A non-stick pan is a revolutionary object. For the past two of three nights, I've relied on mine to make a varaition on the same dinner: eggs and hashbrowns. Jeff's been gone on a work/play trip across the pond, which means that I've had to fend for myself in terms of dinner. I mean, no bigs, but it's not as fun to cook something elaborate if it's just me hanging around the house. But who cares, when hashbrowns are involved?
You may remember my teeny tiny obsession with hashbrowns. And how I feel sorry for myself every time that I go out to brunch and am left with some pathetic, vaguely soggy, flatly spiced home fries. I mean, people, please.
Have I mentioned that I don't like home fries?
But hash browns have always eluded me. I mean, I make a mean latke at Hannukah, but otherwise I have left hashbrowns alone. They have a tendency to not cook through, turn gray, and and are a general pain in the neck. But the NON-STICK PAN.
Hellllooooo, non-stick pan. Hashbrowns come out creamy on the inside and crisp on the outside. No sticking, no turning gray. Just nice, crispy bits and a melting center. They're still a work in progress, but for now, I'm pretty happy about it. Happy enough to keep eating them every other day. Or not. But I make no promises.
So there are a few caveats about this recipe. First, I've been using the shredder attachment of my Cuisinart. You can just as easily use the large holes of a box grater. It does the same thing, but your arm will get less tired if you have a machine. The second thing is that this recipe easily doubles, or triples, according to how many people you are trying to feed. One medium-sized potato is more than plenty for one person, but it's weird to make less than one whole potato. That's how I feel about it, at least. You can also shred some onion into the mix, if you like.
1 potato (Yukon Gold is slightly preferable to Russet, I think)
2 small pats of butter (1 tablespoon total)
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Shred the potato using the shredding attachment of a food processor or using the big holes of a box grater.
2. Using a cheesecloth, wring out the potatoes until it's really, really hard to get out any more water. (Don't skip this step! This helps the potatoes to not turn to mush.)
3. Heat a small, non-stick pan over a medium flame, and melt the first pat of butter. When the pan is hot and the butter is melted, add the potatoes and pat them down into a single layer. Cook, not disturbing, for 10-15 minutes. Adjust the heat so the potatoes don't burn. When the potatoes are brown on the bottom, flip out onto a plate, melt the other pat of butter, and replace potatoes in the pan, browned side up. Cook 10 or so minutes more.
4. Season to taste, serve hot.