Fried potatoes can be considered a side dish or a separate dish — one way or another, you should be able to cook it.
And yet, not everyone is able to do this.
But first agree on the terms.
We are not talking about french fries, not about potatoes stewed with meat, and not about potatoes baked in the oven — all this is tasty, but not that. Our business today is potato, fried in a pan.
From the pan, perhaps, let’s start.
In principle, you can fry potatoes on anything.
But best of all it will turn out in a huge pan, with a thick bottom and made of cast iron.
By the way, only a cast iron pan can be huge, since any other one holds the necessary heating only in the area of the immediate work of the burner — and the burner heats in the center.
The cast-iron pan warms up relatively long, but at the same time right up to the side, and keeps the accumulated heat confidently and without question.
The archaic cast iron pan has other advantages.
It is not necessary (and even impossible) to wash it with a washcloth and chemical means, because the carbon generated during the operation is a natural non-stick coating.
It can be safely put in the oven, and the cast-iron handle will not burn.
The size of a cast iron pan for frying potatoes can be any, but the more the better. My grandmother at one time had a frying pan with a diameter of half a meter, and she flatly refused to get rid of this hulk.
Half a meter for a city apartment is, of course, too much, but a couple of years ago I bought a frying pan made in Belarus with a diameter of 30 centimeters, and this is a real miracle.
In any case, even if you do not have anything pig-iron in the household, fry potatoes in a pan with a thicker bottom, because it provides even and constant heating of the fat.
It can be different, and every kind of it affects the final dish.
The most innocuous and neutral fat is refined vegetable oil. In terms of taste and flavor no sense from him, but also harm too.
Obviously, this oil can be used both by itself and in mixture with other fats, both vegetable and animal.
So, you can add to the refined oil unrefined sunflower, smelling of roasted seeds, in the summer in the village and in general childhood.
The idea to fry potatoes on such fragrant oil in its pure form is not close to me, since in this case there is not much left of its own potato bouquet, but here it’s a matter of taste.
For some time butter has been considered unsuitable for frying — the advertising campaign of vegetable oil producers was too good.
However, for some types of frying it is indispensable, including for frying potatoes.
You can mix refined vegetable and butter in about equal shares.
Another option: cold-pressed olive oil and butter, a mixture in proportion to the volume of one to two.
You can fry potatoes in pure olive oil, but this requires a certain breadth of the soul (for it is expensive), but in the reasoning of taste it does not give much to it, so I advise you to use the mixture.
Amazing results are obtained by using lard.
Take a piece of raw bacon, cut off the skin, thinly cut the fat and place it in a heated pan with a small amount of vegetable oil.
You can cook it to the bitter end, that is, until crispy cracklings form — or fry lightly and carefully, so that the fat will not have time to become hard.
Fat, for example, can be extracted from the melted fat, salt and use under cold vodka.
Slightly roasted lard should continue to cook further, already with potatoes, and feel the beauty already in the finished dish.
The disadvantage of using fat is only one: when frying it smokes and stinks in the most disgusting way. So turn on the hood at full capacity. An important detail: fat, regardless of its composition, should be plenty, and it should be warmed up to a very high temperature.
So that it does not overheat, you can do this. First, heat the pan itself on the fire a little stronger than the average.
Place the fat on the preheated pan and reduce the heat to medium.
Temperature suitable for frying potato, can be determined by putting a piece of onion or half a clove of garlic in the heated fat — when it starts sizzling and roasting, then it is normal (do not forget to remove the test piece, otherwise it will burn).
And at this point, increase the heat to the maximum, and after 30-40 seconds, put potatoes in the pan and reduce the heat again to medium.
It is very important to buy potatoes of exactly that sort, which is designed specifically for frying, but how to determine it is not precisely known.
French and Israeli potatoes are sold in supermarkets, on each package of which it is clearly stated — bake, boil or fry. The problem is exclusively in an inhuman price.
In the markets, sellers, as a rule, know nothing about this side of life.
Therefore, before you get down to business seriously, try to cut and fry one potato — if it doesn’t crawl into starchy mash, you can fry everything else.
Slice potatoes for frying, you can use circles (as well as their halves or quarters, if the potatoes are large) or cubes; slicing thin straws is more suitable for deep-frying.
The size of the cut should be both large and small, but always the same for each piece — otherwise the potatoes will roast non-uniformly, and there is nothing worse than this in cooking.
Peeled and chopped potatoes should be rinsed in cold water to remove starch juice from the surface of slices; if you neglect this procedure, the slices will stick together.
Then you need to dry the potatoes — just fold it in a colander and leave for ten minutes (every two or three minutes, shake the colander).
Put the prepared potato slices into the frying pan with the heated butter.
Do not put too much, ideally a layer of potatoes should not exceed two centimeters. Immediately mix — and leave alone, without covering with a lid, until a crust forms below, that is, for three or four minutes. Take the spatula, mix the potatoes and leave for another three minutes.
If you love to potato was softer, cover the pan with a lid, and if drier — do not cover.
When the crust is formed and on the other hand, salt the potatoes, stir one more, one last time, and after a minute, arrange into plates.
TO fried potatoes You can add onions, garlic and mushrooms. They should be put not immediately, but after the second mixing, and you must first boil the mushrooms or fry them separately, so that excess liquid comes out of them. In addition, various kinds of greens behave excellently — they should be put after adding salt, otherwise the greens will wither.
The main thing — do not overdo it with additives.
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