I know I have said it before, and I doubt it will be the last time that I say it, but I love potatoes. I love them mashed, I love them in potato salad, I love them scalloped, I love them twice baked.
What can I say I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, so potatoes are just part of me and the food I grew up eating. I could eat them every day.
And one of my favorite ways to eat them is to fry them. Who doesn’t like good fried potatoes?! They are one of the best comfort foods.
Fried potatoes can be challenging though. Fried potatoes should be crispy on the outside, yet perfectly done on the inside.
And that is where the challenge lies. Turning your potatoes too much while frying them will prevent them from browning and will cause them to break up. If you don’t turn them enough, the potatoes will over brown or even burn, but will not cook in the middle.
See those crispy browned edges?! That is what you want. That is the good part.
Fried potatoes are one of those things that with a little practice you can perfect. And once you have them down, you will have a quick and easy meal, or side dish, that is inexpensive to make and that your family will enjoy.
Today’s recipe though is a fried potato recipe that is basically full proof. This recipe comes from the cookbook Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House Cookbook. Like the cookbook I shared last week for my cooking through my collection, this is a regional cookbook that is full of down home every day type recipes.
And the skillet potatoes from Miss Mary Bob’s cookbook are some of the easiest and best fried type potatoes that I have had.
Her secret is water. Why I had never thought of it, I am not sure, but it makes for fried potatoes with the best texture. You are basically frying them, but you add a little water to them and cover them, which helps steam and cook them.
This gives them the best texture. Perfectly browned and crisped on the outside, yet perfectly done on the inside.
Old fashioned skillet fried potatoes.
- 1/2 cup butter
- 8 to 10 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced ( The day I took the picture from above, I did not have a green pepper, but green pepper is really good in this.)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup water
- In a large skillet or pan, you may want to half this if you have don't have a large pan. ( I used my electric fry pan) melt the butter.
- Add a layer of potatoes and a layer of onions and peppers.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Layer more potatoes, onions, and peppers.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- And layer again with potatoes, etc. I usually do 2 layers, but this may depend on your pan.
- Add water and cover pan. Cook over medium to medium low heat for 35 minutes. You will want to flip these potatoes once or twice while cooking. You want to turn them not stir them. You want them evenly browned on both sides.
- Serve and enjoy!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 314Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 151mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 5gSugar: 4gProtein: 6g
Nutritional values are approximate and aren't always accurate.
How funny! I have done my fried potatoes that way for years to eliminate the random underdone potato! My family simply loves fried potatoes, and this is so easy and requires less attention while “steaming” after being browned!
I am guessing this is a trick that many have done for years, that some of us are clueless on. 🙂
I looked at all your potato recipes and they all sound good. One question. What kind of potatoes are best for mashed, baked, etc. I enjoy your blog. Thanks for your help. Donna
I think the best and most versatile potato for mashing and baking is a russet. I do like the gold also for mashed and use gold or red for potato salad, but I think russet is the best all purpose type potato.
My favorite way to make fried potatoes is to slice up leftover baked potatoes– they’re already cooked, you just have to heat and crisp them up!
That is how my mom taught me to make them and I agree they work great that way, but when I want fried potatoes, I often don’t have a leftover baked or cooked potato, so this has become my favorite way to cook them. My mom makes her hash browns with cooked potatoes as well and they are really good too.
I tried these last night. I cut my potatoes in chunks to accompany my husband’s request for hash. These are the most delicious potatoes I have ever cooked in a skillet. I left the lid on until all of the liquid had cooked down and then the potatoes browned and crisped so nicely with NO sticking to the pan. They truly were delicious. Thank you so much.
I am so glad that you enjoyed them and that they turned out so well. I will have to try cutting them into chunks instead of slicing them sometime.
My mom used to make hot dogs and fried potatoes for dinner when I was a kid and I loved it. Looking back, I bet it was a cheap dinner for her. She basically used this recipe except adding sliced hot dogs during the last few mins to brown them. It was soo good and filling. She also used to make this spam casserole which I’m sure was cheap but tasted horrible! Lol
Thanks for sharing. I printed the recipe off to try.
I also ordered a copy of the book from half.com
I am looking forward to receiving it.
Lynn, I just wanted to write a word of thanks. I found your recipe for this in an email I think (from you). I printed it and tried it last week. The four other people in my family were begging for more. It was sooo much easier than fried potatoes I’ve made before. I had given up and switched to hashbrowns even though they aren’t as good. Well, thanks to you, fried, or skillet potatoes are back! Thank you so much!!
Wonderful! Who would have known to add water?! I didn’t even think of the green pepper. Thanx for the 2 secret ingredients. I’ll be trying this next time I fry potatoes.
Oh yeah, I’ve always used veggie oil not butter. Not sure which fat I’ll use, but I will post my results.
What temperature for electric skillet?
I do it at about 350, but that might vary with different electric skillets. I think between 325 and 350 is probably about right for most though. I hope that helps and I hope you enjoy them.
Love the recipe. I use this when I make “trail potatoes”. After cooking the potatoes I add cooked smoked sausage and green beans. A big favorite with family and friends. I usually make up about 5# of potatoes and 3-4 pkgs of smoked sausage (turkey is a great alternative) and then 3 cans of french cut green beans. I used to slice all the potatoes by hand and pan fry them. With a mandolin slicer and your recipe it’s a real time saver!!!
I am glad you enjoy it. Thanks for sharing what you do. I love the changes you made.
I always boil my potatoes (whole, peels on) for a bit before I use them for frying. It’s so much easier and there’s less guess work involved. They fry up beautifully. You can boil the potatoes ahead of time, take the peeling off after they’ve cooled a bit, then put in fridge until ready to use. That works well if you want it done ahead of time for a meal later in the week.
These are also good with scrambled eggs added to the fried potatoes. I just use the same pan, scramble the eggs first and then remove them while I fry up the taters, then add the egg back into the pan when nearly time to serve. It’s delicious that way, too!