Saturday, January 12, 2013

Hash Brown Potatoes

Duplicating crispy "Hash Brown Potatoes" (page 525) without using oil is tricky to say the least. After years of experimenting with different methods, from non-stick pans, to using a few drops of water, to keeping it totally dry, lid off the skillet, lid on, starting with raw potatoes, or using frozen, pre boiled or pre baked potatoes, and even "cheating" and using a spritz of spray can oil, I have concluded that nothing will exactly replicate the light and crispy qualities of a true oil-fried hash brown potato. Since I've accepted that fact, and have let go of that expectation, I now enjoy the healthier version for what it is. In all my experimentations I've found that using pre-cooked works best, but according to the recipe notes, that makes them "home fries" as opposed to hash browns, which evidently always start with raw shredded potatoes. This recipe calls for shredded raw potatoes and onions to be fried in oil, and seasoned with salt and pepper. I decided to try this in my non-stick skillet, minus the oil. While they did brown up nice, and they did cook all the way through, they were most definitely more like a soft potato "cake" rather than crispy fried potatoes. Still very enjoyable, and totally guilt free. Top with ketchup, Tabasco, or BBQ sauce for extra flavor at the table.

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