Monday, February 10, 2014

Pan-fried Parmesan potatoes

As I have mentioned before, I do not have an oven in my apartment, so I have to make the most of my two hot plates.  However, this limitation has taken its toll on my addiction to potatoes and their carby awesomeness.  Naturally, I found a way to make crispy, delicious potatoes that are not deep-fried or boiled. I modified this recipe from one that I found on yahoo food, but mine is obviously way better.

To start, put enough olive oil in a frying pan in order to coat the bottom (a skillet is better, but I do not have one), but not too much because this will make the potatoes too oily.  Bring the olive oil to a simmer over medium heat. While you are waiting for the oil to simmer (it does not take long!) wash and halve about ten small fingerling potatoes.  If you have a bigger pan than I do, feel free to make as many as your little heart desires. Then sprinkle a layer of salt and pepper over the oil.

Add the potatoes to the oil with the cut side down and let them simmer at medium heat for about twelve minutes.  Be careful when you add them because I have burned myself quite a few times doing this.  Also, it is advisable to open a window if you don't have a fan above your stove as your kitchen (or in my case, my kitchen-closet-shower) will get quite smokey.  Today I was able to cook to the lovely sounds of taxi drivers protesting outside (the French love to protest... all the time... over everything).

After twelve or so minutes, bring the heat down to a low setting, and put a lid on the pan.  For the next twenty minutes you can waste time on Reddit (like I did) or watch stupid Youtube videos or whatever else you want to do because the potatoes will be just fine like this.  Oh but it's actually probably a good idea to chop your one clove of garlic in between videos.

After twenty minutes, add the finely chopped garlic to the pan as evenly as possible (this is pretty hard, so don't freak out about it).  Let the potatoes cook for about another two minutes.

Drain your potatoes using a colander, but keep your stove top on.  If the pipes in your building suck like mine do, put a pot underneath, so the oil doesn't go down the drain.  In case you're wondering what I do with the oil afterwards, I throw down the gutter outside my window like a freak.  Transfer the potatoes back into the pan, and put it back on the burner (or hotplate if you're so lucky).

Sprinkle (very generously) Parmesan cheese on top of the potatoes, and put the lid back on the pan.  The cheese should melt in about a minutes.  Also, if you're smart, you will "accidentally" spill some cheese directly onto the pan, so you get some nice burnt Parmesan with your potatoes.

Now you can just slide those bad boys onto a plate, add salt and pepper if you would like, and enjoy!


  • Ten small to medium fingerling potatoes, the bigger they are, the longer they take to cook
  • Two tablespoons of Parmesan cheese (or more... lots more)
  • One clove of garlic
  • About two tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste