Monday, May 14, 2012

Finally, Hashbrowns! (and a new post)

First, I must apologize for my absence.  I have recently completed my first year of graduate school, so I was busy writing papers and reading literature theory.  Then I immediately started my summer job, so I'm still adjusting to my new sleep schedule that has me waking up at 6:00 instead of 9:30 or 10:00.  I have still been cooking, and I have a lot of delicious food to share.

Hashbrowns, a food that is deceptive in its complexity.  I have been trying for at least six months to make crispy golden brown shredded potatoes.  During those six months my husband and dog have eaten many terrible attempts at hashbrowns. Each weekend morning when I would mention breakfast my husband's face would grow excited and hopeful until I mentioned that I was making another attempt at hashbrowns.  Some were crispy on the outside but soggy and gray in the middle.  Some were gray on the outside and raw in the middle, and some were burnt on the outside.  I tried baking them, cooking them in cast iron, non-stick, and stainless steel pans on the stove top.  I tried Russets, red, and Yukon Gold potatoes.  I always shredded the spuds on a box grater and wrapped them in a kitchen towel to ring out the moisture.  I tried soaking them in water first.  I tried frying them in bacon grease, butter, olive oil, and canola oil.  Finally, finally with the help of my electric skillet I made perfect hashbrowns.  The key is a medium high heat and a pan large enough to spread out a very thin layer of the potatoes.  They must be left alone and only flipped once.  They were cooked with a lid for about half the time, and they took a good 20 minutes.  When I slipped these hashbrowns on the plate along with bacon and eggs I felt a surge of triumph. I had finally defeated my nemesis.  My husband was happy that he didn't have to eat gray, soggy, mystery potatoes.  The dog, however, was not pleased as he knew he would not get as many leftovers as usual.

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