Twice Sautéed, Twice Salted Crispy Potatoes
How to make the crispiest sautéed potatoes
These sautéed crispy potatoes are one of my favorite things to cook and eat. They are just the crispiest yet softer sautéed potatoes because they are first steamed on medium heat in olive oil, which make the potatoes tender on the inside. Then the heat goes up and this helps creating the crispiest golden skin you could ever imagine. They are creamy and decadent. Do you ever though you will be talking about potatoes the same way you talk about ice cream? After you make these, you definitely will!
I was still in high school when I tasted the most amazing plate of potatoes. They were beyond potato fries. They were creamy, tasty and extremely flavorful! I was in a school friend’s house and after tasting these potatoes her mother made for us as a snack, I got curious about how she made them. Her mother was from Spain and she told me in the most obvious way that those were the potatoes you make for Tortilla Española (Spanish Tortilla) which are basically boiled in olive oil on low heat. And have all the sea salt of the seas. Trust me, those potatoes have traveled in my mind with me for a very long time.
Fast forward a to some years after (who’s counting?) and for some reason, after my fair share of bland and cardboard like sautéed potatoes for breakfast, I decided to build up on that technique that was the base for one of the most amazing tings I ever ate. That’s how I came with the concept of starting to cook the potatoes in low heat. The steam from the potatoes’ water and the olive oil will tenderize them and will make them release their starch. So no need to add flour or cornstarch to make them crispy. Its own starch will then make them crispy when its exposed to higher heat during the second part of cooking, creating that wonderful crispy texture and deep golden color. Sorry, just a bit of cooking science here : )
Everyone raves around these every time I make them. People really love them. It’s one of my favorite breakfasts with a soft poached egg on top. And I’m not going to lie or be a snob, I eat them with ketchup. Don’t get me wrong, they are wonderful on their own, but delicious fried potatoes still go with ketchup for me. I have also made them to eat with shrimp, fish or filets. They are simply amazing!!
1. This recipe is somehow like making a risotto; you need to keep an eye on the potatoes for almost the whole cooking time. But the only thing you need to do is to move the potatoes around.
2. During the first 10 minutes you can get away with moving them frequently, that means you can leave them for 40 to 60 seconds alone every couple of minutes if you need to. During the second round though you’ll need to be more hands on and move them almost constantly. You can still leave them alone but for less time and less occasions, but fully keep and eye on them during those last 5 minutes.
3. During the second round of cooking you’ll see that cluster of potatoes will start to form. That’s completely normal because they are still moist and releasing lots of starch. Gently broke them with the corner of your spatula. Eventually, when they are almost fully cooked, clusters will stop from forming.
4. Herbs-de-Provance is completely optional, but probably is because all the olive oil that they go so perfect with these. You can also add some chopped onions and peppers and sautéed for the last 2 minutes with the potatoes.
5. This recipe really benefits from being made in a non-stick skillet.
Twice Sautéed, Twice Salted Crispy Potatoes
Baking potatoes, cubed – 1 or 2 medium to large potatoes
Olive oil – ¼ cup
Fine sea salt – ¼ Tsp, divided
Herb-de-Provance (optional) – A good pinch or up to ¼ Tsp
French grey salt granules and/or freshly ground pepper to serve (optional)
Makes 1 to 2 medium baking potatoes
Total and active time - 25 minutes Cooking time - 20 minutes
Equipment - Large non-stick skillet, silicon spatula
Place the cubed potatoes in a medium to large non-stick skillet (+10”). Pour over the olive oil and sprinkle half of the salt (you may use a bit more if cooking two potatoes, but not more olive oil). Turn on your burner in medium heat (level 5 in an electric stove) and cook for 10 minutes, moving frequently with a silicon spatula to make sure all the sides of the potato pieces touch the bottom of the skillet (see notes). You may need to add and extra minute if cooking two potatoes. You should hear the potatoes starting to sizzle at the end of the 10 minutes.
Increase heat to medium high (between level 7-8 in an electric stove) and cook for 10 to 12 minutes. This time move them around almost constantly (see notes). Stop moving only for a few seconds to allow the side of the potatoes touching the bottom of the skillet get crispy and golden and then keep moving. Remember to gently break any big clusters of potatoes from forming. This will stop from happening after they are almost fully cooked (see notes).
Sprinkle the herb-de-provance (you may use rosemary or thyme as well) and the fresh pepper during the last minute of cooking, if using. Serve immediately.