We are breakfast people on the weekends.
Breakfast is simple and easy on weekdays, but on the weekends, my husband is around! Wohoooo! He is the master at a full service breakfast! He is an early riser, even on the weekends and I often wake up to yummy smells, or him having already gone to the grocery and cooked breakfast. I'm kind of spoiled when it comes to breakfast in bed, or just breakfast waiting for me downstairs. My kids sometime beat me to the punch of making breakfast too!
But now that I've revealed how utterly lazy I am, let me redeem myself and say that I love to cook a good breakfast on occasion too. It's just that it will be called brunch by the time I get organized.
I recently cooked up breakfast for some friends and got asked how I made my potatoes. It's not really a recipe and it's almost too easy to even talk about. But I thought I'd share a few tricks (cast iron and fresh herbs) that make this side dish shine!
I like to use baby red potatoes. In this instance, I used this bag which was plenty for my family of 5.
Each little baby red is cut into 4... or 6 pieces, depending on the size.
It's important to cut them it into similar sized chunks so they cook at the same rate.
Then I put that in cold water and boil it on the stove until they are fork tender. Not fall apart tender, or they will be a mess of mush when you toss them in the pan. (*add some salt to the water after it has heated up a bit). This took about 15 minutes for me, but times will vary with different stoves and pots.
Fresh herbs were just meant to be married to potatoes. Really any way we cook potatoes, it is not complete without herbs. If you're already an herb lover, just use your favorites. There are no rules here. These three are just suggestions: thyme, rosemary and flat leaf parsley.
(If you added sage, you could write a song about it. Haha, I'm hilarious. And old. Because I like Simon and Garfunkel.)
Pull the herbs off the stem and then chop them up, pretty fine.
A cast iron skillet is important here. If you don't have one, you need one. They aren't too expensive and you will use it for a million things. They get hotter and hold heat differently than any other pan.
Let your skillet get hot, then add a generous amount of olive oil, like 4 Tablespoons-ish. Toss the (boiled and drained) potatoes in. Now add a generous amount of salt and pepper. I prefer kosher salt or sea salt as opposed to table salt, but whatever you decide... Now thrown on the herbs.
Then you toss them all around until all the potatoes have gotten a light coating of oil and seasoning. Now toss one in your mouth and check for seasoning levels. Need more salt? More pepper? More herbs? Okay now they are seasoned and still cooking and we're going to add a few pats of butter on top. Let the steam melt it as you gently toss. The butter adds a wonderful flavor, but if you put it in the pan too early, it will burn. *you can adjust the amounts of oil and butter to make them healthier. Just add enough to make them not stick to the pan!
A lot of this is just personal preference, but I like them to get some good crusty areas. If you let them cook on the hot cast iron in between tosses, you'll get a perfectly golden crust on your edges. Find your balance between golden and blackened. This skill is also essential when toasting marshmallows.
In a perfect world they are tender, but not falling apart, have golden edges, but not burned, and of course, perfectly seasoned. There are some mornings, when my world IS perfect in this way.
So it's as simple as that! Just baby reds, olive oil, butter, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs!
I somehow just wrote a long post on something I just summarized in a sentence!
Oh well, you say potato, I say potato. However I describe it, these are TASTY!
For a few more breakfast (okay, brunch) ideas see:
buttermilk pancakes with blueberry syrup
stuffed french toast
homemade yogurt parfaits