Please, PLEASE, find me a recipe for hash browns - a Brit now living in France, I've eaten and enjoyed them in the past, but every recipe I've found says "take X quantity frozen hash browns". I neeeeeeeed the real thing, please,
I take potatoes and sometimes I peel off the skins and sometimes I don't. The skin is supposed to hold a lot of vitamins, but I only do this on the thinner skinned potatoes. I take a cheese grater and grate the potatoes. You could probably use your vegetable grater on your food processor as well, but I have never tried doing potatoes in mine.
I do this the night before and set them in a bowl of cold water with about 1-2 Tbsp. of lemon juice and about 2 tsp. salt. This will keep the potatoes from turning brown. I cover with cling wrap and put into the refrigerator.
The next morning I pour potatoes out into a strainer to strain off excess water and rinse well, then pour out onto towel or paper towel. If you have too much water on your potatoes when you place them into the hot grease it will pop at you and may cause serious burns. You may need to hand squeeze your potatoes.
Most people will agree the best hash browns are ones cooked in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, but not everyone has that so a regular skillet will do. If you have reserved bacon grease (I keep a jar for bacon grease in my cabinet) that adds so much flavor! But canola oil, olive oil or peanut oil will do. Remember that different oils cook differently at different temperatures. You want to heat your oil before adding the potatoes so as not to have soggy oil-soaked potatoes.
If you like to add onions you can dice onion and soak with your potatoes or add the next morning. Add spices that you like (salt, pepper, onion powder, etc.) and stir. Someone once recommended adding two egg whites to help hold it together and mix well then sprinkle about 1 Tbsp. flour over it all and mix well, but I have not tried this.
Form into patties and brown well on one side before turning. You will know by the edges, no need to keep lifting as this is what will cause the patties to fall apart. You can also just throw the whole batch in one large skillet and brown and stir. I have found the cooking them with a lid on can make the potatoes more mushy. Shredded potatoes aren't very thick so they cook faster than regular fried potatoes.
Oh that way is so much work! My way is easier and quicker, too.
The night before you want to have hash browns, take a couple large potatoes, and wash them, then put them in a large saucepan and cover with water, bring to boil.
Boil the potatoes till you can stick a fork into them about a half an inch, not much more. When they are that way, take the pot from the stove and pour off the hot water, then return the hot pot with the potatoes in it to another (cold) burner on the stove. The lid needs to be kept on. Leave the potatoes there till the whol thing cools down. This partially cooks the potatoes. I leave mine till the morning.
In the morning, the potatoes are slightly cooked through, and are easy to peel if you like. Then take a good grater and grate away onto a moderately hot griddle which you have melted some bacon fat, or butter, or your favorite oil.
The griddle needs to be not too hot. The action of the cooking needs to be partly to crisp the hash browns on the grill, but also to dry out the hash browns as well, so they need to sit there for a while. When you have a nice crispy side, try to flip them in a large a chunk as possible. This makes them look nice. Crisp on this side, and then remove to a plate to keep warm in a 150 degree oven till all your hash browns are done, then cook your eggs or whatever else , and then serve all together.
This is my father's recipe, and always works great.
Thanks, Sis and Tawnda, for your help - I'm going to try both!
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