Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Homestyle Hash Browns

I was planning to have steaks for dinner one night, but couldn't decide on a starch. We'd already had mashed potatoes that week, and there weren't enough sweet potatoes to go around. What I really wanted was hash browns. I couldn't convince Mr. Kim Chee to run out and buy the frozen or ready-made kind, so I stubbornly decided that I would make my own.

I scrubbed some potatoes clean and tracked down my mandoline. The last Kim Chee Casserole recipe I used the mandoline with was Fancy Fanned Ratatouille, which meant I also had to find the right cutting blade.

Unfortunately my mandoline doesn't have the ideal hash brown blade, but this one worked out pretty well. The potatoes were sliced pretty thin, like shoestrings.

Once your potatoes are sliced, they need to be rinsed. This will remove any extra potato starch, and help them get crispy on the outside. Rinse the potatoes until the water coming off them is clear.

After you've rinsed your potatoes, you'll need to squeeze out as much moisture as you can. I squeezed them really well, and then blotted them with paper towels.

Again, this is to help with crispness. Wet potatoes will take a lot longer to crisp up.

Here are my rinsed and dried potatoes.

I minced some onion to go in my hash browns. Remember, cut into planks ...

... and then turn your knife, to cut everything into little dices.

Parsley was next. It adds some nice greenery to an otherwise brown dish.

Throw your potatoes in a bowl, along with your onions and parsley. Eggs, flour, salt, and pepper are your final ingredients.

Give everything a nice stir.

Heat some oil in a large nonstick frying pan. You'll want to pour in enough oil to go up about 1/4 of an inch up the sides of the pan.

When your oil is hot, carefully add your potato mixture. Give everything a good smoosh down, and then a nice sprinkling of garlic powder.

Why garlic powder rather than fresh? Well, garlic doesn't taste very good when it gets dark, and your potatoes will be cooking for a while. Little bits of burned garlic wouldn't be very pleasant.

Don't ask why I don't add the garlic when I stir everything together. I don't know. I've just always done it this way.

Now let your potatoes cook and don't touch them. This is important if you want to form a nice crust.

When your potatoes are nice and golden, it's time to flip them. You could find a big plate, slide your potatoes onto them, and then flip the plate and slide the potatoes back into the pan. I always have a hard time controlling a big pan along with several pounds of potatoes, so I just flip the potatoes in several pieces.

Less impressive looking, but at least I'm not being burned by hot oil.

Let your potatoes brown on the other side, and then serve them while they're hot!

Recipe: Homestyle Hash Browns

5-6 potatoes, shredded
1/2 an onion, finely diced
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
1/3 c. flour
2 eggs
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp. garlic powder

oil, for frying

Rinse potatoes until water runs clear. Squeeze out excess water, and then blot dry with towels.

In a large bowl, combine potatoes, onion, parsley, flour, eggs, and salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, carefully add in potato mixture. Gently press down to form a large cake. Cook until golden brown.

Carefully flip over potatoes and brown the other side.

Remove from heat and serve while hot.

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