Thursday, March 1, 2012

Classic Diner Hash Browns - The Real King of the Breakfast Potato

When people make breakfast at home that includes some kind of potato side dish, they almost always go with homefries over hash browns. I’m not sure of exactly why, but I think people assume that hash browns are somehow more difficult, which is simply not the case.

Grating a couple potatoes is not that much harder than cubing them up, and the cooking process is almost identical. If anything, hash browns cook faster than homefries, and in this chef’s opinion are the superior breakfast potatoes. They are crisper, more interesting, and absorb runny egg yolk like homefries can only dream about.

One thing to note when you look at the ingredients below: this is a scalable recipe, with one medium-sized russet potato portioned per person. If you're going to make this for a larger group, you’ll want to use several pans, as you need enough room to get the proper crustification.

Speaking of russets, the potato variety is much more important here than with homefries. Just about any potato will work for those, but for hash browns you need the starchy texture of the russet, as opposed to the waxier texture of red potatoes. By the way, Yukon gold also works okay, but russet is the best.

Anyway, the next time your cooking a proper breakfast at home, I hope you give these “other” breakfast potatoes a try. Enjoy!

Ingredients per person:
1 medium russet potato, grated
1 1/2 tbsp clarified butter (melted butter separated from the milky liquid)
salt, pepper, cayenne, and paprika to taste

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