Below is the list of what you need. I normally use whatever potatoes I just have lying around, but I usually mix types to some degree: white, yellow-flesh, red, etc. Despite the fact that Russet potatoes are normally used for fries, they are not the best ones for this. If you use some good new potatoes, they'll come with a nice soft, creamy texture if you following the cooking times and sizing of the slices:
- 8 small (not mini -- about 2-3" diameter) new potatoes: it's nice to mix a bunch of potato varieties together. I normally mix white, yellow-flesh, and red potatoes. I have used 4 small and 1 medium Russet before, but I prefer new potatoes for this.
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. mild curry powder: use a curry powder that carries very little heat. If you only have a hot curry powder, don't add the dried chili below
- 3/4 tsp. crushed dried red chili
- 4 garlic cloves
First of all, boil enough water (and add about 2 tsp. of salt to the water) for the potatoes and set the oven to preheat to 425F with the cast iron frying pan inside (i.e. preheat the frying pan with the oven). The frying pan should be on a rack in the top part of the oven.
While the water is boiling, wash and cut up the potatoes (don't remove the skins -- they are very nutritious!). Cut the potatoes into pieces that are between 1/2 and 3/4" thick at their thickest part.
Once the water is boiling, get the stove-top frying pan preheating by turning on the element. Put the potato pieces in the water and boil them for 5 minutes.
Peel the garlic cloves and cut them in half. After the potatoes have been boiling for about 3 minutes, put the olive oil in the stovetop frying pan and add the garlic cloves. Toss them and let them sizzle for about 1 minute, and then sprinkle the crushed chili and then the curry powder into the oil abot 30 seconds apart. Make sure the curry powder is dissolved into the oil.
The potatoes should now have been boiling for 5 minutes. Take them off the heat and drain them, and then add them to the stovetop frying pan. Toss them well to coat the potatoes with the oil (the curry powder should have a yellow tint from the turmeric in it, so you should be able to see when the potatoes are coated well).
Sprinkle about 1 tsp. of salt over the potatoes and about 1 tsp. ground pepper. Toss again.
Now dump the contents of the stovetop frying pan into the cast iron frying pan that has been pre-heating in the oven and return it to the oven. Cook in the oven for about 10 minutes and then turn the potatoes with a spatula (or tossing, if you've mastered the art of tossing in a heavy cast iron pan!). Return to the oven and cook for another 8-10 minutes (test for doneness around 8 minutes).
Now, remove the frying pan from the oven and transfer the potatoes to a bowl. Sprinkle with more salt, and add a few splashes of malt vinegar to add some zest!
That's all, and these are better than fries/chips, in my opinion! (and probably healthier)
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