Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hash Browns from Scratch

I tend to make most of my baked goods from scratch. It's weird because people always seem impressed by this, but I think it's nearly as easy, usually less expensive, and much, much tastier to make things from scratch than to make them from a boxed mix. However, I usually use frozen shredded or chopped potatoes for hash browns. Not so today! I got out the mandoline and shredded a few potatoes.

My mandoline was a gift from Darren's stepfather. He got one for me and one for Darren's mom. I LOVE it and use it often (THANKS!), while Darren's mom is not a fan of hers. Any one out there got an opinion on a mandoline? My mandoline has a permanent diagonal blade and a rotating part that switches among thick slices, thin slices, large julienne, and small julienne. I used the small julienne setting for these hash browns.
The internet tells me that the secret to crispy hash browns is dry potatoes. Different sites suggest different methods, so I am going to go with my instincts and a combination of how my mom makes homemade french fries.

Prepare a bowl with cool water and a generous pinch of salt. Julienne the potatoes and put the slivers in the water to soak for 10-15 minutes.
Drain the potatoes through a fine colander, shaking out as much water as possible. Place the potato shreds on a kitchen towel (I am using my spinach towel), and fold/wrap/bundle them inside. Wring or press out as much water as possible.
Fold the towel a different way, and wring out some more water. Now you're ready to cook those hashbrowns.
Preheat the griddle to medium heat and coat it with a thin layer of oil. Just use a large skillet, if you don't have a griddle.
Add the potatoes in a layer. I tried making little bunches like they do at Waffle House, but I failed miserably.
Cook the potatoes for 4-5 minutes until beginning to brown and then flip. Season with salt, pepper, and desired spices. I used salt, pepper, paprika, and crushed red pepper. Repeat this process 3-5 times until the potato shreds and all done and a fair amount are nicely browned.
If desired, sprinkle cheese on top and allow to melt.
Serve alone or with sausage, eggs, and biscuits. Yum yum, gimme some!
If you try these hash browns, leave a comment and let us know how they turn out.

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