Updated: Jul 26, 2021
Easy to grow, easy to cook, delicious to eat. Fried potatoes and onions are a staple here in the South. Pairs well with just about anything. It's the 'go to' when times are hard because it's readily available and fairly affordable.
Fried potatoes and onions are one of those dishes that takes me back to my childhood. Every single time I peel a potato, I can hear my Grandmother giving me advice on how to work the knife. As soon as they start to sizzle, I am transported back to my home where I grew up. Where I could be found lying on the sofa watching M*A*S*H while my Mom was busy at the stove cooking up some delicious fried potatoes and onions. Waiting patiently and growing hungrier by the minute as the aroma filled the air. The kind of smell that brings hungry men in from the fields as my Dad and brother would wander in and wash up for supper.
Is it a healthy food choice?
No, not exactly. Potatoes are rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Which, I believe is found in the skins. Don't quote me on that, I'm not a doctor or a health expert. Potatoes are a starch, which is a carbohydrate. Frying them in oil and butter, or bacon grease without their skins...well, you can't expect this to be a heart-healthy meal choice. The onions though, are good for you. They also have antioxidants, and are anti-inflammatory. They are beneficial in boosting heart health.
Fried potatoes and onions are not something you want to cook every day or gorge yourself on. Everything in moderation. Get plenty of exercise and if you eat healthy most of the time, cooking these up now and then is not going to be a bad thing.
My Mom can cook them to perfection. My Grandmother's always came out softer and lighter. This tells me she cooked them slow and low. I cook them like my Mother, nice round slices, firm, and browned. Some people use bacon grease instead of oil and butter. Everyone is different. Basically, all you need is a skillet, some type of oil, a heat source, and the vegetables.
Potatoes - (any potato will do but large russets are my preferred choice for frying)
Salt & Pepper
Scrub and peel the potatoes. If you scrub them well, you may want to leave the skins on. Either way is fine, the skins are edible. Typically, I use four large russet potatoes. Slice them up nice and thin, but not too flimsy. Too thin and they won't hold together well and too thick, they'll take too long to cook.
Wash and peel the onions, I use one or two, depending on the size. Cut the root off. How you slice the onion will alter the flavor. For fried potatoes, I slice them side-ways to make rings.
Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick skillet on medium heat. Any skillet will do, you may prefer cast iron. I like my non-stick style for this because clean-up is easier. I also add four to five tablespoons of real salted butter to the skillet. The butter will not only add flavor, but will also help the potatoes brown-up nicely.
Add the potatoes and onions to the skillet. Add a little salt, pepper, and thyme. Thyme is the only thing I add that is different from my Mom or anyone else's recipe. It's something I just started doing on my own because I love the flavor it adds. You can season them however you like, some people add garlic, or even seasoned salt. No rules here. My boyfriend has high blood pressure, so I tend to use less salt and more pepper and thyme.
Allow them to brown on the bottom before flipping them over. Once you turn them, season the other side. Total cooking time is about ten minutes, give or take.
The sound of happiness
I cooked these up to go with some soup beans and cornbread. You can find those recipes here https://www.farmshedblog.com/post/beans~n~cornbread . I had sorted my beans the night before and allowed them to soak overnight. Usually, I expect to find three to four rocks. I was amazed to find a record fourteen rocks in the bag. So, always check them thoroughly! My beans cooked up nicely in the crockpot and were ready to serve while the potatoes were cooking. While the potatoes were frying, I whipped up some cornbread. My Aunt gave me a head of cabbage from her garden so I decided to make some slaw. You can find that recipe here https://www.farmshedblog.com/post/northern-exposure-~-coleslaw-philly-steak-n-cheese-eggrolls . Slaw is a great addition to beans, cornbread, and fried potatoes with onions.
How do you like your beans? My boyfriend prefers them in a bowl with lots of soup and his cornbread buttered on the side. I prefer to crumble my cornbread and cover with my beans.
Now that's a meal! You can have fried potatoes and onions with just about any meal. Even breakfast! For hash brown style, just shred the potatoes and onions instead of slicing them. Maybe you just want them alone with a slice of white bread, or maybe a chopped steak. Go for it! Tasty, down home goodness.
Thanks for reading and have a blessed day!