Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Crispy Hash Browns

This is the fourth and final installment of the foods served at Mother's Day brunch - Hash Browns!  I have been asked many time what my favorite food is... and no matter what I am craving at the moment I always answer with "hash browns."  I could eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner, maybe even a mid-afternoon snack.  I'll eat them with hot sauce, with peppers or onions, cheese or with eggs (now doesn't that sound like the beginning to an awesome Dr. Seuss book!).  While these don't look so beautiful (I grated them too early) they sure do taste good!  And make sure to use butter, while your arteries may plead you not to, the potatoes just don't crisp right with olive or vegetable oil!

On a more personal, and positive, note: Rachel and I found, and signed a lease, for a condo in the Magnolia district of Seattle!  Come early August, it will be my new home.  But for now, I will soak in all the beauty that my family and Michigan has to offer!

Classic Hash Browns
adapted from Cook's Illustrated

To prevent potatoes from turning brown, grate them just before cooking (this is advice I forgot to follow.  While the potatoes don’t look so pretty, they sure do taste good!)

  • 1 pound high-starch potatoes such as russets or Idahos, peeled, washed, dried, grated coarse, and squeezed dry in a dish towel (1 1/2 cups loosely packed grated potatoes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 medium sized red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter

  1. Saute onions and peppers until soft and set aside.
  2. Toss fully dried grated potatoes with salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, heat half the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until it just starts to brown, then scatter potatoes with the onion and pepper evenly over entire pan bottom. Using a wide spatula, firmly press potatoes to flatten; reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until dark golden brown and crisp, 7 to 8 minutes.
  4. Invert hash browns, browned side up, onto a large plate; add remaining butter to pan. Once butter has melted, slide hash browns back into pan. Continue to cook over medium heat until remaining side is dark golden brown and crisp, 5 to 6 minutes longer.
  5. Fold the potato round in half; cook about 1 minute longer. Slide hash browns onto plate, and serve immediately.


Ron Merlin said...

One thing I've learned over the years is to grate them, and then soak them for 20 minutes in cold water, and pat them dry. Removes excess starch, and the "brown" stuff doesn't appear.

And welcome to Seattle, where I now live.

Check out my blog: http://themerlinmenu.blogspot.com

Katherine Martin said...

Merlin Menu - thanks for the advice! I'll definitely use it next time I make Hash Browns.

So excited for Seattle!


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