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Fried Potatoes In Paprika And Mint

Fried Potatoes In Paprika And Mint
T. Susan Chang for NPR /

Adding the paprika and mint in two stages helps extend their flavor from soft and pungent to bright and sharp. You can peel the potatoes, or not. If you don't, some of the peel will come off as you slice the blanched potatoes, but that's nothing to worry about. Most of the time in this recipe is taken up waiting for the potatoes to cool so you can slice them, so it's helpful to blanch the potatoes ahead of time.

Makes 4 side-dish servings

2 pounds yellow-fleshed potatoes, such as Yukon gold or carola (4 to 6)


3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons sweet paprika, divided

1 tablespoon dried mint, divided

Salt and pepper to taste

Fill a large saucepan with water; add the potatoes and as much salt as if you were cooking pasta. Bring the water to a boil, then simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on size of potatoes, or until you can just pierce them with a sharp skewer. They shouldn't fall apart. Drain the potatoes and set aside to cool.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle (and don't rush it), cut into 1/4-inch slices with a sharp knife. If you have large potatoes, divide them lengthwise in half before you start slicing, so you end up with half-moons rather than coins.

Heat the largest, heaviest skillet you have — cast iron works best — over high heat until it makes a water droplet dance. Add the olive oil, swirl it and immediately add the potatoes, half the paprika and half the mint. Spread the potatoes out into a single layer as best you can (you may need to do two batches). Let them cook without disturbing for 3 or 4 minutes, or until they have formed a gorgeous golden crust. Flip them over with a spatula, and cook the other side the same way, for 3 or 4 minutes. (If you're really obsessive about getting a good crust, as I am, you may find yourself swapping the outside potatoes into the center a few times.)

Season with the remaining paprika and mint, and salt to taste. You don't really need pepper, but you might like it. Serve immediately.

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