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Old 05-29-2013, 02:06 PM   #41
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I fried my shredded potatoes forever and they still didn't crisp up. That is, until I followed the advice given here and bought a CucinaPro 313 Ricer/Spaetzle press for $9.94 from Amazon. When I pressed the shreds, I couldn't believe how much water came out. No wonder my hash browns stayed soggy and wouldn't fry up crisp.
I agree. Russets are fine. You can also par-cook the potatoes prior to frying in a few tablespoons of hot oil.
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:10 AM   #42
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Mom always made home fries by cutting the potato in half, length-wise, then slicing. Hash browns were shredded. I can do the former, but the latter comes out gummy. I just think potatoes have changed. I consider myself a pretty darned good home cook. BTW, Mom & Dad were born and raised in New Hampshire, but both their families came from Quebec province. Both swear that their mothers couldn't cook worth a poop (and I never spent a lot of time with them, but the time I did spend just adds). Mom learned to cook from other military wives. Snitzel? Suki-yaki? Fried rice? Mom could do it all. But Daddy was a potato man, and she could cook potatoes to beat the band.
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:31 AM   #43
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Go down south and ask for home fries and you will get a blank stare. They don't know what they are. I am afraid ATK got it wrong this time. Their potaotes are good, just not home fries as we know them. They are baked fries.
Another southern person that disagrees. I've had home fries (either cubes or thick slices) as long as I can remember and I'm over 50. My mom made them like her mom did and mom is 84 now and they certainly weren't baked. In fact, I don't think my grandmother, who was a farmer's wife, baked potatoes other than when she made scalloped. Otherwise, they were always fried or mashed at her table. Grandma used lard and bacon grease to fry. Mom updated for convenience by using Crisco or Wesson oil depending on her mood and what she had in the pantry.
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:45 AM   #44
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Bacon fat makes the best tasting hash browns and home fries. Chicken fat would probably be really good too.
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:47 PM   #45
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We have home fries in colorado too.

I just read this thread, and I am thinking along the lines of where Claire was. Mom's hash browns always came out crispy, and she grated them right into the hot pan! I have to dry them to have them turn out crispy.
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:54 PM   #46
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I've had home fries all over in the states for many years, and in Mexico and Canada too! Some of the chains, like Perkins and Denny's, do hash browns really well. Lovely with a dippy egg and lots of ketchup.

I'm also a fan of McDonald's hash browns....
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:47 PM   #47
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I actually ruined my $100+ Scan Pan cranking up the heat to get the damn grated potatoes to fry up crisp! That was before I learned to squeeze out the water beforehand.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:49 PM   #48
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We have home fries in colorado too.

I just read this thread, and I am thinking along the lines of where Claire was. Mom's hash browns always came out crispy, and she grated them right into the hot pan! I have to dry them to have them turn out crispy.
I think that is the difference in oils/fats used in cooking today and yester-years. Even Crisco is significantly different from what I used when I was in 4-H, a mmmurph years ago.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:49 AM   #49
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The surface used to cook hash browns probably comes into play. I fry mine up in a wide non stick skillet for convenience sake. However, the oil tends to spread around on the pan, whereas with a cast iron skillet or a restaurant grill, you're starting with a better cooking surface.
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:06 PM   #50
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I made the best home fries with lard and a 4x4 griddle on an old gas range that had started it's life at the Remount Ranch along the Pony Express Trail. Talk about a seasoned cooking surface!!!
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