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May 12, 2006 04:49 PM

Perfect Hashbrowns

  • s

Anyone have a recipe, or suggested technique for perfect, brown, crispy on the outside hashbrowns? Thanks.

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  1. What works for me:

    Day old cooked russets, cast iron pan, good oil.
    You have to give the potatoes time to crust.

    Heat pan to more than medium heat, slice potatoes (your style ) and when ready to cook- coat pan with oil and place potatoes in pan- give the pan a good shake and leave them alone for at least 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and then turn over. I like to add diced yellow oninon. I plop in a butterpat before serving sometimes.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JalamaMama

      I take the quick 'n dirty route.

      I purchase a 2 lb bag of pre-shredded hash browns at the grocery.

      Heat my pan up, and pour in a good amount of canola. I pour 1/2 the contents of the bag into my large deep sided skillet, that's already been preheated.

      When it's stopped being all crackly and noisy, I turn the heat down to Medium. And there it remains untouched til the edges get a tinge of brown. I seaon the top with fresh ground sea salt and freshly ground pepper...sometimes even some onion powder.
      Continue on medium...and start the eggs!

      By the time you're done heating your pan, making your eggs, and of course, your toast, the flip side should have a nice brown to it, and still be soft in the middle.

      1. re: JalamaMama

        When I don't have pre-cooked potatoes, I microwave a few for about 5 minutes.
        I like lots of paprika and parsley in additon to s&p.
        I allow about a half hour to really cook this up right.

      2. JalamaMama has some good ideas. My best man was the potato man in college. His overall approach was to cook on med low for a while, with the lid on, to get them cooked throughout. Turning a couple of times. Then turn it up, take off the lid, and brown on at least two sides.

        1. growing up my dad made potatoes cut up into tiny cubes (not grated). i find these to be tastier than grated because you can get a better contrast between the crispy crust and a creamy center if you cook them correctly.

          his secret? frying them in GOOSE FAT. goose fat has a higher smoke point than butter or regular oils so you can cook it at a really high temperature and it soaks in all that yummy goose fat. try it, you won't be disappointed. :)

          1. Microwave a russet the day before you need. Refrigerate overnight. Shred it. Get the canola oil hot in a cast iron pan. Put the shredded potatoes in and let them cook until a crust forms, about 15 minutes, flip them over and your done. Season with ground chipotle pepper and good sea salt. Eat with ketchup or salsa.

            1. Hash browns are synonymous with kartoffel rosti, which is the art-form version of pan-fried spuds.

              Here's how the Swiss do it. The night before, start with all-purpose (NOT mealy) potatoes. Boil them whole, unskinned, until about 3/4 done. Drain and put them in the fridge overnight.

              The next day, peel and shred them. Then fry them in the biggest, heaviest pan that will comfortably hold them in a fairly thin layer. Use butter and oil, or a more interesting fat if you have it. Bacon fat is good. The heat should be medium to medium-high, whatever gives a good crust in a reasonable time. Fry on both sides, adding more fat for the second side.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Sharuf

                I'm wondering if this recipe would work with sweet potatoes. It sounds like a good idea but I've been wrong with some past food experiments.

                Any thoughts, fellow cooks?

                1. re: Zengarden

                  Well, I've seen sweet potato latke recipes, so sweet potato hash browns would probably not be horrible. If they don't cook properly or are cosmetically challenged, you could always use them as a base for that chipotle yam bake that has been discussed.

                  1. re: Louise

                    sweet potato hashbrowns are great - but you need to use a lot of spices, otherwise they're a little too sweet

                    1. re: piccola

                      What degree of "pre-cooking" do you do prior to grating?