Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mexican Fried Potatoes

I make this recipe at least once a week. It makes a great addition to huevos rancheros, breakfast burritos, tamales, tacos, and is great by itself with ketchup or hot sauce. You can omit the cayenne and substitute a couple minced jalapenos or other hot peppers and add them in with the onions. You can also adjust the amount of seasoning up or down, depending on your personal taste.

Also, you can add lots of other ingredients to this for a Mexican style hash. I love adding bell peppers, sliced carrot, green onion, zucchini, and even flash-fried broccoli. Toss in anything you’ve got laying around. Bacon or chorizo lovers will be in heaven by combining those items with these potatoes.

One final note—I love to substitute one of the potatoes with a sweet potato when making this as a breakfast dish. The sweet-spicy combination is unbeatable and goes so well with eggs, beans, and a tortilla or two.

Prep time: 1 cup of coffee

3 medium to large russet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 TBSP vegetable, canola or corn oil, divided
½ medium onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup shelled raw sunflower seeds (optional)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground oregano
1/2-1 tsp cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated cheese (optional)

Toss the cubed potatoes into a medium-size saucepan or pot. Fill with cold water until the water line is an inch above the potatoes. Add 1 TBSP salt. Put the pan over high heat and bring to a boil. After the water has boiled for 1 minute, remove from heat and drain potatoes in a colander.

While your potato water heats up, put 1 TBSP of the oil into a frying pan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until transparent or even just beginning to turn a bit golden. Add garlic and sunflower seeds and sauté another minute or two. Remove from heat and transfer this mixture to a bowl.

Give the frying pan a quick rinse and dry and return to medium-high heat, warm the remaining 2 TBSP oil in the pan. Add your drained potatoes and fry, stirring occasionally, until they get start to get nice and golden brown on the outside and cooked all the way through, about 12 minutes. If potatoes start to stick, add a bit more oil. Add salt to taste (don't be shy; it can take a fair bit) and the rest of the spices and continue fry, stirring, for 30 more seconds. Now add the onion/garlic mixture and fry for yet another 30 seconds. Potatoes are done!

Upon removing from stovetop, immediately dish up the potatoes and top with the cheese if you’re using it.


  1. Yummy! Pretty spicy & I used about 1/4 of the cayenne! But I might be a wuss. I also replaced the sunflower seeds with pepitas, just because I had them on hand! It was the seeds that made the dish. I suggest not skipping this optional ingredient!


  3. Roasted pumpkin seeds