When I was younger, I knew it was going to be a great supper if I saw my mom’s electric skillet sitting out on the counter.
That meant we were having fried potatoes as our side dish for dinner. I can still smell them cooking when I think about that skillet. It was one of my favorite things.
Mom would cut Russet potatoes into about quarter-inch rounds and add them with oil, garlic salt and pepper into the electric skillet.
They always came out creamy and delicious—especially if you got one of the crispy potatoes that was just a bit thinner than the others.
Now I’m making myself hungry.
Well, in the spirit of my Mom’s tried and true potato recipe, I decided to try one that’s extremely similar but adds Italian frying potatoes (or whatever long, mild green pepper you can find) into the mix. I wouldn’t recommend bell peppers for this, but if that’s all you can find, go for it.
I found this recipe on a blog with a fantastic name, “Panning the Globe.” You can find the post at www.panningtheglobe.com/2016/11/02/italian-fried-potatoes-peppers/. I added more seasoning to my version.
Italian Fried Potatoes and Peppers
- about 1/2 cup canola oil
- 5 large Russet potatoes
- 4 long mild green peppers (I used Anaheim)
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or to taste
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon onion powder or to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- Slice your potatoes into rounds as thinly as possible or no bigger than one-quarter inch. If you have a mandolin slicer, this would be a good time to pull it out. Slice the peppers into one-by-one-inch strips and remove the seeds.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet with a lid over medium-high heat. (It may feel like a lot of oil in the pan, but the potatoes will soak it up as they cook. You’ll want somewhere around 1/4-inch of oil in the bottom, but if you want to use less and just keep an eye on it, go for it.)
- Once the oil is hot but not smoking, add the potatoes and seasoning into the pan and stir to coat the potatoes.
- Don’t stir them again for another three to five minutes—letting the bottom get nice and browned with the lid on the pan.
- Add the peppers into the pan, and flip the pan’s contents so the browned potatoes end up on top.
- Put the lid back on and let things set for another three to five minutes. Repeat that process until your potatoes are all either crispy or nice and fork tender.
- Add more seasoning to taste.
I didn’t peel my potatoes for this, but if you’re not really into potato skins, you’ll probably want to. They’ll mostly separate from the potatoes into long strips in the mix.
These potatoes also reheated really well, which was good, because it made tons and tons of food. It certainly wasn’t my healthiest week of lunches to take to work, but I tried to rationalize the fact that I was also taking meatless lunches made it better somehow.
You might want to decrease the number of potatoes and peppers if you’re not planning on feeding a small army, though.
The only disappointing part of this recipe is that this was definitely not as good as my mom’s. I may have to sweet talk her into firing up that electric skillet again sometime soon.
This piece first appeared in print on March 8, 2018.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas and sponsored by Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton, Kan. Visit their website at shopmainstco.com.