Monday, December 2, 2013

perfect hashed browns

It's no secret that my favorite meal is breakfast.  It incorporates all of my very favorite things: eggs (I eat them any way I can get them), some sort of delectable pork product (sausage? ham? bacon? do I have to choose?), a carbo-rific component, and OJ. 
The problem with breakfast, however, is that it implies an "early morning" requirement. 
You see, I'm good at so many things.  Cooking, online shopping, making shapes with Play-Doh.  Waking up in the morning?  Ugh.  I'm what you call "morning-impaired." 
But BRUNCH?!  Oh, yeah.  Brunch I can do.  To me, brunch is basically breakfast after you can sleep in for a bit.  Now that's my kind of meal.
If it's breakfast for one, I'm usually a poached-egg-on-buttery-toast kind of girl, just like my Mom.  But when friends or family come over, I kick it up a notch.  Lately, I've been attempting to use my bounty of Alaskan potatoes, and recently whipped up this batch of perfect hashed browns.  I've tried a few different methods- pre-heating the potatoes in the microwave, roasting everything in the oven.  But I find that nothing produces a perfectly crisp, browned pile of potatoes like butter, a little patience, and a cast iron skillet.

If you're using a thin-skinned waxy potato like I did, don't even bother peeling them.  I rarely peel my potatoes.  I usually tell friends it's because there are so many good vitamins in the skin, and I think that's true.  But the real truth is I'm just too lazy to bother.  A good scrubbing is all they really need.

Perfect Hashed Browns

(Serves about 4.  Adapted from Barefoot Contessa)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 pounds small potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, purple, or German Butterball
1 large onion, diced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)

(1) Melt the butter over medium heat in a large cast iron skillet.

(2) Add the onions, potatoes, salt, and pepper and cook for 20-25 minutes, flipping occasionally with a spatula.  Add the thyme towards the end of the cooking and serve hot.

xo H

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