Showing posts with label hash browns. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hash browns. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quick Potato Casserole

RileyAdamsFoodBlogPostpic_thumb_thumb[3]Having children around means that every holiday is special. I think that’s because kids really like to make a big deal over holidays—the bigger a deal, the better!

Easter is one of those holidays. The children have certain expectations about the day. We’ll go to church, we’ll put a flower on the cross outside, we’ll have an Easter egg hunt---and we’ll have a big meal.on_white_04

Food is definitely a big way in the South to mark holidays. Which is great—we all love to eat. But sometimes it gets tough to juggle a bunch of entrees at once—particularly if they’re complicated. This one is super easy and children really like it.

Quick Potato Casserole


2 pound bag frozen hash browns
1 can cream of chicken soup (fat free is fine)
1 pint plain yogurt (you could use 8 oz. of a light sour cream)
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups grated cheese
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 cup crushed crackers or croutons
3/4 cup melted margarine

Preheat oven to 350. Coat a casserole dish (I use 11 x 7) with cooking spray. Place hash browns in the bottom of the dish. Mix soup, yogurt, onion, cheese, salt, and pepper together and spoon on top of hash browns. Sprinkle dressing/crushed crackers on the top and drizzle the margarine over the crackers. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Serves 8-10.

IMG_20110419_175503Hope you’ll have a wonderful Easter!

Delicious and Suspicious (July 6 2010) Riley Adams
Pretty is as Pretty Dies –Elizabeth Spann Craig

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Secret to Perfect Hash Browns

This story began in October. One of the Christmas magazines featured a breakfast dish that looked terrific. The basic idea was to cook shredded raw potatoes (okay, hash browns) with red pepper (and possibly an onion) in an iron skillet.

When you flip the potatoes, you make wells in them to accommodate eggs and then finish the whole thing off in the oven. Sounded great. So when I had company, I followed the recipe and it looked like this.

Trust me, the picture in the magazine looked a whole lot better! I don't know if it tasted better. The potatoes were mushy. We all agreed that there's something special about hash browns. That crispy exterior can't be beat, and the potatoes in this dish didn't quite make it. We all loved the traditional concept of a soft yolk over crispy hash browns, though.

If you're like me, there are some dishes that just don't turn out well for you. Hash browns are one of those dishes for me. I've never quite managed great hash browns. So I went on an internet search of hash brown recipes to find out what I was doing wrong. Every time, they bombed.

And then I happened to run across
a recipe posted by someone named Elise. It's very cute. Her father's hash browns are always better than her mother's. Why? Because he presses out the liquid with a potato ricer!

I was itching to try it. But where was the potato ricer? It's not one of my favorite kitchen items. Where had I put it? Ah, my mother would surely know where hers was. Apparently -- like mother, like daughter. Two households and no one could find a potato ricer. I tried pressing out the liquid like Elise's mother does, between paper towels. No go. Soggy hash browns.

So when I was baking Christmas cookies, I reached for cookie cutters and, by golly, there was the potato ricer. You know what I did next!

I shredded two red skinned potatoes (you're supposed to use russet), crammed the potatoes in the ricer and pressed. This is what came out -- nearly 1/4 cup of liquid!

I used my favorite frying pan with a generous amount of olive oil and heated it just below the middle temp until a drop of water sizzled in the pan. In went the potatoes. I did not press them flat. The hardest part was waiting and resisting the temptation to peek underneath or hurry them along. When the bottom seemed to be set and golden brown, I slid a metal spatula underneath and expected them to stick. They didn't! They turned beautifully! A little salt and the result was perfect hash browns. Our only complaint was that there weren't enough!

Perfect Hash Browns
with thanks to Elise and her father!

peeled russet potatoes
salt and pepper
olive oil

Shred the raw potatoes. Insert in potato ricer and press out liquid. Heat frying pan just below medium heat until a drop of water sizzles in the pan. Add potatoes and cook until the bottom is set and golden brown. Flip and cook through until the bottom is golden brown. Add salt and pepper and enjoy!

I wish you all perfect hash browns every time and a very happy New Year full of good friends, good times, and good food!

~ Krista

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Rosti -- Is It Worth the Trouble?

I think we all have default recipes. The ones we rely on because they never fail. Everyone likes them, and we've made them so often that they're no-brainers. For me, mashed potatoes have been a consistent winner, but I've been looking at other potato recipes and ran across rosti, which my mother used to make when I was a kid.

While some think it's a German dish, it's actually Swiss, and quite old. Think of it as a slightly more sophisticated cousin of hash browns, or a relative of the potato pancake. It's deliciously crunchy on the outside and soothingly soft on the inside. Like a lot of recipes that have been around for a long time, there are too many variations to count. Some people recommend par-boiling the potatoes, some cook the potatoes before shredding, and some use them raw. You can add all sorts of interesting things like cheese, onions, or zucchini, but I love a plain, basic rosti.

A basic rosti contains only potatoes, salt, and pepper. Sounds simple, but a rosti can be tricky. It takes a little tweaking to get it right. I've come to the conclusion that the difficulties lie in the temperature at which it cooks, and the thickness of the rosti.

I'm far too lazy to cook the potatoes first, so I use raw Idaho potatoes. Most recipes call for a volume, like a pound. For me, that turned out to be three small Idaho potatoes. Yellow Yukons should work well, too. Hint Number One: Don't use too many potatoes. The rosti should only be about half an inch thick.

The second potential pitfall is temperature. Hint Number Two: The rosti has to be started at the low side of moderate heat and then cooked over moderately low heat. On my stove "6" is the middle heat temperature. I start the rosti at 5 and immediately turn it down to 3.5, which is a fairly low temp. If you have a non-stick pan that can brown food, it might be a good choice for this dish, but you'll probably have to change the temperatures and times a bit. I use a plain skillet.

1 10-inch skillet

1 pound potatoes
3/4 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Peel the potatoes and shred them. I zip them through a food processor in seconds.

2. Place the raw potatoes in a bowl and add the salt and pepper. (3/4 teaspoon of salt works well for me, though you may prefer more or less salt) Toss with two forks to distribute.

3. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter with 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil over moderate heat.

4. When the foaming stops, add the potatoes, spread, and press flat.

5. Turn the heat down to moderately low, and let cook about 10 minutes.

6. Slide a spatula underneath the potatoes to loosen, place a dinner plate over the pan, and flip to remove the rosti from the pan.

At this point, if there are remaining bits in the pan, take a minute to scrape them out or to wash the pan so they won't burn when you cook the other side.

7. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. When the foaming stops, slide the rosti back into the pan and cook over moderately low heat for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through.

8. Slide out of the pan and onto a plate. Cut in fourths to serve.

Warning! This should serve four. However, it's usually so good that two can easily eat it. And when I left the kitchen briefly the other night, a certain dog, who will not be named, proved that one rosti is the right size for a 110 pound dog. He thought it was well worth the trouble and so do I. Don't be discouraged if it's not perfect the first time. Once you get the hang of it, a rosti is a no-brainer!