I've already blogged about my love of breakfast, so you'll understand as I wax poetic about a favorite breakfast item -- hash browns. I want mine super crunchy...can't stand a pile of half-cooked potato shreds. I don't tolerate limp, soggy re-heated potato pucks either. In my humble opinion, hash browns are not something you can make ahead and hold -- they need to be made to order. At least they do the way I like them. Which is crisp.
They really can be done at home...which is the topic of this blog. How to get that light crispy, crunchy hash brown patty at home.
First, you want to prepare your potatoes. Use Russet or Idaho potatoes. Peel, then grate the potato onto a baking sheet. Grate some sweet onion onto the pile as well. Sprinkle with a little fresh squeezed lemon juice, some kosher salt, and some cracked black pepper. Grate a handful of extra sharp cheddar onto the pile (not too much or they will stick to your pan). Mix it all together lightly with your hands. That's it.
Now get ready to fry. There are several IMPORTANT POINTS in this process, I will call them "IP"s. Begin by placing a wire rack over a baking sheet lined with paper towel. Heat a large frying pan over very high heat. Add a good amount of canola oil - more than just a slick across the bottom, but not so much it is filling the pan. You want it to come halfway up the side of your patty when you add it to the pan. IP #1 -- heat your oil until you see ripples, but not smoke. Spoon mounds of potato into the oil and spread out to a thin layer. Make sure you have plenty of space around each portion in the pan, too much food will drop the temperature of the oil and you'll get soggy, oily potatoes instead of the crispy, crunchy kind.
IP #2 -- REDUCE the heat to medium or medium high. Let the potatoes start to brown around the edges and then IP #3 cover with lid and cook a few minutes. When the potato has gone from translucent to white and comes up easily from the bottom of the pan, flip the hash brown portions over. Cover and cook the other side a few minutes. Adjust the heat throughout the frying process to keep the oil hot but not smoking. Carefully remove the hash browns to the wire rack and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. ENJOY!