4-6 medium potatoes. I usually use either Yukon Golds or standard grocery store red-skinned potatoes, and have gotten best results with these, chopped into ¼” - ½” cubes and patted dry (this part, if you are anything like me in attracting burns, is particularly important). If you go much bigger, you will still have good potatoes, but the delectable ratio of crispy exterior to moist interior will change substantially.
Optional: chopped fresh rosemary, 1-2 teaspoons
Paper towels for draining them on. These are not hyper-oily potatoes, but they do taste better given a quick drain on paper towels.
Another note: I actually use Volterra’s Fennel Salt for this rather than salt and pepper. I am a fancy salt sucker. This is, however, a good fancy salt/seasonings mix (and I'm not saying that in the way that someone who has just jumped into frigid water will try to persuade you that the water is great, just like bathwater). Sure, I could make a salt mix like this myself, but it’s easier (if considerably more expensive) to buy it. That said, tiny fried potatoes are good with or without a fancy-pants salt.
1. Pour enough olive oil into pan to generously cover the bottom of the pan, and turn heat to medium-high. A piece of potato, when put in, should start to sizzle instantly; if it doesn't, your oil isn't hot enough.
2. Once the oil is hot, add the potatoes and salt them generously. It is not critical that the potatoes fit into the pan in a single layer. However, if they are heaped in the pan, it will be hard to get them deliciously golden and crisped on the outside. Somewhere in between works pretty well. Turn in the oil to coat, and then let them cook briskly, turning every few minutes (don’t turn too much, as you do want to let them golden up a bit) until they look fairly golden; making sure every surface of every potato piece is properly gold would be ridiculous, but you do want a nice, good browning.
3. Stir in the rosemary, if using, turn the heat down to low and put a lid on it. Pop in to check them every now and then (or don’t; I often forget to and they are still delicious despite neglect), but let them sit on low heat, covered, for at least 10 minutes, and up to about 20.
4. Remove the lid, turn the heat back up to medium high, and cook briskly until the potatoes look too good not to eat. Turn heat off, remove to paper towels, adjust seasonings and serve. These are best hot.