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RECIPE: Fried Potatoes From the Affton Diner

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SR Affton Diner home fries for publication July 28, 2021

The hash browns and home fries at Affton Diner have long been a customer favorite. Cooked in butter and browned to perfection, they’re both crispy and nicely soft. Photo by Pat Eby

Yield: 4 servings

1 ½ pounds medium-sized Idaho russet potatoes (about 2 inches in diameter)

Water to cover

3 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Notes: Start this recipe the day before you want to eat it.

• Be sure to use Idaho russet potatoes for best results for this dish.

• The potatoes are steamed, not covered in water and boiled.

• It is very important to peel the potatoes while they are still hot. The skin actually peels off.

• He cooks these potatoes on a flat top grill at the diner to get the beautiful browning. For the test at home, we used a well-seasoned cast iron skillet.

• For the test, we chose to clarified butter. It is not a requirement. When butter is clarified, all the milk solids and water are removed and only the butterfat remains. It has a higher smoke point, which makes it good to use over high heat. Directions to make clarified butter are readily available online.

• If more water is needed for steaming, add boiling water, not cold water.

• Add salt to taste at the table only. Chef Aka does not use any in the cooking process.

1. Wash potatoes under cold running water. Don’t peel them.

2. Add the unpeeled potatoes to a 3-quart pot with a lid.

3. Place potatoes in the pot and add cold water to the depth of 1 inch.

4. Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and steam the potatoes, checking for doneness at 40 minutes by sticking a toothpick in the center of the potato. When the toothpick slides through the potato with ease, they are done. Test for doneness every 10 minutes.

5. Remove from the heat and drain the water, and pull the skins from the potatoes while they are still hot. Use a sharp paring knife to break the skin, then pull the thin skins off in strips. Don’t pull away the potato flesh. We used a clean potholder to hold the hot potatoes while executing this step.

6. Cool, then chill the potatoes overnight in the refrigerator.

7. The following day, grate the potatoes by hand with a large hole grater for hash browns, or slice them into rounds with a sharp knife for American home fries. Some of them will fall apart, but it’s OK.

8. Preheat the skillet. Add the butter and heat over medium-high heat until a drop of water skitters on the surface. Add the potatoes and distribute evenly around the skillet. Allow the potatoes to develop a browned crust, then turn them and heat through.

9. Turn out on a warmed plate. Serve with eggs and meats for breakfast or with sandwiches or entrees for lunch or dinner.

Per serving: 211 calories; 9g fat; 5g saturated fat; 23mg cholesterol; 4g protein; 31g carbohydrate; 1g sugar; 2g fiber; 10mg sodium; 25mg calcium

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