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Old 11-25-2014, 11:19 PM   #11
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I was thinking of one of those Veg-O-Matic things, but I don't know if they work. Half the reviews say they're junk, half say they're great.

I got one of those Vidalia chopper things a few years back, and it is AWESOME. The only problem is it chops too small for the taters. Works great on peppers, onions, and celery, etc.
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Old 11-26-2014, 06:52 AM   #12
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What they are called depends on what part of country you are in. They ARE called home fries in the south, not cottage fries. We've had this discussion previously about where they supposedly originated, the names, and the various shapes. Just depends on where you are located what they are called and/or shaped.

I learned to cook them from my mom, grandmom. They used a little more than enough oil to cover bottom of pan, but certainly not halfway up, as you don't want a lot of oil left in pan but you don't want to end up dry frying them either as they will stick then. I also use a mandolin now to cut the potatoes. You get even slices and it's also a lot faster than cutting them by hand but work with what you have. I start out with the stove on about medium high to heat the oil and right when potatoes first go in with S and P, then lower to about half way between medium and medium-high to cook. I usually cover for the first 10 minutes or so to get the potatoes soft, turning once after 5 minutes or so. Then I take the top off and add the onions, sliced or chopped, your choice, and cook 10-15 minutes more, turning occasionally until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy and the onions are cooked.

If they are made with breakfast, my family always cooked the bacon first and then used the bacon grease plus oil to fry the potatoes. Your mom may have done that and then broke up some bacon to put in the potatoes.
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Old 11-26-2014, 07:13 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medtran49 View Post
I start out with the stove on about medium high to heat the oil and right when potatoes first go in with S and P, then lower to about half way between medium and medium-high to cook. I usually cover for the first 10 minutes or so to get the potatoes soft, turning once after 5 minutes or so. Then I take the top off and add the onions, sliced or chopped, your choice, and cook 10-15 minutes more, turning occasionally until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy and the onions are cooked.

If they are made with breakfast, my family always cooked the bacon first and then used the bacon grease plus oil to fry the potatoes. Your mom may have done that and then broke up some bacon to put in the potatoes.
Exactly how I do my home fries.
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Old 11-26-2014, 07:32 AM   #14
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I am scared to death of those things. I'm a poker dealer, and a good cut or slice on either hand leaves me unable to work.
Most, if not all, full-size mandolins come with a hand guard. Using it leaves you with some wastage but if it's a necessity then oh well. The key to using a mandolin though without the hand guard is PAYING ATTENTION to what you are doing. I've only cut myself once when using the big one (stainless steel, that we purchased probably close to 20 years ago, was made in France) and that's because I got distracted and wasn't paying full attention to what I was doing.

The other person in the household pretty much isn't allowed to use the metal mandolin anymore because he is too easily distracted, especially if there's a football game going on.

We also have a little handheld Kyocera ceramic blade mandolin. It's nice for quick uses like slicing cucumbers or red onions for salads, even has stood in for a truffle shaver on occasion as it has 4 settings from paper thin to 3 mm.

Using the mandolin is so much easier and faster when you have a lot to slice. I'd hate to have to go back to slicing potatoes by hand for home fries.
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Old 11-26-2014, 10:28 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by medtran49 View Post
Most, if not all, full-size mandolins come with a hand guard. Using it leaves you with some wastage but if it's a necessity then oh well. The key to using a mandolin though without the hand guard is PAYING ATTENTION to what you are doing. I've only cut myself once when using the big one (stainless steel, that we purchased probably close to 20 years ago, was made in France) and that's because I got distracted and wasn't paying full attention to what I was doing.

The other person in the household pretty much isn't allowed to use the metal mandolin anymore because he is too easily distracted, especially if there's a football game going on.

We also have a little handheld Kyocera ceramic blade mandolin. It's nice for quick uses like slicing cucumbers or red onions for salads, even has stood in for a truffle shaver on occasion as it has 4 settings from paper thin to 3 mm.

