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Old 05-22-2006, 02:13 PM   #1
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Hash browns?

any suggestions on how to keep hash browns from turning out bad? Mine usually either turn out mushy or they stick to the pan and burn.

Onions and red peppers are my favorite additives.

I have heard that giving the grated potatoes a saline bath will wash of the starches (making them less likely to be sticky) and also firm up the potato a bit.

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Old 05-22-2006, 02:34 PM   #2
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use pam cooking spray forst, make sure your oil is hot before placing hash browns in pan...
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:43 PM   #3
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I grate mine into a bowl of cold milk, this not only keeps them from oxidizing, but also adds flavor that is better than water. Squeeze dry and dump in a hot pan with some butter
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:52 PM   #4
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You have to be sure they are really dry. Wring them out wrapped in a towel that you can twist to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Then fry them in a hot pan with hot fat.
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:56 PM   #5
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In theory it should not matter, if you throw them in hot pan with hot oil and do not touch it until they are ready, they (the hash brown) witl not stick. However, what kind of pan are you using now?
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Old 05-22-2006, 03:19 PM   #6
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The addition of the other ingredients are also contributing, because the onions and/or peppers are giving off their liquid as well.
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Old 05-22-2006, 03:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef_Jimmy
I grate mine into a bowl of cold milk, this not only keeps them from oxidizing, but also adds flavor that is better than water. Squeeze dry and dump in a hot pan with some butter
Perfect! Every time I've grated potatoes (for pancakes etc.) everything turns red. This sounds like it might solve my problem. THANK YOU!!!
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Old 05-22-2006, 03:25 PM   #8
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Mish, when you great potato for pancakes great it with some onion. Take turns potato - onio, potato - onion. Onion will keep potato from turning dark.
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Old 05-22-2006, 03:33 PM   #9
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Mish, when you great potato for pancakes great it with some onion. Take turns potato - onio, potato - onion. Onion will keep potato from turning dark.
Thanks, Charlie
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Old 05-22-2006, 03:49 PM   #10
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You are welcome.
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Old 05-22-2006, 03:51 PM   #11
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There is a great debate among latke (potato pancakes) makers if in fact adding onion was originaly for the taste or for keeping potato turning dark, I am the one those who belives in latter.
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Old 05-22-2006, 08:58 PM   #12
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i don't personally care for using grated raw potatoes, mainly because of the mushy inside texture. i use boiled, steamed or baked whole potatoes (usually leftovers, if i'm going to do a batch, i typically do a large batch just to have leftovers 'cause i'm lazy) or if i'm in a hurry i'll slice them up first and boil or steam for a few minutes. drain and let them sit for a few minutes. they'll dry from their own heat. saute with butter, salt, pepper and sometimes onions or bell peppers. sometimes add grated cheese on top and flip the whole thing over until the cheese gets crispy too.
not particularly healthy, but ...

as a side dish, they also go nicely with other spices and herbs, for example, curry powder, fresh rosemary, sun-dried tomatoes with oregano and garlic, sauerkraut and pastrami, ....
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Old 05-23-2006, 12:11 PM   #13
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I am no expert on hashbrowns...I generally just buy the frozen potato cakes like they serve at McYuck's. I love those things.

Leftover baked potatoes are great fried up. I've never tried cubing them, though. We just usually slice them in wedges.
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Old 05-23-2006, 01:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Dove
any suggestions on how to keep hash browns from turning out bad? Mine usually either turn out mushy or they stick to the pan and burn.

Onions and red peppers are my favorite additives.

I have heard that giving the grated potatoes a saline bath will wash of the starches (making them less likely to be sticky) and also firm up the potato a bit.
I'm no expert but here's how I make shredded hash browns.
Put a medium scrubbed potato in tepid unsalted water and bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool under running water and peel, then shred on box grater. Grate 1 or 2 strokes of a halved onion on top of the potatoes. Add salt & pepper, mix up with fingers and form into a thin patty. Heat a pan with some butter and oil. Use a spatula or bench knife to transfer the potato to the pan. Cook about 5 minutes on one side, flip and cook 3 or 4 on the other.

Starting with tepid water, not adding salt to the water and simmering fairly briefly all help to keep them from being mushy. Using a red or Yukon gold would also help but I use small russets. As far as sticking goes, expect them to stick, especially to stainless steel, but don't fuss with them. After a couple minutes they'll get unstuck and there will be a great golden crust on the bottom. If you try to move them during that first minute or so that great crust stays on the pan.

If I'm going to add peppers and onions I cube the potatoes after simmering, saute the peppers and onions in separate pan and add them to the crispy diced potatoes. I've never been able to get the potatoes crispy and the other veggies cooked right in one pan at the same time.

If I'm not going to boil the potatoes first then I put the raw shreds in a bowl in the sink under a slow stream of running water until the water in the bowl is clear. Then I refrigerate the bowl with potatoes covered with water. for an hour or maybe even overnight. Then I dry well with a towel and cook as above. I think it's a lot harder to get them right this way, and have cooked the bottom on the stove and the top under the broiler.

Again, I'm not a chef, just an old guy livin' off his own cookin'.
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