A lovely cake of crunchy hash browns is possibly the closest things to ultimate satisfaction you can find on a breakfast plate. Or a dinner plate, for that matter. OK, it’s great at lunch, too. It’s just plain good. Good and crunchy, that is. If it’s done right, with flavor AND crunch, you will never again have to slog through mushy potatoes. Frankly, your morning meal deserves a solid crunch along with your cuppa. It’s just the right combination to make the day go well.
Crunchy Hash Browns
Serves 4 adults
4 organic potatoes — russets, white, or yellow
1 + 1 T EVOO
1 + 1 T butter
1 T cornstarch
S & P to taste
1 large, heavy skillet, preferably cast iron
Your potatoes are organic so there is no need to peel them. Potato skins have lots of vitamins and fiber that add valuable nutrients to your meal, so skip the peeling!
- Heat a heavy skillet on medium heat.
- Grate the potatoes and put them into a large bowl filled with cold water. Swish them around and strain, letting as much excess water drip off the grated potato as possible. Rinse and dry the bowl, and set aside.
- Pile the potatoes into a dry kitchen towel and overlap the towel edges across the top of the potatoes. Twist the towel and wring out as much moisture as you can. Continue squeezing as long as the towel keeps dripping water. Dry potatoes are crunchy — when you skip this step, you end up steaming your potatoes instead of frying them. Potatoes have tons of moisture, so squeeze out as much as possible!
- Put the potatoes into the dry bowl and sprinkle the cornstarch, salt and pepper over the top. Toss to combine.
- Add the 1 T each of the EVOO and butter to the skillet. When the butter has melted and mixed well with the oil, put the grated potato into the skillet, leveling it so that it’s equally thick all the way across, not mounded in the center.
- Increase the heat to medium-high, cover the pan, and cook the hash browns for 10 minutes.
- Remove the lid, and carefully take the hash browns from the pan onto a large plate. Add the last T each of EVOO and butter to the pan, letting the butter melt and mingle with the oil.
- The hash browns are now resting on a large plate, browned side down. Take another plate of the same size and place it over the top and flip the plates so that the browned side is now up. Slide the hash browns back into the pan and cook another 10 minutes, or until the under side is deeply golden and crunchy.
That’s it! Enjoy plain or with a good quality ketchup. I recommend Annie’s Naturals Organic Ketchup. It is far superior to Heinz, which is sometimes made with high-fructose corn syrup. Annie’s Naturals is the best ketchup you’ll ever have, at least until you start making your own.