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Old 02-28-2010, 12:46 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Selkie
I actually wring them out with my hands until nearly all of the water is squeezed out of them.
Yep!! My mother would say "wring the living daily lights out of them"....

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Old 02-28-2010, 02:46 PM   #12
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the second try:

Okay, so armed with all the tips from everyone (thanks!) I tired again:

I used a salad spinner to wring out as much water as I could (it was amazaing how much brown water came out of 2 mediums sized baking potatoes!).

I used more olive oil (maybe an 1/8th of an inch deep..more than I really want to use for sure)

I heated the pan first, then set aside for a moment. then back on the burner on aboiut medium or slightly less flame. Onions first quickly then I put in the shredded taters. I let em sit as long as I could bear ..very worried they are gonna stick to the pan (the very expensive pan I just bought !!) I was able to turn about half first and to my joy, nice and golden crusty brown taters. I turned them over and tried to let them sit again as long as I could bear and then drained on a paper towel. With a good amount of sea salt, they were delicious, a bit on the oily side and slightly undercooked in the middle in spots, but overall quite good ...for this rookie chef anyway.

I'll keep working at it until I get them perfect. I really like the idea of cooking with a cast iron pan, so I may just break down and buy another one for apt. (For some reason I thought this was just for cabin and camp cooking...don't know why it couldn't be for the city as well). I'm not sure I would get the beautiful brown color and texture that the SS pan produced.....we'll see.

Thanks again everyone, and any more suggestions on how to improve the process and recipe are always welcome!

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Old 02-28-2010, 02:54 PM   #13
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Not relevant to the OP, but I just wanted say "Thanks, guys". For brunch this noon I tossed some leftover mashed potatoes I had into my panini grill (which I think has Teflon-coated plates) with some margarine and left them for 10 minutes on medium heat until all the steam escaped. Foolishly, I checked after 3 minutes and the entire project looked like a failure. After 10 minutes, they peeled off into these beautiful, thin, ridged (not rigid), potato cakes. Looks like first-hand evidence that it's moisture in the potatoes that allow them to stick to the pan.
I am going to try this with a stainless steel pan now, just to see if I can get the same trick to work, which I would do with well-wrung hashed browns, since it would be a real trick to remove the moisture from mashed potatoes in a stove top pan.
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Old 02-28-2010, 04:25 PM   #14
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Next time roll up the shredded potatoes in a kitchen towel then twist the towel as tightly as you can to wring out even more water than the salad spinner. The dryer the potato, the easier it s for them to brown.
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Old 02-28-2010, 05:24 PM   #15
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Lex, I'm glad you got the results you were looking for. You do seem to prefer not to use so much oil. I agree with you. You can use less, now some will not agree but I always use a cooking spray when I fry potatoes in a ss pan. It seems to help them release easier. Any way glad you had a great meal.
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Old 02-28-2010, 06:55 PM   #16
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I have read that if you put room temp oil in a hot pan you don't need near as much. I've not tried it yet though.

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