Homefries for 2.5

I wanted to make home-fries for brunch for Father’s Day, because who doesn’t love fried potato products. But they are kind of a pain—standing over a skillet for an hour with a kneebiter (sometimes literally, one of her molars is coming in and we’re still working on getting her to reliably tell us “I need something to bite” before trying out Mommy’s leg) is not my idea of fun. Cook’s Illustrated had a recipe in Jan/Feb 2012 for “Homefries for a Crowd” that seemed like a good place to start, but 3.5# of homefries is *way* more than we could possibly eat before they went bad in the fridge. So I decided to scale down. Also, since I didn’t know exactly what time they’d be served (since the guest of honor was also granted the privilege of sleeping in), I didn’t want to do the final cooking, but I did want to get as far as I could before pausing. CI’s test kitchen also wanted to save time over a skillet, so they parboiled the potatoes in water with a bit of baking soda (to roughen up the outside of the potatoes). This worked beautifully—I used the same amount of water and the same amount of baking soda, so I wouldn’t need to worry about whether my pH was correct. Then, just as CI did, I returned the potatoes to the pan, stirred in some butter and salt and paprika (they used cayenne, but I wanted my Junior Chef to have some) and then, since I don’t have any more regular baking sheets (only rimless ones, since my last jelly roll pan finally retired) put them in a disposable foil roasting pan with a bit of vegetable oil. 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, diced (CI used russets, but I don’t have any)
10 cups water
.5 tsp baking soda

Put the water in a big pot/dutch oven. When it boils, add the baking soda and potatoes, return to a boil and cook 1 minute.
Drain, then put back in the pan and cook off the remaining water (about 2 minutes). Add the butter and a little more than half the salt, and the paprika (or cayenne). Stir for 30s to 1m, until the potatoes are well coated with a starchy layer.

1 large onion, diced
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt, divided between onion and potatoes
.5 to 1 tsp paprika
a little (1 tbsp?) vegetable oil, divided between potatoes and onions

Stir together the onions and the rest of the salt in a bowl with a little oil. Put the rest of the oil in the pan, just enough to coat the bottom. Put the potatoes in the pan and wait until 40m before you want to eat.

Preheat oven to 500F
Roast potatoes 15 minutes. Then take them out, stir them up and make a spot in the middle of the baking sheet for the onion.
Put all the onion in a pile and roast another 5-15m (Mine were starting to burn after 5). Then stir everything together and roast another 5-10 minutes, until it’s all golden-brown. Serve immediately!


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