A few years ago, we made an early morning breakfast stop at an inviting looking roadside restaurant. We ordered hashbrowns and eggs. They were the most delicious, shredded hashbrowns I had ever tasted...and noted it in my car journal so we could remember to stop there again. On a return trip, I could hardly wait to reorder that delicious breakfast meal. I should have been forewarned that it would not be the same by the extreme length of time it took for our breakfast plates to be brought out. The meal was entirely forgettable; whatever the previous chef had done to those potatoes had definitely not been passed on to his or her replacement.
The whole process of making hashbrowns is a sore subject with me as I had never been satisfied with my versions of them. So, I undertook a challenge to try different methods others had suggested that would lead to hashbrown success. The ratings are from F to A...1 to 5...horrible to wonderful.
#1. The first recipe came from a book called 101 Things to do With a Potato. It suggests frying a raw, grated, russet potato with onions and bacon in a covered skillet...I used real bacon bits, and squeezed the water out of the potatoes, (it did not say to do this), before frying with the onions. It took a long time to brown up and the potatoes were transparent looking. I did add the scrambled eggs and came up with the plateful of food shown above. Rating: C-, 2+, mediocre.
#2. Grated, peeled, raw potatoes, no water squeezed out. These took a very long time to cook. The potatoes never browned correctly, they were gummy, transparent globs. Rating: F, 0, horrible.
#3. Raw potatoes put through a potato ricer to extract the maximum liquid. Fried up with margarine, both sides. These had an acceptable texture and the taste was good. The downside was the grease and length of time it took to cook...20 minutes... and they were slightly transparent. Rating: B, 3, Not bad.