Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Crispy hashbrowns

With all of the celebrating that is going to be going on tomorrow night, I figured we might need a hangover helper (I'm not going to claim that this is a cure!) for the morning after.  Hashbrowns are very easy to make, have a really nice crunch, and are simply perfect with a hot cup of coffee, a fried egg, and lots of ketchup.
There are lots of ways to make hashbrowns, but this is the easiest, and therefore, my favorite!  As a busy mom, most mornings, I just want to get breakfast on the table!  I'm not much of a drinker, but I would assume if you've been out partying the night before, this would probably be a main goal of yours as well.  
If you're not feeling up to snuff, who doesn't love hot, fried goodness?  This is going to be a really quick post, because it really is that easy, so let's get started.
Here's the grocery list:
1 Russett potato
1 Tbs butter
1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp garlic powder

That's it.  Yes, it has to be a Russett potato...different potatoes have different starch levels; you can see the different types of potatoes at work in my other posts: sinful potato gratin post, my fancy potatoes post, and my patriotic potato salad post.  Waxy potatoes, like the reds and golds, are more waxy, which works perfectly for things like potato salad, or a gratin.  Starchy, baking potatoes work well for things like hashbrowns, or my fancy potatoes.  So, to start things off with, shred up your potato.  You can do this very simply on a box grater, or in a food processor.  I used my food processor, because I'm all about taking the easy way out.

Now comes the trick to brown, crispy hashbrowns.  Take the shredded potatoes and wring them through a clean kitchen towel.  Squeeze it like you're squeezing frozen spinach.  These potatoes hold on to a lot of water, and if you don't squeeze it out, your potatoes will turn gray as they cook, instead of lovely golden brown.  If you have a salad spinner, you can also spin these around like crazy.  I don't have one, because they seem big and bulky, when I can just squeeze water out with a towel.  But, if you have one, spin away my friend!  You will be surprised by the amount of water that you get out.

Don't worry about being too rough with the potato shreds, they will still be perfect and lovely when you go to fry them up.  While you're squeezing your potato shreds, preheat a pan over medium high heat.  I like to use my electric skillet, because it has a large work surface, and is very easy to work with.  Once your pan or skillet has been preheated, add your butter to the pan, and sprinkle the shreds with about 1 1/2 tsp of salt (I use Kosher), 1 tsp of garlic powder, and toss to combine.

After your butter has melted and gotten all sizzly and delicious, lay your potato shreds in a (mostly) flat layer on the skillet surface, and don't touch them.  I don't care what you hear, or what you think is going on in there.  Let these sit, untouched, for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, give 'em a turn over.  These will have to be flipped over piece by piece, which is fine- it all eats the same!  Let these go for about 3-4 minutes, these will be perfect.  If you like them crispier, let them go for another minute or so.  Cover with the condiment of your choice, or just eat them as is, it's up to you!  
Happy New Year!  I hope all of you party-goers have a great time, and stay safe out there!