Using the mandolin is so much easier and faster when you have a lot to slice. I'd hate to have to go back to slicing potatoes by hand for home fries.
Thanks for the information. I searched the Kyocera mandoline, and found this from Cook's Illustrated:

The Kyocera did well, but the Swissmar Borner was the top choice, and it just looks more substantial and safer to me.

Amazon.com: Swissmar Borner V-1001 V-Slicer Plus Mandoline: Kitchen & Dining

Thanks for your help!
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Old 11-26-2014, 10:38 AM   #16
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I've had the Swissmar for years. Honestly, I bought it based on price, not ATK rating.

For a tool that doesn't get used a lot, it's great and inexpensive.
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Old 11-26-2014, 10:40 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by medtran49 View Post
What they are called depends on what part of country you are in. They ARE called home fries in the south, not cottage fries. We've had this discussion previously about where they supposedly originated, the names, and the various shapes. Just depends on where you are located what they are called and/or shaped.

I learned to cook them from my mom, grandmom. They used a little more than enough oil to cover bottom of pan, but certainly not halfway up, as you don't want a lot of oil left in pan but you don't want to end up dry frying them either as they will stick then. I also use a mandolin now to cut the potatoes. You get even slices and it's also a lot faster than cutting them by hand but work with what you have. I start out with the stove on about medium high to heat the oil and right when potatoes first go in with S and P, then lower to about half way between medium and medium-high to cook. I usually cover for the first 10 minutes or so to get the potatoes soft, turning once after 5 minutes or so. Then I take the top off and add the onions, sliced or chopped, your choice, and cook 10-15 minutes more, turning occasionally until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy and the onions are cooked.

If they are made with breakfast, my family always cooked the bacon first and then used the bacon grease plus oil to fry the potatoes. Your mom may have done that and then broke up some bacon to put in the potatoes.
OK, so I made some last night, using this recipe. I cooked the potatoes by their recipe, then threw the peppers and onions in the leftover oil to saute'. It was very good, but the recipe calls for a cup plus a teaspoon of canola oil, and I'm not crazy about using so much oil.

I'm going to take another swing at it today, using your recipe, but I have a few questions.

First, since you're not cooking on high heat, is it OK to use a non-stick pan?

Second, also since you're not cooking on high heat, is it OK to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil, instead of canola oil?

Thanks
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Old 11-26-2014, 11:01 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I've had the Swissmar for years. Honestly, I bought it based on price, not ATK rating.

For a tool that doesn't get used a lot, it's great and inexpensive.
I have that one, too. Love it.
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Old 11-26-2014, 11:06 AM   #19
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First, since you're not cooking on high heat, is it OK to use a non-stick pan?

Second, also since you're not cooking on high heat, is it OK to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil, instead of canola oil?
If you use a non-stick pan, it will be more difficult to get the crispy crust you want. In a stainless-steel pan, food will initially stick and then release when it's time to turn it.

You can use evoo but any heat changes the flavor so I wouldn't use an expensive one where you want the flavor of the oil to be apparent. Bacon fat would be delicious, though
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Old 11-26-2014, 11:40 AM   #20
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G-mom used a cast iron. Mom used nonstick. I used to use nonstick but have begun to gravitate more and more toward SS pans as you get better crusts on things like GG notes. Things do stick until they are ready to be turned. It's just a matter of patience and practice learning to use the SS pans, but worth it IMO. Same with the cast iron. My DH likes to cook with cast iron. I do too for the most part, it's just the weight that's the issue for me.

I personally wouldn't use EVOO or any olive oil for pan fried potatoes, just my quirk and I like them how they were done from my childhood. Mom and G-mom used bacon fat, lard, Crisco or vege oil, or any combination thereof. I do, however, use olive oil for my oven roasted potatoes, which are large chunks, partially cooked via steaming, dumped out on p.towels to dry a bit, S and P and lots of oil, then roasted on a foiled sheet pan at 375 until nice and browned and crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside, turning occasionally, usually about 30-45 minutes depending on size of chunks.
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