3 - 4 yellow or red skinned potatoes (don't use the baked potato kind)
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 huge fresh rosemary sprig (yes, use the fresh kind; it makes a difference)
1 teaspoon salt (fleur de sel is the best, but if you don't have it, you'll be ok)
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (again, you can use the pre-ground kind in a pinch)
1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1/2 inch pieces. Submerge them in a pot full of water so they're covered by about 2 inches of it. Salt the water. Boil the potatoes about 20 - 25 minutes until you stick a fork in them and it pierces them easily.
2. Drain the potatoes using a colander so you don't burn yourself. Don't rinse your potatoes! Put them right back in the same blazing hot pot that you just took off the stove, uncovered. Place the pot back on the same hot burner (with the gas or electric off) on the stove. The idea is you want to let any residual water steam off of the potatoes to dry them out a bit.
3. For the next part you do NOT want a non-stick pan. Use a Le Creuset large pan, or a cast iron pan.... something like that. (You won't get your potatoes to brown in a non-stick pan.) Heat the pan and add the olive oil and butter so it melts.
4. Meanwhile, smash your potatoes using an old fashioned potato masher or a large fork. You don't want them to be smooth like mashed potatoes. You want a little chunk or bite to them.
5. Pull the rosemary leaves off of the stem by running your thumb and pointer finger along the stem in the opposite direction that the leaves grow. Discard the stem. Chop the rosemary leaves very fine.
6. Add the salt, pepper, and rosemary to your potatoes. Smash a little bit more so the seasonings are combined throughout.
7. Place your potato mixture in the now searing hot pan. Flatten them out with a wooden spoon so they cook evenly. Don't touch them. Go wash some dishes, have a snack, etc. You don't want to move them around in the pan so they get crispy brown on the bottom. This will take about 10 - 15 minutes? Keep checking.
8. After you see them getting crispy brown on one side, flip the potatoes over to develop the same crispiness on the other side. (That means once flipped, don't move your potatoes again. No stirring here.) The inside of the potato mixture will still be white. That's exactly what you want.
9. You'll smell the fragrance of the rosemary and your taste buds will be watering. When you serve these potatoes, don't worry about keeping them in perfect "pancake" form. You want the crisp outside to mingle with the softer inside on the plates.
I like serving these as a side dish with fried eggs for breakfast. The gooeyness of the yolk mixed with the potatoes on the plate is delicious. You can also serve these for brunch, or as a side dish with dinner.
If you want to do some of the work ahead of time, the potatoes can be boiled a day or hours in advance. Just drain them, and refrigerate them prior to using. You can also prepare the entire recipe up to a day in advance and just reheat it when you want to.