Southern fried potatoes, also known as Southern style hash brown potatoes, or, simply soft fried potatoes, are cubed peeled russets, that are first steamed and then pan fried like hash browns, tender inside, but with crispy outer edges.
Southern Fried PotatoesI can hardly believe this is my first post for November and yet, here we are, nearly a week in already, and whoa, is Thanksgiving really knocking on the door already?
It's been a, well... let's just say... challenging week around the ole household.The Cajun and I both managed to pick up a bug - me first, right on Halloween afternoon - and one that pretty much knocked us out of commission for days, something that never happens to my husband. It appears that we're on the mend... finally, and these soft fried potatoes, a favorite around here, really hit the spot when you've been on an involuntary fast.
Potatoes cooked with this method are sometimes known as a Southern style hash brown, mostly by commercial producers, because we've always just called them soft fried potatoes. These are somewhat similar to my cast iron Skillet Potatoes - a simple Deep South take on Potatoes O'Brien, due to the inclusion of bell pepper (and sometimes mushrooms if I have them), the major difference being the type of potato used and the method of preparation. Soft fried potatoes are peeled and steamed first before pan frying, resulting in a super tender and creamy inside, while having a crispy hash brown like exterior. The key for these is that you must first steam fry the potatoes covered.
For frying these, I typically use mostly oil with just a touch of bacon fat or butter for flavor, but you can use your favorite combination of fats. You'll need about 1/2 cup total, more or less, or just enough to cover the bottom of a nice sized skillet. It's a very easy recipe to do, but if you've never made them before, I've included a step by step tutorial that'll give you an idea of what they are supposed to look like at each stage.
Super delicious for breakfast next to eggs, at lunch with a variety of leftovers from the fridge stirred in, from beans and leftover meats to veggies, or as a simple side dish starch for any meal. Some folks even like to stir in ketchup just before serving them, but I prefer mine pretty straight up with potatoes and onion.
There's no secret to these - we Southerners pretty much all make them the same way. Here's how we do it.
Add your choice of fat - oil, butter, bacon drippings or a combination of them all work well - to a fairly good sized, lidded skillet and heat over medium high heat. Peel and dice regular baking potatoes into small cubes and add to the hot oil.
Finely chop some onions - I favor a sweet onion myself.
Add to the potatoes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Stir the potatoes and onion to coat them well with the oil.
Cover and steam over medium high heat for 10 minutes, without lifting the lid or stirring the potatoes.
Remove the cover.
Use a spatula to turn potatoes in sections. Look at those crispies there - yum!
Continue cooking over medium high, turning and stirring occasionally, until potatoes are browned. Great with breakfast, or as a side dish anytime. Oh mercy, these are so good!
We eat them all kinds of ways, but the classic Southern way to consume fried taters and onions, is very often with a big pot of some kind of beans, with greens and cornbread on the side. Now that's Southern y'all.
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Recipe: Southern Fried Potatoes©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 15 min
Total time: 25 minYield: About 4 to 6 servings
- About 1/2 cup of bacon drippings, cooking oil, butter, or any combination
- 2 pounds of russet potatoes (about 4 to 5), peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup of finely chopped sweet onion
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Add enough oil just to cover the bottom of a 10-inch skillet and heat over medium high. Add the potatoes and onion; season to taste with salt and pepper and toss to coat with oil. Cover skillet and steam cook for 10 minutes covered, before stirring. Remove cover, turn in sections, and continue cooking over medium high, uncovered, turning and stirring occasionally, until potatoes are browned as desired. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Excellent with eggs but makes a great side dish anytime.
Cook's Notes: I use drippings from my grease pot to make these, but if you have to fry up some bacon to get the drippings, absolutely crumble it and stir it into the potatoes. These potatoes make a great base for any leftover meats, veggies, or even beans that you have in the fridge. Stir them in toward the end, just to warm through. Eggs are also a great addition. Beat, add to potatoes and let set slightly before stirring.
Potatoes O'Brien: Add in 1/4 cup of coarsely chopped green, yellow, orange or red bell pepper, or any combination along with the onion. Sprinkle in a little garlic powder.
Southwestern Style: These are great for potato tacos. Add 1/4 cup chopped jalapeno and 1 tablespoon chopped garlic with the onion. When done, stir in 1/2 teaspoon each kosher salt, ground cumin and chili powder.
Sausage and Potatoes: Prepare potatoes and onions as above, except reduce fat to 2 tablespoons. Steam covered for 5 minutes. Uncover and stir in one pound of loose, raw sausage, removed from casings (Italian, turkey, or breakfast sausage) and 2 tablespoons chopped garlic. Cook, uncovered, stirring to break up sausage, for an additional 5 minutes, or until no longer pink. Stir in 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, or other dried or fresh herbs, 1-1/2 cups peeled and diced fresh tomatoes, juices retained (or one 15-ounce can undrained) and cook over medium until most of the juices have cooked down. Taste and adjust seasonings.
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©Deep South Dish
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