Monday, January 7, 2008

There's No Place Like Home Pt. I

I claim Little Rock and New Orleans as home. I was born and raised in Little Rock; I spent some of the best years of my life in New Orleans. In Little Rock, some of my fondest memories are of cooking with my girlfriends. We had three staples: hash browns with onions for breakfast and fried catfish with French fries and onions for dinner. We made cheese dip too, but the other things ... those were the good old regulars.

Hash browns and onions. Here we go. I swear these were our attempt to recreate the "smothered" hash browns at that fine dining establishment known as The Waffle House. You should get South and try them. These aren't even close, but they're damn good.

We've always used Russet potatoes. As I write this, I'd like to try it with a Yukon Gold. Peel it and place it in cold water.
While that soaks, finely chop your garlic (I depart slightly from our tried and true recipe.)

Work on some onion and parsley too. (Yes. The parsley is another departure.)
Break out the food processor. We used to grate our potatoes by hand. I rock these out with the julienne disc. I let the potato to soak again. Why so much soaking? 'Cause I'm slow and I don't want the potato to oxidize. When you're ready, drain the potato and get ready to season it up.
Departure #3: Tony Chachere's. Add some freshly ground black pepper too.
I like to add a little bit of flour.

Get thee to a hot skillet and some grease! I really like cast iron for this. As with anything, the amount of oil you use changes the texture of the dish. If you like the uniform crispness of fast food hash browns, use a lot more oil and cook in smaller batches.

I added just a little oil to the skillet for this batch. No matter how much oil you use, do not move the hash browns until they are golden brown. Time and patience are important in the kitchen.
Flip your hash browns and brown on the second side. It's okay if you break them up.

I snuck a small bite. I just need to lay hands on some hot sauce and ketchup!

Tools of the trade:

1 comment:

sugarlaws said...

Yum! I ran the New Orleans marathon in February of last year (is 2007 last year or this year? hmmmm) and love the city so much. The first thing I did was eat chickory coffee and beignets, even though caffeine and sugar were probably the worst possible pre-marathon foods! But how could I resist? :-)