Our youngest daughter has no problem eating the same breakfast every day. Let’s just say she gets on a certain food wave and rides it like there’s nothing else to eat. Last spring it was bagels … every morning. I would try to fix oatmeal or scrambled eggs, but all she wanted was a bagel and a schmear. Once I figured out how to make Parmesan Sprouted Wheat Bagels, we could both be happy about breakfast.
At least until she didn’t want that anymore…
Her request at the start of this school year was breakfast burritos—egg, bacon, cheese, and potato—which is far more involved than toasting a bagel. I love to cook, but making these individual components every morning is not an exciting proposition, even if sizzling bacon does sound like applause the moment it hits a cast iron skillet. The solution was to prep everything in advance for the entire week, save the eggs, so the daily effort was minimal.
When cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner almost every day, shortcuts help retain one’s sanity.
So during this burrito-every-morning season I discovered that Sweet Potato Home Fries reheat fabulously and if you’re not stuck in a burrito rut like us, you’ll have a head start on breakfast skillets or casseroles too. Of course, you are not limited to making breakfast easier; they work just as well in other recipes like soups or stews. Last week I needed a little more bulk for a Savory Butternut Squash Soup and a few ready-made home fries did the trick.
There is no big secret I’m uncovering here by making a batch of potatoes in advance—there are scores of prepackaged potato products in stores for the hurried consumer. However, for a recipe that requires minimal ingredients, including one of the least expensive vegetables to buy, why settle for ingredients you can hardly pronounce? Based on the added expense and ingredient list in a package of Ore-Ida® prepared potatoes, making your own is a simple way to save a few pennies as well as avoid unhealthy oils and additives. Using sweet potatoes makes it an even better choice nutritionally.
Ore-Ida® Roasted Original Ingredients List:
potatoes, vegetable oils (sunflower, cottonseed, soybean and/or canola), modified food starch, contains 2% or less of: rice flour, salt, tapioca dextrin, cornstarch, spice, black pepper, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate), dextrose, garlic powder, xanthan gum, disodium dihydrogen pyrophosphate, annatto (vegetable color).
If you’re lucky enough to have bacon grease or beef tallow on hand, it is ideal for frying potatoes of any kind. Since we also cook bacon or sausage in advance for the week, it is easy to follow up with the Sweet Potato Home Fries in the same skillet. Slightly sweet with a tender bite and crisp edges, all these home fries need is a generous sprinkle of flaked sea salt and a touch of fresh parsley. Just like regular potato home fries, there is no need to peel the sweet potatoes, simply scrub them and slice or cube to your preferred size.
You’ll want to enjoy these fresh, even nibble on them while taking photos like I did, but the added bonus is knowing you have more hidden away for later too!
- 3 medium sweet potatoes -- scrubbed and cubed
- ¼ cup bacon grease, beef tallow, or coconut oil -- more as needed
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley -- minced
- sea salt -- flaked sea salt adds a nice crunch
- Scrub sweet potatoes with a vegetable brush under running warm water so the skin is thoroughly clean. Slice or cube sweet potatoes to desired size -- 1 inch cubes works well -- cutting away any blemishes on the potatoes.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the potatoes, careful not to overcrowd the skillet, and cover with a lid. Depending on the size of the skillet you may need to cook the potatoes in two batches.
- Cook covered for about 2 minutes, then carefully remove the lid without tilting and set the lid aside, face down on a paper towel to absorb the moisture. Stir potatoes to check if they are beginning to brown. Return the lid to the skillet and continue cooking the potatoes, checking and stirring about every 2-3 minutes until the sweet potatoes are golden brown on almost every side and fork tender in the middle.
- Remove from the skillet and drain on a paper towel lined platter. Season generously with sea salt and sprinkle with parsley. Serve hot or allow to cool and store until needed.