Originally posted at keeping feet on 3/24/07
I love breakfast. I don't normally make time to eat it during the week- I'll occasionally grab some granola or make some oatmeal, and I always appreciate the free Friday breakfasts at work, but that's it. On a lazy Sunday morning, Josh & I will make a production of a biscuits-and-gravy brunch periodically. We had some time this morning, so I decided to throw together an easy breakfast to get us up and going before going to help move my parents out of their house. The bacon wasn't cooked from scratch- we've found we like the ease of the pre-cooked-bacon-in-a-box (I know, I'm such a slacker), and the scrambled eggs are too easy to share a recipe here (besides, I don't really have a recipe), so the Made From Scratch posting today is about crispy hashbrowns.
I don't like floppy, wet hashbrowns, and I don't like grease-soaked hashbrowns either. The shredded, crispy potatoes are the best, but aren't easy to get. Normally, we just settle for frozen tater tots baked in the oven, but this morning I remembered a recipe from a while back I'd been wanting to try.
First, I peel the potatoes. No challenge here. I used two medium-sized potatoes, thinking that would be the right amount for just the two of us. Next comes the shredding with the cheese grater. After grating just one potato, I realized that two potatoes was going to be way too much for us, but a grated the second potato anyway- I felt like I had to, it was already peeled.
Now for the fun part. Apparently the secret to crispy hashbrowns is to squeeze all the water out of the potatoes before frying them. I had never really thought of potatoes having that much water in them- who's heard of potato juice, anyway? - but I proceeded to blot the pile. And squeeze. And press. Four paper towels later (check out the soaked pile in the picture), I decided to move on to a cotton towel, because the moisture was still coming. Finally, I gave up and decided they were drier than they were, whether they're 'right' or not. Besides, the pan of oil heating on the stove was ready.
The shredded potatoes were now piled in the pan, frying. The recipe said "After a few minutes, lift up one edge of the potatoes and see how done they are. When they have fried to a golden brown they are ready to flip." Well, I didn't know when the perfect 'golden brown' was reached, so I let them go about 5 minutes, then flipped them (all in one piece!). On the other side, I cooked them much less time.
In the end, I probably cooked them too long on the first side. They sure were crispy and not soggy! .... but they were potato-chip-crispy, which was a bit much for me. I think I either needed more potatoes (to have a thicker layer to cook, leaving the middle pieces softer) or a shorter cooking time. Squeezing the shredded potatoes dry was definitely the right move, however, to achieve the right end result. I'll have to experiment more later, on the next lazy weekend morning we've got.
One more time, all that crispy-breakfast-potato goodness...