This recipe, like most of my recipes, is based on having a good extra-virgin olive oil, and fresh ingredients.  Another thing many of my recipes have in common is that they don’t feature too many ingredients.  This one, for example, just has the following ingredients:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil – You will need enough for about an inch of oil in the pan you use
  • Yukon potatoes, scrubbed and with the skin on: about 1 – 2 potatoes per person
  • A sprig or two of fresh rosemary
  • Sea salt

We grow our rosemary in pots so that we can clip off springs whenever we need them.  But, if you need to buy the herb packets from your supermarket, keep in mind that you can freeze whatever you don’t use.  The color may get a little dark if the sprig has been in the freezer for a while, but it retains its fresh flavor when you use it later.

You need a pan that can handle a lot of heat, and depth which allows the potato slices to stay under the oil in a single layer when cooking.  We love using the old-fashioned cast-iron skillets for this, but you can also use any pan designed for high heat which distributes heat evenly.

This recipe is fun to cook when your guests are keeping you company in the kitchen.  Because I’m Italian, I like serving this dish as an appetizer because it’s best when the potatoes have come right out of the skillet.  But, you can also serve it at the same time you dish up an entree, such as lamb chops or steak.

Preparation:

  1. Slice the potatoes into thick strips, each one about 1 to 1 and 1/4 inches thick
  2. Pour enough olive oil into your skillet/pan to to cover the potatoes.  This means you may use close to a bottle of olive oil, but don’t worry — you can save the oil to re-use for this recipe another time.  
  3. Heat the oil moderately high, but not enough to bubble or fry.
  4. When the oil has gotten moderately hot, carefully place the potato slices and rosemary sprigs into the skillet, arranging them in a single layer.  There should be enough oil to cover the slices.
  5. Cook the potatoes at moderate heat for 15 minutes, moving them gently in the skillet.
  6. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes from the skillet and place them on a layer of paper towels.
  7. While the potatoes drain on the paper towels for 2-3 minutes, bring the heat up in the skillet to high heat.
  8. Carefully add the potatoes to the very hot oil.  Allow them to cook for another 10 minutes, moving them gently to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom.
  9. After 10 minutes, the potatoes should be a golden color.  Take one out and let it cool enough to taste it.  If you judge that it’s ready, remove the rest of the potatoes with your slotted spoon (or tong) and put them on a serving plate that has been lined with paper towels.  
  10. Sprinkle the potatoes with sea salt to taste.  We’ve been using Hawaiian black sea salt to finish dishes, and we love the color and flavor, but any salt will do.  
  11. Serve immediately.

Image credit: http://www.cbc.ca/inthekitchen/2013/01/thick-cut-fries.html