Red, ripe tomatoes and skillet potatoes
Hey, I made a rhyme!
This is the swing season in the food world. If you follow the seasons, summer is over except for the stray ripe tomato you’ve been hoarding (here’s mine). Eat it sliced with just a sprinkling of salt and pepper because you won’t taste anything like it until next June. That last bite always makes me a little sad.
But there’s a ying and yang to everything and one of the joys of fall is feeling like you’ve got to have something with substance in your belly. Somehow you expend more calories shivering your way to the shower in the morning. Or maybe you put on your overalls (my favorite uniform) and there’s just a little more space to fill out than in your summer shorts.
So here we go with skillet potatoes. Terrell asked me the other day what the difference was between a frying pan and a skillet. I told him that you use a frying pan if you live in Des Moines and a skillet if you live in Birmingham. I think that just about says it all. The best skillet, of course, is cast iron but I’ll tell you a secret. They’re a bear to wash. Well, you don’t really wash them. You wipe them out with a paper towel. That probably brings up all kinds of food borne illness questions, but nobody in my house has ever gotten sick from a cast iron skillet. Personally, I don’t think we have enough germs in our lives. That’s why people get sick all the time.
But I digress. Skillet potatoes. You start out with new potatoes. Yukon, red-skinned, doesn’t matter, but the waxy ones. Cut them into little cubes and boil them in water until they’re tender. Then you put some bacon grease in a skillet. You know to keep bacon grease in a jar in the refrigerator, don’t you? Add some diced onion and red pepper. Sprinkle with a goodly amount of salt and pepper. And here’s the key. Add some kind of pig. It can be bacon, always a good choice. The other night I added some capicola, which is a spicy Italian version of bacon that Mark got at the Publix because he just wanted to try it. It turned out pretty good.
Now’ here’s the key. Get everything good and browned. Skillet potatoes are good when you’re having breakfast or breakfast for supper. They’re creamy and crunchy all at the same time. The perfect way to start battening down the hatches for winter.