This is for my best buddy Jeff. He's the kind of friend I'd do anything for and when we're together, there's no break in the laughter. I've known him since my radio days in New Orleans, but only recently began cooking for him, and these are his potatoes. One time I made them on vacation and ever since it's his number one request from me in the kitchen. Think of a potato gratin that is tender throughout, but also has a bit of crunch from a golden pan fry. Add gooey cheese and pico de gallo and it's kind of like a potato pizza born in Texas, though it was first made for Jeff on Eleuthera in the Bahamas. Make it for your best friend and continue the chain.
Recipe courtesy of Sunny Anderson
Jeff's Cheesy Crispy Vacation Potatoes
Yield:
Serves 4 to 6
Level:
None
Yield:
Serves 4 to 6
Level:
None

Ingredients

For the potatoes: 
For the pico de gallo:
For the casserole:
For the garnish:

Directions

1. Prepare the potatoes. Soak the potato slices covered by ice-cold water in a large bowl for 30 minutes, stirring a bit. Then transfer the potatoes to a colander and rinse until the water runs clear. Pour the potato slices onto a clean kitchen towel or several layered paper towels and dry as much as possible. 

2. Fry the potatoes. In a large pan with straight sides or a stock pot on medium-high heat, add enough oil to fill to 1 inch deep. In batches, fry the potato slices, flipping halfway through until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes on each side. They should be stiff and crispy on the outside, but maintain a fleshy inside. Taste one, cook's treat! Remove each batch to a paper towel-lined plate and immediately season with a sprinkle of salt. 

3. Prepare the pico de gallo. In a small bowl toss the tomatoes with the scallions, hot sauce, lime juice, cumin, cayenne pepper, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside. 

4. Bake the potatoes. Preheat the oven to 375F. Butter the bottom of a pie pan or an 8x8-inch baking pan. Using half the potatoes, layer the slices in a circular pattern beginning on the outside of the pan and moving towards the center, with the slices slightly overlapping. Make sure to cover the entire bottom this way. Then evenly sprinkle half the cheddar/jack blend over the potato layer. On top of that sprinkle the pico de gallo, then add an even sprinkle of half the mozzarella. Repeat the layer one more time ending with the mozzarella cheese. Place in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and golden on the edges, about 18 minutes. Cut into slices and serve warm with a dollop of Mexican crema.

IDEAS YOU'LL LOVE

Crispy Fingerling Potatoes

Recipe courtesy of Sandra Lee

Scalloped Potatoes

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole

Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond

Funeral Potatoes

Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond

Porky Pot Pie with Cheesy Drop Biscuits

Recipe courtesy of Nancy Fuller

Cheesy Ravioli Lasagna

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten

Best Breakfast Potatoes Ever

Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond

Craveworthy Eats 3 Videos

Crave-Worthy Egg Sandwich 03:24

Claire puts her own spin on a bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich.

Browse Reviews By Keyword

          On TV

          Top 5 Restaurants

          7:30am | 6:30c

          Southern at Heart

          8:30am | 7:30c

          The Pioneer Woman

          9:30am | 8:30c

          The Kitchen

          11am | 10c

          Giada Entertains

          12:30pm | 11:30c

          Chopped

          2pm | 1c

          Chopped

          3pm | 2c

          Chopped

          4pm | 3c

          Chopped

          5pm | 4c

          Chopped

          6pm | 5c

          Chopped

          7pm | 6c
          On Tonight
          On Tonight

          Chopped

          8pm | 7c

          Chopped

          9pm | 8c

          Chopped

          10pm | 9c

          Chopped

          11pm | 10c

          Chopped

          12am | 11c

          Chopped

          1am | 12c

          Chopped

          2am | 1c

          Chopped

          3am | 2c

          Get Cooking