Today is National Arkansas Day. In honor of this Southern State, I thought we might fry up a big skillet of taters. But before we do, let’s talk about Arkansas.
Arkansas got its name from the French settlers in the region. It was derived from the word Acansaw, which means downstream place. The early French explorers were referring to the Quapaw people and the rive which they settled.
The “s” at the end of Arkansas is silent. Remember that because it’s against the law to mispronounce Arkansas while in the state.
Looking to get rich? Then head to Arkansas. It’s the only state in North America that has a diamond field. More than 33,000 diamonds have been found in Crater of Diamonds State Park since 1972. These were all found by park visitors. Despite its immense resources, Arkansas is one of the poorest states in the union.
Arkansas isn’t as backwards as some might think. The first woman elected to serve a full term as a United States Senator, Hattie Caraway, was elected by the people of Arkansas in 1932. She served 14 years in the Senate.
Okay, let’s get to cooking, shall we? And we are going to fry up these par-boiled taters the Southern way, with bacon grease. Really, is there any other way?
Pan-Fried Bacon Potatoes
2 lbs small Yukon Gold Potatoes
6 Bacon, sliced into 1-inch pieces
1 Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
2 Garlic Cloves
Kosher Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until just fork tender. Drain and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking process. Pat dry.
While the potatoes are cooking, dice the bacon into 1-inch pieces. Set aside. Peel the onion, cut in half root to tip, then slice into thin half-moon rings. Set aside.
Heat a cast iron pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and onion; cook until desired crispness is reached, about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon-onion mixture from the skillet with a slotted spoon, leaving behind as much of the flavored bacon drippings as possible.
Add the drained potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook for roughly 20 minutes (or until nicely golden), stirring occasionally. You want a nice golden brown crust to develop over the potatoes.
While the potatoes brown in the skillet, peel and finely mince the garlic. Set aside.
Once the potatoes have a beautiful golden-brown color, add the bacon and onion mixture back into the pan along with the fresh garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes or until garlic is aromatic.
Serve and enjoy.