Sunday, July 7, 2013

Crispy Fried Potatoes (grain-free : gluten-free : nutrient-dense)

Back when I was suffering from extreme adrenal crash on GAPS, I found potatoes to be crucial to recovering my energy levels. While potatoes are not GAPS-legal, they are one of the first foods to be reintroduced when transitioning off GAPS. We now eat potatoes regularly, and they don't give any of us any problems (whereas we still have a hard time with many grains).

Crispy fried potatoes are one of our staple side dishes these days.  These are crispy, buttery, and delicious.  They pair well with almost any other food, from baked bacon and eggs to double cheese burgers to brisket with carrots and onions to tacos to honey-glazed pork chops, and anything in between!  They are even great sprinkled over a salad or onto a bowl of soup.

Still on GAPS? Don't worry; more GAPS-friendly recipes are coming your way soon.

Fried Potatoes
Serves 6-8
  1. This recipe uses potatoes that have already been cooked and then cooled. (If you are in a pinch and don't have time to pre-cook the potatoes, skip to Step 4. You can use raw potatoes but you will need to increase the cooking time in Step 7 to 35 minutes, starting with a relatively cool skillet, and increasing the heat once the potatoes have cooked most of the way. )
  2. Bake the raw potatoes until they are fully cooked. During these hot summer months, I like to just put the potatoes into my toaster oven on 225 degrees for 3-4 hours, until I can squeeze them slightly (with a towel-wrapped hand).  You could easily bake these a day or two in advance, perhaps whenever you are using the oven for something else. I don't even wrap the potatoes or oil them; I just bake them plain.
  3. Chill the whole potatoes well in the fridge.  Frying the potatoes will work best with cold potatoes, but if necessary they can be just cool or slightly warm (but NOT hot, else they will completely fall apart in the pan).
  4. About 25 minutes before mealtime, roughly chop the cooled potatoes into chunks.  If some of the skin is loose, go ahead and pull it off to discard.  I leave on the skin that is well-adhered to the potatoes, but you could remove it all if desired.
  5. Melt the butter in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Don't skimp on the butter, as it is wonderfully healthy and will make the potatoes taste great! 
  6. Add the potatoes to the melted butter, arranging them evenly. Sprinkle with salt.
  7. The trick to getting nicely browned potatoes is to make sure not to stir them too often.  Leave the potatoes alone, and just let them cook for several minutes before you stir them. A bamboo spatula works wonderfully for stirring the potatoes and scraping any bits that get stuck to the pan. Continue cooking for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are nicely browned.  You may need to reduce the heat during this process if the pan starts to get too hot.
  8. Sprinkle the potatoes generously with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle the dill over the potatoes, stir them a bit to mix the dill in, and then cook for a few more minutes. Taste for salt, and add more as necessary. Turn off heat.
  9. Serve and enjoy!
*I use Frontier brand spices because they are non-irradiated.

What is your favorite way to eat potatoes?

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ObsessiveSLP said...

We had these for brunch this morning,paired with an egg (free range), cheese (raw) and broccoli frittata!We used cast iron pans and cooked them on our Weber gas grill! Delicious!!

Tara said...

What is the best way to know if I'm ready for potatoes on GAPS? I mean, I realize they aren't on GAPS...but it sounds like the first thing you were able to tolerate well after GAPS. Any suggestions for how to know if a person is ready for them?

Sarah Smith said...

The only way I could tell was to eat them. Start with baby potatoes, as they are less starchy, and see what happens. You may find that, like me, you can have potatoes at least once a day with no issue (but I did notice that if I ate them 3x a day at first, I did start to get some of my pre-GAPS symptoms back, so I backed off a bit).

Once I started eating potatoes, my body had a very strong craving for them for awhile, and my energy levels and adrenal symptoms were much better when I heeded those desires.

Anonymous said...

