I had a brief email exchange a few days ago with Larry over at Big Dude’s Eclectic Ramblings about making homemade hash brown potatoes. I blame his sense of disinterest and the inconclusive outcome on the fact that I caught him on a morning he was distracted by the task of tearing his house apart to find horseradish for a Cajun Bloody Mary. Larry, I’d have to admit, I agree with your priorities in this case.
Anyway, it all started with a reference in one of his posts about Waffle House hash browns, which in my humble opinion are are about the best on earth. Then it led to a mutual agreement that it would be great to learn how to make them as good as Waffle House turns out. Wouldn’t it be fun to have hash browns “all the way” (aka scattered, smothered, covered, chunked, diced, topped, peppered and capped) at home?
I tried to make hash browns at home years ago, only to end up with a soggy odd product. Hash brown potatoes purchased from the freezer section in the grocery store are really good, so I’ve never mastered the art of home-made.
Here’s where Google enters into the story. I Googled “perfect homemade hash browns” and here are some of the results I found.
- Peel and shred Russet potatoes. Lay the shredded potatoes in a towel and twist the towel tight to remove as much moisture as you can. Fry
- Peel and shred Russet potatoes. Press in a potato ricer to remove moisture. Fry.
- Peel and shred Russet potatoes, place in a colander and rinse several times until water runs clear. Fry.
- Purchase them packaged from the freezer section at the grocery store. Fry.
For breakfast this morning, I decided to try option 3. I used the small setting for match stick slices on my mandolin and sliced up two peeled potatoes. I placed the slices in a bowl of cold water for about 10 minutes. I drained them in a colander and then rinsed them for about 15 seconds. I then placed them between two paper towels and gently pressed them to wick away the moisture. In my trusty cast iron skillet, I heated vegetable oil over medium heat until hot then tossed in the potatoes. Lowering the heat a bit, I cooked until browned on one side, about 7 minutes and then turned them over for an equal browning. I salted the potatoes on each side while cooking. When they were done, I drained them on paper towels and then nestled them next to bacon, lettuce, tomato sandwiches for our Sunday breakfast.
The verdict: These were absolutely delicious, but certainly not the result I was looking for. They were more like shoe string potatoes. Even though they didn’t seem overcooked by any means, they were hard to eat with a fork. Actually it was easier to eat them with your hands. They were tiny little French fries.
Back to the drawing board for now. Any thoughts? Suggestions? Do you make homemade? Have you ever had Waffle House hash browns? If so how do you like them? Larry have you made hash browns yet?
Hash Brown Potatoes…They’re What’s for Breakfast.