These are the most delicious fried potatoes ever. Parts are crisp and brown, other parts are tender and creamy. The peppers add beautiful flavor. Don’t put these on the table until you’re ready to see them disappear!I’m excited to partner with The Idaho Potato Commission to bring you this recipe.
When you taste the ultimate fried potatoes, you never forget them. My friend Tullia served these to me years ago at a dinner party. They are everything fried potatoes should be – rustic, with brown crispy crunchy parts and soft white creamy parts. The peppers are a beautiful fresh sweet counterpart to the hearty potatoes.
I’ve been after Tullia’s Italian fried potato recipe for years. It’s not that she was holding back on me. It’s just that, like with many recipes handed down through the generations, there is no recipe. You have to be in the kitchen with the cook, and watch and learn. Happily, a few weeks ago Tullia came over to my house and showed me how to make her amazing crispy Italian fried potatoes and peppers.
You learn fun things about your friends when you cook with them. I always knew Tullia was a fabulous cook, but I never knew about her superhuman knife skills. Tullia cuts everything by hand with the speed and accuracy of a machine. She doesn’t use a peeler to skin potatoes. Just a knife. And she hand slices like a human mandolin. I watched her cut five potatoes into paper-thin slices…holding them in her hand (no cutting board)….and it took her about 5 minutes.
Here’s how to make Tullia’s Italian Crispy Fried Potatoes and Peppers:
All you need for this dish is russet potatoes, Italian frying peppers, oil, and salt.
Peel the potatoes and slice them thinly. Unless you have mad slicing skills like Tullia, I suggest you use a mandolin or, even better, a food processor. Cut the peppers into 2-inch pieces.
Heat oil in a heavy skillet over high heat. Add the potatoes and toss to coat them with oil. Let the potatoes fry, undisturbed, for a few minutes, until they get crisp and brown on the bottom. Throw in the peppers and season with some salt.
Toss the potatoes and peppers and leave them to brown some more. Keep going like this until you have a good ratio of brown crunchy parts to white creamy parts. Season with salt and eat immediately.
Tullia is famous in our neighborhood for her amazing Italian home cooking. She learned from her Calabrese mother. Tullia’s mom mostly made these fried potatoes for dinner, but also for breakfast and lunch. Sometimes Tullia’s mom would wake up at 5am to cook up a fresh batch of fried potatoes and peppers. She’d stuff them into a big soft baguette to pack for her husband’s lunch. He was a landscaper and started his day early. Tullia told me: “Dad got it for a sandwich but it had to be freshly made. No using leftovers.”
Tullia emphasized many times that this dish should be cooked and served immediately. When I asked if it could be reheated, Tullia said: “No, but it doesn’t matter. It’s one of those dishes you just put down and it’s gone.”
This post is part of a special week-long potato recipe event called #PotatoPalooza. I’m collaborating with two talented food bloggers – Elizabeth at Bowl of Delicious and Maggie at Omnivore’s Cookbook – to share 15 fabulous potato recipes for the holidays. A big “Thank You!” to The Idaho Potato Commission for sponsoring #PotatoPalooza!
Be sure to visit my #PotatoPalooza co-collaborators’ blogs. Here’s what they’re featuring today:
Here’s the recipe for Crispy Italian Fried Potatoes and Peppers. If you make these, I hope you’ll come back to leave a review and let me know how they turned out.
- ½ to ¾ cup canola oil (or enough oil to come up to about ¼ inch in your skillet)
- 5 large Idaho russet potatoes
- 4 long Italian green peppers (also called Italian frying peppers or Cubanelle peppers) ribs and seeds removed, cut into 1-inch by 2-inch pieces.
- Kosher salt or Sea Salt, to taste (My favorite is Malden sea salt)
- Recommended Equipment: A mandolin or food processor with the slicing blade attachment; a large (12") heavy cast iron skillet
- Fill a large bowl halfway with cold water. Peel the potatoes and place them in the water as you go, to prevent discoloration.
- Slice the potatoes thinly (1/8-1/4 inch thick) and place slices in the bowl of water, as you go. I recommend using a mandolin or a food processor with the slicing blade attachment.
- Lay an absorbent dish towel on the counter and have another one or two handy. Drain the sliced potato in a mesh strainer and dump them onto a towel. Pat and blot them dry. They will brown better if you get them nice and dry.
- Heat oil in a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat, until hot but not smoking. Add the potato slices and immediately toss them until they're all coated with oil. Let the potatoes cook, undisturbed, for 3-5 minutes, or until the bottom pieces look brown around the edges. Mound the peppers on top and add a pinch or two of salt. Flip the potatoes over with a spatula, so some raw potatoes and peppers are on the bottom of the skillet. Leave them undisturbed for another 3-5 minutes, until they are nice and brown. Continue to brown and toss potatoes for 5-10 minutes longer, until about half of them are crisp and brown and the rest are soft and creamy.
- Serve hot. Season, to taste, with salt.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by The Idaho Potato Commission. I only share with you brands and products that I love and I only express my own opinions.