Once, a friend who grew up in Idaho insisted that she could happily subsist on nothing but potatoes. She spent the following fifteen minutes lovingly detailing the many different ways you can prepare potatoes. While I respected her zealous love of the common spud, and was brought up eating a lot of potatoes myself (though largely of the instant variety), I’m not really one to get out of bed for potatoes soaked in oil and salt. No offense to home fries or extreme potato enthusiasts, but I like it when there’s a little more going on flavor-wise.These jazzed-up sweet potato home fries, however, really do it for me. This dish was a totally happy kitchen accident; at the time, I definitely didn’t know the difference between table salt and sea salt, and actually probably spent a good amount of time
muttering under my breath cursing loudly about salt-fetishist foodies.
Three ingredients make this dish. First, the sweet smoked paprika, though not always easy to come by, is essential. Regular paprika is usually pretty mild and, to me, uninteresting. With its bright but woodsy flavor, sweet smoked paprika is kind of magical — it’s definitely a special spice to have up your sleeve. Coarse salt is the second key ingredient here — while some of it dissolves, you should still get a bit of satisfying crystalline crunch here and there that is something close to heavenly. And the cilantro … do I really have to explain that? It pairs so well with the smoked paprika and sweet potato.
- 2 Tbsp peanut oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped
- 1 tsp sweet smoked Spanish paprika
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- In a cast-iron skillet, fry onion in 1 Tbsp oil until translucent.
- Stir in garlic and fry another 30 seconds.
- Transfer to a heat-proof bowl and set aside.
- Place potatoes in a large saucepan with about a half inch of water over high heat.
- When water comes to a boil, drain potatoes in a colander. Potatoes will be partially cooked.
- In cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, fry potatoes in a single layer in remaining oil until bottoms are browned.
- Flip potatoes and brown the other sides in the same manner.
- When potatoes are nicely browned and fully cooked through, add onions, garlic and paprika and heat for another minute.
- Turn off heat, sprinkle with salt and cilantro, and toss.
- Serve immediately, with sriracha or ketchup if you’re so inclined.