Improvised Breakfast Potatoes

First, a lesson.

This is why we use spoon rests instead of letting the spatula rest on the side of the very hot frying pan:

Alternately, this is why we have more than one spatula. Just sayin’. I was probably due for a kitchen accident, anyhow. I’ve been much too careful lately.

On to the potatoes!

My roommate just had her 24th birthday (happy birthday, roommate!), so we went out for birthday brunch at a fine Chicago brunch-ery called Toast Two. I fell in love with their breakfast potatoes, and vowed to replicate them at home, despite not having a clue how they were made. We tried hypothesizing how the people at Toast Two made their potatoes, and we’re probably way off, but the resulting recipe kinda worked out for us. Mine actually don’t taste much like the ones at Toast Two (this is the poached pear thing all over again) but they’re delicious anyhow.

Click to enlarge the tasty breakfast taters.

The Recipe:
Improvised Breakfast Potatoes
5 red potatoes
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup skim milk
1 tsp minced garlic
garlic powder

Do This
Partially peel the potatoes. This is an optional step – you can either peel them all the way or not peel them at all, but for aesthetic reasons, I went for stripes. Slice each potato in half, then slice each half into six bite-size pieces (I sliced each half into thirds, then cut across the middle). Put the potatoes in a large pot.
Pour buttermilk and milk over the potatoes. I only had skim milk in the fridge at the time, but I’m sure 2% or whole would do just as well, if not better. Add a teaspoon of minced garlic and a dash of salt and pepper, put the lid on the pot, and turn the burner to high heat.
Boil the potatoes in the milk. Ever hear that phrase, “a watched pot never boils?” Yeah, well, ignore that. You’re going to want to keep an eye on this for two reasons. (1) The milk will curdle. (2) At some point, the liquid will boil over. This could have some pretty tragic results, so I suggest watching the pot. As soon as it gets to the point of boiling over, remove the lid and turn off the heat.
Let the potatoes cool for a moment, then drain with a colander. You’ll notice two things that may be potentially discouraging: there are little milk curds floating all over the place (and probably sticking to the side of the pot…this is not a fun recipe for clean-up), and the potatoes won’t be very soft. This is where I decided to take a little shortcut: transfer the potatoes to a microwave-safe bowl (try to grab just the potatoes, not the curds) and microwave on high for about 5 minutes.
Let the potatoes cool for a few minutes while you mix the spices. Grab a small bowl and fill it with a blend of garlic powder, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil. I’m not 100% sure how much of each went into this blend, but I’d guess about 1 tbsp garlic powder, 1/2 tbsp pepper, and 1 tsp each of salt, oregano, and basil.
Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread the potatoes out on the baking sheet with a spatula. Pick out any remaining curds (or if you’re lucky, have your roommate do this) and sprinkle the spices over top of the potatoes. There will most likely be too much of the spice blend, but be generous.
Turn your broiler on high and place the baking sheet in. Broil for five minutes, take the baking sheet out, flip the potatoes over with a spatula, and broil for another five minutes. The potatoes should be lightly browned.
Serve with your favorite breakfast foods. I reccomend eggs over-easy, bacon, and toast.

These potatoes are soft on the inside but lightly crispy on the outside. They also taste super buttery, even though there isn’t any butter in the recipe.

A word of caution: these are very messy to make, and they take a little bit more time than I was hoping (even with my shortcuts). On the plus side, they taste just as good reheated in the microwave, so I don’t think I’d mind making a giant batch and saving some leftovers for other breakfasts.

Another lesson: buttermilk and your stove are not friends. I posted the recipe as-is because that’s how I made these potatoes. If you want to make life much easier, use plain old Vitamin D milk, which is less persnickety. Instead, soak the potatoes in buttermilk for a bit right after boiling them (drain the water out, transfer the potatoes to a bowl, pour buttermilk over top as they cool, drain buttermilk, continue with spices and baking as directed above).


2 Responses to “Improvised Breakfast Potatoes”

  1. Mark by Chocolate Says:

    Gotta get them magical heat resistant spatulas. ;-) Ouch. Still with metal and All Clad.

  2. Mark by Chocolate Says:

    Hey, those are home fries. Yum. Add onion, bell pepper (and pimientos) and you have O’Brien’s. Grate them and you have hash browns. Yummer.

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