Sometimes I make sautéed potatoes. I dice the potatoes into little cubes about 1cm or less to a side, then cook them in a pan with about 1-2Tbsp of hot oil. The result is sort of like little french fries. In spite of the oil, the pieces have always stuck to the pan.
I hypothesized that the potatoes were absorbing the oil and that must be the culprit, so I tried it once with about double the oil. The potatoes still stuck, but this resulted in a layer of dark-brown oily crust forming in the bottom of the pan (that was a pain to remove, too).
It seems like the best option is to use little oil, and just deal with the potatoes sticking for the first few minutes (once they get cooked on the outside, they don't stick anymore). But I'm curious: what is it that is mixing with the oil and forming this crust? And is there any better way to cook the potatoes without having them stick to the pan?