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microwave madness

For the “end of spring break” brunch yesterday we had home fries, also known as breakfast potatoes, along with our frittata. I generally add diced red bell pepper to my potatoes, but since those were already prominent in the frittata, I left them out this time. Feel free to use 1 diced pepper in your potatoes though, you’ll just add and sauté it along with the onion.

Most recipes for home fries, such as these, call for the potatoes to be boiled first. I’ve found that this leaves the potatoes too water logged and they do not brown as well when later sautéed, so instead I use the microwave to steam them… far better end result! How long to steam them all depends on your own microwave, and you know it best, so use your judgment.

My microwave is, by far, the worst tool in my entire kitchen… as my kids say, “it sucks!”  Every single time they come home, they are shocked to see that it is still here. I do not know why I am so resistant to just go get a new one. I’ve had to purchase several in the last few years for the kids’ dorms and apartments, so why not just get a new one for myself? Maybe I feel I need to have just one thing in my kitchen that isn’t “all that.”  I mean, I am so fortunate to have all the latest and greatest and, in many cases, (because of the cooking school) more than just one of each of those latest and greatest…  Three KitchenAid standing mixers (all the big model); four Cuisinarts, including the new super-duper one; a Vita-Mix and two Waring blenders; more than two dozen silicone spatulas in every shape, size, and color; a dozen whisks… you get the picture. So if I have to suffer with an inferior microwave that literally takes twice the time to cook something, so be it!  I honestly don’t use it that much for actual cooking, more often than not, it is used to melt chocolate and butter or to soften something. Although it did take a full 17 minutes to get these potatoes tender! But if you have a “good” microwave, it may only take 6 or 7 minutes.

Breakfast Potatoes

2 pounds baby potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
1 teaspoon McCormick’s Montreal Chicken seasoning or another seasoning mix of your preference
Minced fresh herbs
(such as thyme, rosemary, sage and oregano)

In a large microwave-safe bowl, toss the potatoes with the olive oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave until potatoes are tender, but not falling apart, 6-10 minutes, depending on the power of your particular microwave. With the plastic in place, toss the bowl to redistribute potatoes, every couple minutes to ensure they cook evenly. Be sure and use hot pads to hold the bowl while tossing, it will get very hot! Carefully remove the plastic wrap (the side away from you) watching out for steam, and drain potatoes thoroughly in a colander that is placed over a bowl.

Melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and seasoning mix and sauté until onion is soft and translucent. Stir in garlic and  then mix in the potatoes; distribute mixture evenly over the pan. Cook undisturbed until golden brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Use a metal spatula to carefully turn over potatoes to ensure even browning. Continue cooking, turn every few minutes until potatoes are well browned all over. Add herbs, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Serves 6 to 8


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4 comments

1 Marissa { 03.22.10 at 4:49 PM }

I’m getting you a new microwave for mother’s day.

2 Linda Hopkins { 03.22.10 at 6:41 PM }

Marissa – Really? … then I won’t have a darn thing to complain about… 🙂

3 Dave Hopkins { 03.23.10 at 4:14 PM }

I suppose that’s better than a pellet gun

4 Linda Hopkins { 03.23.10 at 5:01 PM }

oh yes, the pellet gun for Mother’s Day, that was a good year! Adios pigeons!

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