Saturday, January 25, 2014

Hash browns

Poor photographic representation of Erin O'Brien's hash brown potatoes

Not that I think any of you people can do this, but I'm throwing it out there just the same.

Start with three medium spuds. (Now this might freak some people out, but I used russets this morning on account of they were on sale. I don't normally use your russets. I normally use your reds. That said, those russets worked out just fine, maybe even better than fine. So there you go.)

This next part is important, so don't eff around.

Peel the potatoes and put them in a pot. Cover with cold water and bring the thing to a boil. As soon as it comes to a boil, turn off the flame and set your timer for five minutes. Drain the water when the timer goes off.

You can make your hash browns right away or let those spuds sit for a couple of hours (I am so down with flexibility).

Next you need to shred those mothers. I use my food processor. And I'm going to tell you something right now: You people think you understand potatoes, but you don't. You people don't know shit about potatoes. This is what I'm talking about: You grate those potatoes in a food processor? You see how potatoes are mostly goo. Your whole food processor will be covered in the potato goo. See? Stick with me and you learn something. You're welcome.

Yeah, yeah.

I use the regular shredding disc and these hash browns come out perfectly. I suppose you could use your fine grating disc, but that's your battle. What the hell do I care?

Transfer the shredded potatoes to a bowl and add a few shakes of Lawry's seasoned salt and one tablespoon of beaten egg (a whole egg would be way too much for three spuds). Gently mix the whole mess together with your hands (which OF COURSE you washed). You need a nice even coating, so get that egg dispersed through that mess o' shredded spuds nicely because it acts as a binding agent (if you can't figure out what I mean by that than ferchrissake I just don't know what.)

Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a pan (I use a nonstick because, well, I guess on some level part of me has given up. You use a cast iron pan? I respect the hell out of you). After the butter is good and hot and before it starts to brown, put small to medium mounds of the potato stuff in the pan (I use my hands). Let them brown up—about three or four minutes. You can tamp those mothers down with the back of a spatula if you like, but don't eff around with them too much.

Flame? Oh hell, I dunno. Put it up if it doesn't seem hot enough and down if it seems too hot. I probably cook these mostly on a medium high flame.

Flip 'em and brown the other side, another three or four minutes.

Behold what are the best hash brown potatoes in the land. Turn those babies out onto plates along with your scrambled eggs and bacon and have a good Sunday.



A note on today's graphic: Your humble hostess wholly admits she probably turned those sonsabitches too soon. So kill me already. When this happens, you just make sure the other side browns up nice and serve them with the best-looking side up. I mean come ON, what sort of jackass inspects the bottom of their hash browns?

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Anonymous said...

I really like this. I'm not cooking these because I do not cook. However, just for a moment, you made me wish that wasn't true.


B.E. Earl said...

You don't think I can do this?

You undermisunderestimate me.

Anonymous said...

Me, I still haven't fully recovered from the betrayal when Betty Crocker's HBs disappeared from the shelves. I swore an oath to get answers from the CEO of Betty Crocker, but if they go to the trouble of getting a restraining order they've lost all sense of humor about you.


PS-If a Waffle-House opened within 15 minutes of the house I'd no longer need a stove or refrigerator.

Lynn said...

These look good Erin, and I'm sure they were, in fact, quite tasty, but you haven't really had potatoes until you have had authentic potato latkes made by yours truly with a recipe from my friend Matthew Goodman. Come on over and I'll whip up a batch just for us!

Anonymous said...

Lawry's? Bleech! That crap is laced with MSG.

Erin O'Brien said...

--MR is the second person to mention Waffle House after reading this post (the other came in a private email).

--Since I made the hash browns yesterday, this morning, the Goat got my homemade brekky sandwich: pan fried applewood smoked ham, a scrambled egg and (of course) a slice of velveeta on a toasted English muffin.

--Anon: Lawry's took the MSG out ages ago. That said, I grant you special permission to use grated sea salt instead.

Erin O'Brien said...

Preemptive comment: Go to hell Velveeta haters.

Elisson said...

Hash browns are cousin to the estimable Potato Latke, the preparation of which my Missus excels at.

Mmmm, potatoes.

Elisson said...

Velveeta exists for one main purpose: to be melted down and combined with Ro-Tel tomatoes. All other uses are strictly optional.

Erin O'Brien said...

Ro-Tel and Velveeta ... oh hell yeah.

Doug said...

There are many ways to skin a cat, or a potato. As Elisson said, these are very close to being latkes. Why not go whole Yid? My name/link below goes to my recipe. You'll love the onions.

I also like this stuff that restaurants nowadays call "country potatoes." We called them hash browns when we were kids, but what did we know. Take a leftover baked potato or two (just make a few extra when you bake some for dinner), skin them (if that's your pleasure), cube them (roughly, or half-inch, whatever is your pleasure), fry them with salt and pepper.

Doug said...

And . . . wonderful. My link goes to a Thai massage. WTF? Trying again,

Erin O'Brien said...

Just because a person makes hash browns doesn't mean a person doesn't make potato pancakes. I make the best damn potato pancakes you ever saw. And, yes, they contain onion.