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Skillet Potatoes for Two

A square cast iron skillet filled with sliced fried skillet potatoes for 2 on a grey oval metal platter.
Skillet potatoes made by Judith Jones for Julia. Yes...that Julia. A simple combination of potatoes, butter, salt, and garlic cooked in a skillet until golden brown. Simple but utter perfection.
Judith Jones

Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 30 mins
Sides
French
2 servings
220 kcal

Ingredients 

  • 2 medium new potatoes or 1 large russet potato*
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 teaspoons butter
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions 

  • Peel the potato(es) and slice them very thin.
  • Peel and mince the garlic. Using the flat of your chef ’s knife, smash the garlic along with a little salt on your cutting board until a paste forms. Work about 2 teaspoons of the butter into the paste.
  • Heat 2 teaspoons of the butter in a small, preferably well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. Place half of the potato slices in the skillet, overlapping them slightly and covering the bottom of the skillet. Lightly season the spuds with salt and pepper, then smear the garlic paste on top. Add the remaining potatoes in the same fashion.
  • Cook the potatoes gently over medium-low heat, placing a small cover askew on top of the pan. After about 8 minutes, turn the potatoes, which should be brown on the bottom, by removing the cover and setting a small, sturdy plate on top of the pan and flipping the potatoes over onto it. They won’t hold together in perfect shape, but don’t worry. Heat the remaining butter in the pan, then just slide the potatoes back in and arrange them as neatly as you can. Let them cook, semi- covered, for about 5 minutes, and then cook uncovered for a couple more minutes, at which point they should be tender thoughout and nicely browned on both top and bottom. The timing will vary slightly depending on the size of the skillet, the heat of the flame, and just how thick you sliced the potatoes.
  • Turn the potatoes onto a warm dinner plate and let them mingle with whatever meat and its juices you are having for dinner.

Notes

*How do I thinly slice potatoes?

For a recipe that only needs a few potatoes, you might not want to pull out your mandolin but it IS the best way to get uniformly thin slices. A food processor will work too, but only if the spuds are small enough to fit in the feed tube. If you have a decently sharp knife and a steady hand, you can also do it the old-fashioned way, of course. Uniformly sliced potatoes mean that everything will cook at the same rate, giving you crisp outsides and fluffy insides.