Years ago, long before my husband and I were parents, we liked taking vacations in New York. We’d go shopping, watch plays on Broadway, visit museums, eat pizza for lunch and have dinner at fabulous restaurants. We enjoyed the salmon at Aquagrill, pasta at Puglia and fried potatoes at Peter Luger Steakhouse in Brooklyn.
Yes, you read that right. Peter Lugers, the steakhouse known for being one of the best steakhouses in the world (rated the #1 New York steakhouse by Zagats for the past 30 years) served us the absolute BEST fried potatoes I had ever tasted. They were crispy, full of onion flavor with just a hint of spice, and had the perfect amount of salt. And I couldn’t get enough of them. Even now, years later, my mouth still waters when I think of those potatoes. They were that incredible.
They were so good that for years, I’ve been trying to duplicate the recipe. And for years, I’ve never been able to get them just right. Until now. Now I have finally come up with the recipe and the technique for making the best fried potatoes. And, I’m going to share it with you.
The Best Fried Potatoes
4 large russet potatoes
1/2 small onion, diced
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1/2 inch cubes, placing the cut potatoes in a large bowl of cold water as you go. (I also add a teaspoon of sugar to the water – it helps draw out the starch and makes the potatoes even crispier).
Combine the oil and the butter in a large frying pan (I recommend using a teflon coated pan, if you have one, to keep the potatoes from sticking when cooking).
Stirring frequently, cook the onions for 3-4 minutes, or until softened.
After the onions are cooked remove them using a slotted spoon, and place them in a small bowl. (We’ll be adding them back in the pan when the potatoes have almost finished cooking).
Add the butter and the potatoes, and give the potatoes a quick stir, covering all sides with oil.
Cook the potatoes for 6-7 minutes without stirring or flipping them. (Potatoes won’t get crispy if you’re constantly moving them around!).
Give them a stir and cook for another 6-7 minutes.
Add back the onions along with the paprika, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and cook a few minutes longer, until the potatoes have reached the desired crispiness.
When done, use a slotted spoon to serve the potatoes (that way you can drain some of the oil off of them when serving.)
Some people prefer to drain their potatoes on paper towels before serving. Personally, I don’t do this because the steam from the hot potatoes gets trapped between the potatoes and the towel and causes them to lose their crispiness fast. And I want my potatoes as crispy as possible.