Recipe Review

I Tried Nashville-Style Hot Potatoes and They’re the Flavor-Packed Appetizer of My Dreams

published Sep 3, 2021
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Credit: Sara Tane

There are few things in this world that I love more than potatoes and hot sauce. Frankly, I thought I had seen it all when it came to recipes involving the two. Not to make this about me (isn’t it always, though?), but have you tried my hot honey butter smashed potatoes yet?

Anyway, I recently came across @jonjon33’s Nashville-Style Hot Potatoes and I am not exaggerating when I say that my jaw hit the floor. Being the devoted lover of potatoes and hot sauce that I am, I essentially had to clear my schedule in order to prioritize making these spicy spuds ASAP. Here’s how it all went down.

How to Make Nashville-Style Hot Potatoes

To make these hot potatoes, you prepare them just as you would hot chicken, subbing chicken with sliced spuds. First, slice a few russet potatoes to a 1/4-inch thickness (no need to peel them). Toss them in a buttermilk marinade with hot sauce and lots of spices (garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, paprika, dried oregano, dried thyme, salt, and pepper). Marinate, covered in the fridge, for 30 minutes to two hours (any longer than that can cause browning).

Once they’re marinated, dredge them in flour and transfer to a sheet pan. For extra-craggly bits, you can spoon a few tablespoons of the buttermilk into the flour. Once all the slices are coated in flour, deep-fry them in neutral oil at 365°F until they’re golden-brown and crispy, three to four minutes. Transfer them to a baking rack set over a sheet pan, sprinkle with salt, and keep warm in a 200°F oven. 

To make the Nashville-style hot sauce, mix 3/4 cup of the hot frying oil with cayenne pepper, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika. Drizzle this sauce over the fried potatoes and serve them immediately with pickles and ranch. Don’t forget lots and lots of napkins.

Credit: Sara Tane

My Honest Review

I have to admit that I went into the process of making these feeling quite bitter that somebody thought to make these before I did. Kudos to them, because this is a great idea. The potatoes were so good. I loved the flavor and texture that you get from tossing them in flour — it reminded me of the flavor of waffle fries or curly fries — just a little starchier than your average french fry.

The potatoes were seasoned nicely throughout, thanks to the spice-packed buttermilk marinade and the final sprinkling of salt after they came out of the oil. When it comes to fried chicken, the buttermilk marinade is essential because the high acidity tenderizes the protein, making for juicy, succulent meat. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that these potatoes were “juicy” or “succulent,” but they were definitely cooked properly and didn’t retain any unwanted crunchiness.

As far as the hot sauce, that stuff was the real deal. When I first read “three tablespoons of cayenne pepper,” I thought it was a typo. Nope, that’s the spice level that we’re going for here. If you’re sensitive to spice, this might not be the recipe for you (but if you want to slightly tweak the heat levels, you could certainly play around with the amount of cayenne that you add). Serving these with ranch and pickles is a no-brainer.

All in all, I felt that the process of making these was straightforward, although it took some time between letting the marinade rest, flouring the slices, deep-frying, and making the hot sauce. This is definitely something to make when you’re in the mood to tinker around in the kitchen. It would be a great dish to make for a vegetarian dinner party or maybe an elevated game-day snack for the high-brow sports fans in your lives (is that a thing?). Regardless, these were really delicious, and I am absolutely heartbroken that I didn’t think to do this first.

Credit: Sara Tane

My Top 2 Tips for Making Nashville-Style Hot Potatoes

  1. As the recipe suggests, don’t skip the step where you add a few tablespoons of the buttermilk mixture to the flour. This is going to create the most delightful, craggy bits around the potato that fry up to crispy, crunchy perfection. If you’re not doing this for your fried chicken, you should start now.
  2. Don’t plan for leftovers. These crunchy potatoes are best served immediately, so only make as much as you and your party are going to eat. If you need to scale the recipe up or down, you definitely can.