Balance is over rated.
Sometimes it’s okay to eat pan-fried potatoes (with ketchup) for dinner and nothing else.
Because you want to. And they taste good.
And the lettuce will be there tomorrow all green and patiently waiting.
So if you’re in, here’s the best (and fastest) way I’ve found to get them right.
It involves a microwave. (If you don’t have one, you can do the same thing with spuds that have been properly roasted alongside something big and long-cooking.)
Take as many potatoes as you think you need, scrub them and pierce them a few times with a fork.
(The best for this purpose are Russets – they will be nice and dry and won’t stick when you fry them.)
Place them in the microwave and cook on high for 5 minutes. They should be easy to pierce with a toothpick when they are cooked. If necessary, cook them for a couple of minutes longer.
While your potatoes are cooling, place a fry pan on medium-high heat and let it get thoroughly hot.
When the spuds are cool enough to chop, cut them into rough cubes and toss with salt and pepper. Add a good splotch (sometimes measuring is over-rated, too) of olive oil and give it a moment to heat.
Drop the potatoes in all at once and sprinkle more salt over. Let them cook until the bottoms are well browned. Flip the potatoes periodically to brown on all sides.
Then serve. That’s it.
These potatoes don’t get sticky in the pan. Their skins stay on. There is no mush.
Balance can wait.
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