When one goes to the hospital and clinic with regularity, one becomes well acquainted with “hospital food” which typically does not have a good reputation. In recent days, I have fallen in LOVE with the Home Fries at the Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania and the Perelman Center. Since we often travel there in the early morning hours, we will stop in for a quick breakfast where I ALWAYS get a big scoop of their Home Fries. I never thought about making them at home myself until (out of necessity, I suppose due to COVID restrictions) they went to a McDonald’s style pre-packaged hash-brown patty!! I have to credit Mollie Katzen for introducing me to the method of par boiling the potatoes ahead of frying in her 2002 cookbook Sunlight Cafe. The Spice Mix is a result of a bit of fine tuning after multiple tastings of the work of anonymous UPenn hospital chefs who have also been on the front lines of this pandemic. -E
1 and 1/2 lbs. potatoes, peeled, 1/2 inch dice
3 t. Home Fries spice mix
high-oleic safflower or sunflower oil
Home Fries Spice Mix:
3 parts paprika
2 parts Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1 part black pepper
1 part kosher salt
1 part garlic powder
Par boil the potatoes for about ten minutes, drain well.
In a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat, generously coat the bottom of the skillet with the sunflower oil. When the oil is hot, add the potatoes in a single layer.
Wait 5 minutes without stirring the potatoes to allow them to fry. If you try to stir too early, they will not unstick from the pan. After 5 minutes, sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoon of the Spice Mix onto the potatoes and toss.
Wait another 5 minutes, add an additional 1 1/2 teaspoons of the Spice Mix, and toss again. Wait another 5 minutes. Check the potatoes for your desired doneness.
We recommend setting a timer to make sure you wait the whole 5 minutes or more before tossing the potatoes.
Make a large quantity of Spice Mix head of time to keep on hand when the craving strikes.
Mollie also recommends using a high oleic oil for frying. It has a higher smoke point and your food absorbs less oil. Find it in the health food section of your grocery store.
If you double the recipe, you will need to fry the potatoes in batches as it is important to have the potatoes in a single layer in your pan for even results.
This recipe is also a great way to use up leftover baked potatoes.
© 2020, Blue Willow Kitchen