Fry your potatoes in coconut oil We love them that way. Smashed potatoes have become a favorite since St. Pat's day. Cook your potatoes with skins on. Drain and let cool slightly. While they are cooking line a cookie sheet and add either a little olive oil or coconut oil to the foil. Recipe calls for you to smash the potatoes with your hands between tea towels but I think that is just messy so I put them on the sheet and smash them with a spatula using your hand as leverage. Sometimes they will break apart but just pushed them back together. Brush each potato with whatever oil you were using and then sprinkle with seasonings or just s/p. We sometimes make a bunch of different potatoes using many spices. Bake at 400 convection or 450 for about 30-40 mins until nicely browned and crunchy. Barb

Tara said...

Potatoes do sound good, and I do have adrenal issues. But I certainly don't want to cause myself more problems. GAPS says don't do it, but other schools of thought say do it. Who to believe? Maybe I'll try the baby potatoes (is that the same as red potatoes?) and see how it goes. Any idea why eating the potatoes help with adrenal issues?

Also, this isn't about potatoes, but it's about GAPS and what is allowed. I've been wondering why butter is allowed but cream isn't. I know it has something to do with the lactose in cream, right? But isn't butter made from cream? So why is butter okay but cream isn't? It would be nice to make ice cream, for instance, using plain cream rather than kefir cream.

Tara said...

Also wanted to add that I'm curious about the cream vs. butter question as it relates to infants/toddlers. I asked you previously (under a different post about feeding little ones) about introducing foods to a baby on GAPS. I'm giving him lots of raw butter, but I'm wondering if I can give him cream as well. The Nourishing Traditions Book of Child & Baby Care (I think that's the title!) recommends cream, but of course that's NT not GAPS. Just wondering if you have any insight into the cream issue on GAPS, for me and for my little one. And another butter question: I usually use Kerrygold for cooking/baking and save the more expensive raw butter for my little one, and I'm wondering if I'm getting enough benefit from the Kerrygold, or if I should also try to eat more of the raw butter. I'm still nursing my 13-month-old, so I know I need plenty of good fat and nourishment.

Anonymous said...

I use beef tallow from US Wellness Meats to fry or bake with. It's amazing!

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Tara,
According to the FAQ on Natasha Campbell McBride's site, once butter and fermented dairy are well-tolerated, raw cream and milk can be tried. We had no problems consuming raw dairy after a few months on GAPS.

I use KerryGold too. I think there is plenty of benefit to it since the nutrients in butter are generally heat-stable (and not likely to be degraded much by pasteurization).

Sarah Smith said...

For me, the potatoes seemed to help with the adrenal issues because I needed more starches in my diet.

Kate said...

Thanks for this recipe, Sarah. I really appreciate your attention to detail.

Sarah Smith said...

You're welcome!!

Tara said...

Hi again Sarah, I'm wondering if you have had success with eating sweet potatoes/yams. I sometimes feel a bit limited in the variety of foods I consume, and I'm wondering if yams are something I should re-introduce. I try to stick with organic produce, and I can get organic yams at the grocery store, so it would be an easy item to get and consume. Just wondering how you think it compares with regular potatoes in terms of re-introducing it after being on GAPS a while. I don't have a good sense of how much my gut has healed, as the only fermented food I am eating is kefir (though I just tried making fermented ketchup this week - it got a moldy layer on top, which I've read can be scooped off, so that's what I did... hoping we can safely consume the rest of the ketchup!). So even though I'm "on GAPS," I haven't done very well with eating tons of broth and fermented foods, which I would expect would bring greater improvement. I know I'm better off than I was, but don't have a good sense of whether it's okay to try things like sweet potatoes, etc. I'd like to know what your experience has been with them.

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Tara,
I've had no problems whatsoever with sweet potatoes post-GAPS. But they weren't one of the first foods I introduced, either. I think I started eating them after being off-GAPS (eating potatoes, rice, etc) for several months.

Tara said...

Intersting. I previously (pre-GAPS) thought of sweet potatoes as preferable over potatoes due to their having a lower glycemic index. But I suppose GAPS isn't really concerned about glycemic index. But I do wonder if that is an indication of the amount/type of sugars in the food; so I wonder if the sweet potatoes are actually easier to digest and less likely to cause problems in the gut, or if they are harder to digest since they are lower-glycemic (maybe more fiber?).