From Monday through Friday I eat breakfast at my desk at work and Nathan eats a granola bar or nothing at all (unless you count drinking coffee as eating breakfast…which I don’t.) To make up for this, we always do a nice brunch on Sunday and sometimes Saturday as well. Pancakes are our go-to, default brunch food but we both realized recently that we’ve never tried to make our own hash browns even though we both like them. We’re just creatures of habit! There’s really nothing fancy about this diner staple…just grated potatoes pan-fried to a golden crisp. There are a few secrets, however, to ensure that the potatoes are cooked through, achieve the aforementioned crispiness, and have flavor. First, your grated potatoes should be rinsed a couple times to wash off some of the starch. Second, the wet potatoes need to be wrung of as much of their liquid as humanly possible. Third, add some flavor! We added ¼ of an onion and a little garlic into our potatoes as well as plenty of salt and pepper…an underseasoned potato is just…meh. Lastly, make sure you use a hot, oiled, non-stick pan. We cooked our first batch of hash browns in a regular metal pan and it did not end well. If you follow these steps you will have hash browns that will make you never want to set foot in a diner again…and you’ll have something to look forward to during those mornings when you’re eating yogurt at your desk.
You can tell from the pic that we used this wine to make brunch mimosas and it was perfect! To me, a sparkling wine used to make a mimosa must very carbonated, very dry, and a bit fruity. This one perfectly fit the bill especially from the carbonation and dryness standpoints. It stood up well to the super pulpy orange juice that we mixed it with! At $10.99 it’s also a good buy for a sparkling wine that easily rivals champage. I’ll remember this one for New Year’s Eve!
Nathan’s Beer Pairing: Crispin Natural Hard Apple Cider, Artisanal Reserve Honey Crisp
Rating: 7.0 out of 10.0
This hard cider was just OK. I was looking for a well balanced cider that was both sweet but crisp and with a dry finish and from the description on the bottle I thought it would fit the bill. There was plenty of apple and honey sweetness but unfortunately there wasn’t much there to balance it. I don’t know if it was just the bottle that I bought but the cider was under carbonated and this was likely the majority of the problem. If there was the crispness and dry finish that good carbonation can provide I think this cider would have been a lot better. That being said, I think that a good hard cider is a great drink to wash down all the rich flavors of a good American breakfast like the one that we made. The sweetness and carbonation (hopefully) can really offset the fat, oil, and textures of hash browns, eggs, and bacon.
Homemade Hash Browns:
Adapted from this recipe.
1 large russet potato (about 12 ounces,) peeled
¼ of an onion, grated
1 clove garlic, crushed
1-2 tablespoons canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Shred the potatoes on the largest holes of a box grater.
2. Rinse your grated potatoes in a bowl of cool water, strain, and repeat one more time.
3. Wrap the potato gratings in a kitchen towel or paper towels and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
4. Transfer the potatoes to a plate lined with two layers of paper towels. Add the grated onion and garlic to the potatoes. Cook in a microwave 2 minutes.
5. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When oil shimmers, add shredded potato. (We made ours in 3 batches.) Season with a large pinch of salt and pepper. Using a spatula, press potato into an even layer. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Flip the potatoes with the spatula and brown on the other side, about 2 minutes longer. Remove and drain on a paper-towel-lined plate. Serve immediately.