By: Helena Stallings, Culinary Arts Student
Although many people believe that the potato is native to Ireland, the potato is actually native to the Americas. It is said that the potato arrived in Ireland by means of a wrecked merchant ship off one of their coasts. Before the potato was introduced, Ireland was in poor shape and when the potato arrived it was an answer to their starvation prayers. The potato was a durable plant that could survive their rocky terrain and it provided the Irish all the vitamins that they were lacking. When the Irish combined milk with their potatoes, they formed a complete protein and this influx of nutrients allowed the Irish population to rebound. Unfortunately when the potato blight ravaged the Irish potato fields in 1845, Ireland had become so dependent on the crop that the country collapsed. One little crop commanded a country and now it’s one of the most loved, most widely grown and used starch in the culinary arts and a staple on most of my breakfast plates.
Hashbrowns are a breakfast classic and they are not as difficult as they look. Start by par cooking 2 peeled potatoes in boiling water and when they are ready, drain them and let them cool slightly. Heat a large sauté pan with 1 1/2 ounces of butter, then shred the potatoes using a cheese grater or food processor and add them to the pan. Using a spatula, form the potatoes into a rectangle and let them sit; the less they are moved, the more crunchy the bottom layer gets. When all the edges have sufficiently browned, cut the hashbrown in half and flip one of the halves onto the other with the browned side facing upwards. The easiest way to remove your hashbrowns from the pan is to place a plate over the pan and flip the pan over. This is an easy recipe that’s perfect for a sunday breakfast at home or simply to satisfy a fried potato craving and shredded potatoes freeze well, so you can shred the potatoes ahead of time and fry them off when you want them.
Hashbrown Recipe: 2 large servings
2 Russet potatoes; peeled and par cooked
1 1/2 ounces butter (for frying)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Large Sauté pan