February 04, 2014

Bachelor Chef -- hash browns

I cook up a bag at a time, which is four servings for me. The bags are usually frozen solid, but I finally figured out that putting the entire unopen bag into the microwave for a minute breaks it up without fully melting the potatoes.

So I melt a quarter stick of butter in my fry pan, and then pour all the potatoes in:


And then I liberally salt it.

I use the timer in my phone and get up to turn them every 3 minutes. Initially the stove is set to medium heat (to melt the butter) but after I put in the potatoes I raise it to between medium-high and high.

They cook down nicely and brown up:


This batch is done. Now to put them in a refrigerator box:


And here's my favorite breakfast:


Three extra-large eggs scrambled, a quarter of a bag of hashbrowns, and a chocolate chip muffin. Yum! That's usually enough to get me through to dinner.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Daily Life at 07:49 PM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
Post contains 168 words, total size 1 kb.

1 I found that with age I started to lean more on greens. Still love a breakfast like pictured (I also add bacon), but only once in a while.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at February 05, 2014 08:15 AM (RqRa5)

2 Are those browner than they actually appear?  They look pretty pale still, unlike what you'd get at a restaurant.

Posted by: RickC at February 05, 2014 10:20 AM (swpgw)


No, that's about accurate. If you keep cooking them, they start burning. Also, the texture changes, for the worse IMHO. (And since I'm the guy eating them, it's my decision.)

I've tried experimenting with different amounts of cooking, and on this particular batch I tried a shorter cooking time.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 05, 2014 11:36 AM (+rSRq)

4 I've always pushed the "fry until they're nothing but crispy bits" end of the envelope, with a chopped onion and can of corned beef mixed in, but it's absolutely a matter of taste. And doing it that way does kind of require standing at the stove for about an hour, spatula in hand. So I only make them on Saturday mornings, for the family.
Forget that bread maker I never use, I want a hash browns maker, to have them ready when I wake on work days, instead of just on weekends. That's an appliance I'd buy in a heartbeat.

Posted by: Brett Bellmore at February 05, 2014 02:18 PM (HGNzm)

5 Nice. I've given up breakfast foods in general for milk + carnation chocolate breakfast mix. I'm eating too many calories in a day (I eat like an 18 year old...and I'm 37.)

How do you get your scrambled eggs like that? I either end up too runny or overdone.

Also, do the hash browns stay somewhat crispy that way?

Posted by: Tom Tjarks at February 05, 2014 02:29 PM (T5fuR)


Brett, what I found was that I could make a big batch of hash browns and microwave a small part when I wanted to eat them.

Tom, I don't know how to answer your question about the eggs. Part of it is to get the heat setting right. If it's low then they cook slowly and you can get them off the stove before they turn to rubber. If they're runny, you need to keep cooking. Anyway, after long experience I've learned how to set my stove properly.

Also, stir constantly as long as they're in the pan.

The hash browns are not crispy, nor do I want them to be. That's probably possible if I let them cook longer, but when you do that the shreds break down and it's like having mashed potatoes with a crust.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 05, 2014 02:42 PM (+rSRq)

7 Oh, and I can't do milk any more. It give me terrifically terrible gas.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 05, 2014 02:43 PM (+rSRq)

8 Alas, they never seem as crispy once they've been in the fridge, unless you refry them. Not a problem, of course, if you're not looking for crispy in the first place...

Wonder if there'd be enough of a market for a corned beef hash machine, to justify developing one? Probably not.

Posted by: Brett Bellmore at February 05, 2014 04:13 PM (HGNzm)

9 I favor a bit more "brown" in my hash-browns.  I probably get that from my mom's cooking; I do not recall her getting even close to under-cooking anything...

Posted by: Siergen at February 05, 2014 04:24 PM (c2+vA)

10 Tom, another thing that helps is to use the right tool when stirring (constantly) the eggs. I use a silicone spatula rather than a pancake flipper.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 05, 2014 04:47 PM (+rSRq)

11 Tom: In lieu of developing actual kitchen skills like our gracious host, I've found that mixing in a little water (I don't know, about a teaspoon per egg? Experiment) makes scrambled eggs really hard to overcook.

Posted by: benzeen at February 05, 2014 08:49 PM (w1Fue)

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