Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Savory Mornings With P-Dub

When I think about it, there is only one reason why I would agree to go to IHOP or some other American breakfast joint on a weekend morning. Well, there is the benefit of being lazy and not cooking (not to be underestimated), and also the social "fun" aspect. But for me personally, it's all about the potatoes. Home fries, hash browns, skillet potatoes - whatever name you give them; somehow when you pair those with a fried egg and drizzle some maple syrup over it, it's like a match made in heaven. It's warm, comforting, stick-to-your-ribs-but-most-likely-your-butt, and I love every single calorie in it. In the past, I've tried - unsuccessfully - to make these potatoes at home, but never even got close to that IHOP/diner taste. But recently I gave it another shot, because I believe that much in the power of The Pioneer Woman.PW's Basic Breakfast Potatoes (find her recipe online here or in her new cookbook)
Serves 2-4

Click here for printable recipe

3-4 Yukon Gold potatoes
1 onion, roughly chopped
Half a capsicum, chopped (I used a red one)
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp butter
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp all-purpose flour (optional)
Chopped cilantro for garnish

1. Boil the potatoes whole, till fork tender, but
not falling apart. Then cut them up into 1-2 inch pieces (no need to peel the skin).

2. Next, heat up the oil and butter in a large skillet, on medium heat. Saute the onion and red pepper till softened. Then add in the potatoes. Mix gently with the onions and peppers, then sprinkle generous amounts of salt and pepper over the whole thing (potatoes needs lots of seasoning!).

3. Spread the mixture out in the pan, in one layer and press down lightly. Cook them without stirring for several minutes, to give the potatoes the chance to crisp up on one side. Sprinkle the flour over the top of these, so that when you flip them over, the other side also gets pretty crispy.
Don't get impatient with these! Don't stir these around too much! If you like your potatoes crispy, give them time before you flip them over.

4. Taste as you go for salt and pepper. You can even add a little more butter after the first flip. Cook these potatoes to your desired level of brown-ness and crispiness. Then serve with a garnish of chopped cilantro. Start your weekend morning with these beautiful carbs and you won't regret it!

Verdict: Great recipe; a definite keeper. Eggs and potatoes - they just work. Especially with the caramelized onions and peppers. And how. The only downside, if you see it as such, is that the potatoes do take a bit of time to make. My strategy was to groggily make my way to the kitchen first thing in the morning, put the potatoes to boil, then crawl back into bed for another 20 mins. Sounds irresponsible, but I think I used my 20 mins well! Then by the time I was more properly awake, the potatoes were tender, and I could cheerfully go about making my house smell inviting and warm first thing in the morning.

How my Ozzy spends his weekend mornings. Oh wait, that's every morning for him.

This recipe is going to the next FFPW Breakfast/Brunch theme round-up. There's still time for all you folks to join me. Deadline is Dec 12th.