You miiiight be asking yourself, “What does ‘animal-style’ mean, and what does it have to do with potatoes?!” If this is the case, you are probably not from California (or the Southwest), so I’ll explain. Animal-style skillet potatoes are diced potatoes cooked with some Thousand Island dressing and topped with cheese and caramelized onions – a dish inspired by In-N-Out Burger’s (in)famous animal-style French fries!
In-N-Out is one of the (many) reasons I miss living on the west coast, but ironically, when I lived in California, I rarely went there. There was an In-N-Out within walking distance of my dorms and apartments in college, and how many times did I eat there? Uno. What a shame. Anyhow, I’ve since learned how to mimic their animal-style fries well-enough to quell the cravings whenever they hit (which luckily, isn’t too frequently). This recipe for animal-style skillet potatoes is one that I’m entering into a contest* sponsored by Food.com and Simply Potatoes. I had never tried Simply Potatoes’ products before, but I was impressed! They have a variety of diced potato and hash brown products (as well as mashed potatoes and some other side dishes), and what makes them different from a lot of other brands’ products is that the potatoes are fresh rather than frozen. I foresee a lot of potato-y weekend breakfasts in my future…
The rules for the contest are pretty simple: create a recipe using one of Simply Potatoes’ products, using no more than 4 additional ingredients! Left to my own devices and without any restrictions, I would have made my own Thousand Island dressing (which is really simple: ketchup, mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, and a few spices) and tossed in some broccoli florets or other veggies, so feel free to improvise a bit – but here you are: five-ingredient animal-style skillet potatoes! Perfect for breakfast, as a side dish at dinner, whenever! Non-west-coasters, you are welcome. West-coasters, you’re also welcome, since now you can enjoy the flavors of In-N-Out in the comfort of your own home…in return, would you be a dear and look into having some authentic Mexican food airlifted out to the Midwest?
*The contest will have both a winner picked by judges and a winner picked by the people (yay for democra-cooking!). From March 31st until April 1st, anyone can sign in to Food.com to review submissions and give ratings. I’d super duper appreciate your support (and I’ll post a reminder closer to that week)!
- 1 package (20 ounces) Simply Potatoes diced potatoes with onion
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/3 cup Thousand Island dressing
- 3 slices American cheese
- First, start caramelizing the onions: heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Place the onions in the skillet and let cook, without stirring, for 5-8 minutes, until the bottom sides have started to brown. Once the bottom sides have started to brown, reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onions are thoroughly browned, about 20 minutes.
- After the onions have been cooking for about 15 minutes, start cooking the potatoes. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a separate skillet over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add potatoes and cook, covered, until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Stir the Thousand Island dressing into the potatoes and stir gently to coat. Tear each slice of cheese into four pieces and place on top of the potatoes. Place the lid on the skillet and cook 1-2 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
- Top with caramelized onions and serve.