Fried Potatoes were a staple in my house growing up. Potatoes in general you could say. There were baked potatoes, Taco-Stuffed Baked Potatoes, steamed potatoes, mashed potatoes, oven-roasted potatoes. Potatoes were in soups, stews, and salads. Potatoes, potatoes, potatoes. Now say that one seven times quickly.
We didn’t have a ton of money, but my mom was a wizard at stretching every dollar. This was before the days of Safeway cards and Albertsons accounts, so coupon days were a great thing in our household. My mom kept track of coupons as meticulously as she did her checkbook.
As the youngest, I was her grocery-shopping partner, co-pilot and often the lucky recipient of a shared baguette, fresh from the baker’s oven. I tangent here to tell you, my mom and I could polish off a warm baguette in one trip through the grocery store. Despite her amazing efforts to keep our family in budget, my mom still found ways to turn an everyday task into a fun activity. We would roll through aisles covered in crumbs and laughing. Though I know now my mom had a million different concerns, such as which kid was she supposed to pick up next, and were they at baseball, basketball, swimming, or soccer? Were these cans of corn cheaper then the ones at Costco? How could she find the extra money to buy the required TN-88 calculator my brother needed for math class? Even if all these things mattered right then, I didn’t know. It was just Mom and me, biting through the crisp crust, and into the warm, soft layers of risen and baked dough.
I’ll venture back to potatoes now to remind you, they are incredibly cheap! On top of being affordable, they last a long time. Compared to fruits and most vegetables, potatoes can go and go and go. This is because they are a root vegetable. Simply store them in a cool, dark and dry place and you’ll have them for a while (this isn’t to say forever though, just a reminder).
On a whole different note, potatoes are a lot like eggs. They work with nearly any flavor. From Mexican, to Italian, all the way to Greek where I am today, potatoes provide the perfect starchy vehicle to bring all these wonderful flavors to your lips.
There was some mint left from the Grilled Watermelon and so I put it to good use. Adding just a touch of feta makes these otherwise inexpensive ingredients sing like a million bucks. Yes, feta can be pricy. However, if you buy it in bulk at Costco or the Grocery Outlet, you can get a great deal and it lasts a long time.
4 TBS olive oil (plus more as needed)
4 medium russet potatoes, baked, cubed
1 red onion, chopped
salt and pepper
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
¼ cup feta, crumbled
3 TBS mint
Heat olive oil in a large fry pan. Season potatoes with salt and pepper and then sauté on medium high heat until they begin to brown.
Note: I like my potatoes on the crispy side, so I cook them longer. If you’re like my mom and like them less done, just don’t cook them as long.
Season onions with salt and pepper and add to potatoes. If pan is dry add another TBS of olive oil. Sauté until onions are tender. Add bell pepper and sauté briefly.
Note: You don’t want to cook the pepper until it’s soft. The texture and brightness of flavor when it’s just warmed is perfect.
Add lemon zest and juice to pan. Sauté until liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and toss with feta.
Serve and top with mint.Recipe in print-friendly format