes in a large pot, with enough water to cover, and then boil for about 20 minutes, until they are soft when checked with a knife.

2.  Put the chopped onion into a cast iron skillet along with the oil and butter.  Cut the boiled potatoes into about 1" cubes and add to the skillet.  Turn the heat to medium high and begin to fry the potatoes.  Turn them about every 3 or 4 minutes with a steel spatula, and watch to be sure they aren't burning (adjust the heat accordingly).  Once the potatoes are browned and tender, about 10 or 15 minutes, they are ready to serve.

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