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Potatoes

to be fried

enter the skillet,

snowy wings

of a morning swan–

and they leave half-braised in gold

(from Pablo Neruda’s poem, “Ode to Fried Potatoes”)

Sauteeing potatoes is a straightforward enterprise.  Doing it barely requires a recipe.  The result is a preparation of pleasing, good-tasting simplicity.

Sauteed Potatoes ~ Golden Slices and Whole Babies (for 2 – 4 people)

Ingredients:

  • Baby potatoes (3 per person) or Regular Potatoes (1 for each person and one extra…which is traditional…like the spoon of tea leaves for the pot)
  • 2 or 3 Tablespoons of butter
  • some finely chopped parsley
  • freshly ground salt and black pepper

Equipment:

  • a pot large enough to hold the potatoes
  • a heavy flat-bottomed skillet
  • a cotton towel

For Golden Sliced Potatoes

1.  Peel the whole potatoes and slice them in wedges…

…and if the potatoes aren’t being cooked right away, put the slices in a bowl of water to prevent them from discoloring.

2.  Put the wedges in a pot and fill it with water to cover them.  Bring the water to a boil over Medium heat and cook the potatoes until they are just done–for perhaps 10 minutes.

3.  Drain them and spread them out on the cotton towel to dry a little more.  Then heat the pan over Medium heat and add the butter.  The melting butter will foam, and as the foam begins to subside, add the potatoes.

4.  Saute the slices over Medium heat, frequently moving them about by jerking the pan back and forth by its handle, until they are golden all over,and sprinkle them with parsley and fresh ground salt and black pepper while they are still in the pan:

For Golden Whole Babies

 

1.  Clean the potatos without peeling them.

2.  Put them in a pot and fill it with water to cover them.  Bring the water to a boil over Medium heat and cook the potatoes just until a skewer pierces through easily without breaking up the potato.

3.  Drain the potatoes and spread them out on the cotton towel to dry a little.

4.  Saute the babies exactly as you do the wedges, moving them around in the butter to brown them…

…and before removing them from the pan, sprinkle them with parsley and freshly ground salt and black pepper.

A Note:  Sauteed Potatoes are very good with Steak au Poivre and easier to serve along with it than the traditional French fries when having it at home.  Steak au Poivre and Sauteed Potatoes are in the Dinner Menu:  Killing Time with a Killer.

A Second Note:  The full text of “Ode to Fried Potatoes”, translated from the Spanish by Maria Jacketti, may be read online here.

© Elizabeth Laeuchli, the diplomatickitchen, 2011-2012

 

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