Ah, the humble potato. The French call them “pomme de terre” or apple of the earth. Baked, fried, boiled or mashed, they are the epitome of tasty comfort food. The russet is still the king of the baked potato, but our groceries regularly stock the red potato and the Yukon gold, each of which has their strengths. Purple and white varieties are available, and in the finger size they make a colorful presentation for dinner time.
For breakfast we’re going to cook them twice and chop them up, so we can save the money on too fancy a spud.
There are a couple reasons to go with the red and yellows for this.
The easiest thing is to not peel them, both these varieties look good with the skins on, and the skin is tender enough after cooking that it is enjoyable to eat.
We’re going to boil them whole, or perhaps split if they are large.
Shop for potatoes that are as close in size as you can get so they will cook to doneness at the same time. They are actually easier to deal with if you get the medium or larger sized taters, which is why we don’t call them baby reds’ here.
Figure one pound for 2-3 people depending on how big of eaters they are and what else you are serving.
Potato Cooking Basics
In commercial kitchens we use a fair amount of margarine because of the heat tolerance. Don’t misunderstand, butter is phenomenal, but it has a low smoke point.
If you clarify it, getting rid of the milk solids, it will handle higher heat, and will work in this recipe. Margarine is sturdy and imparts some mild pleasant flavors. Feel free to use a flavor neutral sturdy vegetable oil like canola, soy, or corn and you will still get good results.
Our last ingredient is onion. Sweet onions and yellow onions brown up easily and their flavors get milder as they cook. Bermuda onions (red) and white onions will stay a little sharper flavored through the cooking process. Prep for this recipe is to julienne the onions, you’ll have time while the spuds are cooling.
For this, split the onion from root to sprout, cut about a quarter inch off those two ends then peel the “paper” down to the flesh the onion. Face down, with one of the cut ends facing you start slicing the onion in 1/8″ slices all the way across to get a nice julienne that is thin enough to cook up quickly.
Breakfast Taters Recipe
In a pot, cover completely with water and bring to a rolling boil;
• 1-2pounds of whole potatoes (if there is a gap in sizes split the larger ones to cook evenly)
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Cook until tender, a knife easily inserts to the center, remove from heat, drain the water and place uncovered in the fridge to cool. They will cut much easier when fully chilled, so this might be an item to prep the night before.
Split the potato lengthwise, place face down and split again lengthwise. Turn that ninety degrees and cut into 1/4 slices, you now have roughly quarter circle slice.
Heat a large skillet to medium high, add 2 tablespoons oil, onions and potatoes. Move them around regularly, cooking until the spuds are golden and the onions are soft. Serve and add salt and pepper to taste. If you fancy an O’Brien potato add some finely diced green and red bell peppers toward the end of the cooking.