David's Recipe for Home-Fried Potatoes

Why star anise in home-fried potatoes? Well, it started with this Indian recipe which called for fennel seeds. But I didn't have any fennel seeds, so.... In other words, you should never have asked.

Side Dish, American

  • 12 baseball-sized new potatoes
  • 2 quarts boiling water
  • 1 quart cool water and 2 teaspoons lemon juice for holding the potatoes
  • Up to 2 large pinches of salt, divided
  • 4 large onions sliced into C-shapes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • A few ground chili peppers
  • 1-2 soup spoons chili powder
  • 1/2 soup spoon ground coriander
  • 1 corner of a star anise, ground
  1. Peel the potatoes and slice them crosswise into 1/3-inch slices. Hold them in cool water spiked with lemon juice to keep them from discoloring.
  2. Put the potato slices into a microwavable vessel with a pinch of salt and 2 quarts boiling water. Microwave them on high until they are neither cooked enough to eat nor completely opaque. This takes 11 minutes on my 1200 watt machine.
  3. Lightly brown the onions over a medium flame. Reserve.
  4. Drain the potatoes thoroughly in a strainer.
  5. Saute the potatoes over medium heat with the peppers, chili powder, and coriander, turning occasionally, and covering when not turning. Test with a fork for near-doneness every once in a while.
  6. When almost done, about 25 minutes, add back the onions and continue turning and covering as before for another minutes.

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