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Home Fries

Made these this morning and they were a big hit. Will never make home fries any other way again.

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated. And as noted in CI, whatever modifications or additions you make, DO NOT leave out the baking soda. It’s what coaxes the perfect texture out of the potatoes.

Serves 2

 

  • 1.5 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1.5 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees.
Bring water to boil in Dutch oven or large pot over high heat. Add potatoes and baking soda. Return to boil and cook for 1 minute. Drain potatoes. Return potatoes to pot and shake pot occasionally, until any surface moisture has evaporated, about 1-2 minutes. Add butter, 3/4 teaspoons salt, and cayenne; mix with rubber spatula until potatoes are coated with thick, starchy paste, about 30 seconds.
Remove baking sheet from oven and drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil. Lower oven to 450 degrees. Transfer potatoes to baking sheet and spread into even layer. Roast for 15 minutes. While potatoes roast, combine onions, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and a pinch of  salt in bowl.
Remove baking sheet from oven. Using thin, sharp metal spatula, scrape and turn potatoes, mixing onions into potatoes. Continue to roast until potatoes are well browned and onions are softened and beginning to brown. Stir in chives and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
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