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Subject: Hash Brown Potatoes
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: GntlmnJac[at]yahoo.com (Gentleman Jack)
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2000 20:06:05 GMT
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I have tried making hash browns from raw potatoes but they always come
out looking un-appetizing...even though they taste great.

How do I keep them from turning dark blue or black while cooking?  I
have tried using a plastic grater and washing off the juice but with
little luck.  Would boiling the potatoes first then grating and frying
help?  Which type of potatoes work best?

Thanks,

-Gentleman Jack

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From: "Jase" <catch_and_release[at]NOSPAMwebcraft1.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2000 16:14:51 -0400
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Jack,

I like to grate my potatoes onto a double or triple folded paper towel.
After grating, fold paper towel together and press by hand to release
all/most of the liquid in the potatoes.  Allows them to crisp up
easier/quicker and much less discoloration.

Jason

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From: "Martha Hughes" <bastzine[at]worldnet.att.net>
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2000 01:38:15 GMT
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I grate mine and then squeeze out the water by hand. I have the pan going
with some oil at med-high heat and I fry. I cook them until they are crispy
brown and I turn only once. They turn out great.

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From: aem <aemN*S[at]worldnet.attdotnet.invalid>
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2000 20:42:25 GMT
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Gentleman Jack wrote:
> How do I keep them from turning dark blue or black while cooking?  

You might try this method that used to work for us until we got lazy and
switched to the frozen product.  Put cold water, some ice cubes and a
couple of slices of lemon in a big bowl.  Then grate all the potatoes
into that cold, acidulated water.  They will hold there without
discoloring until you're ready to cook.  Then squeeze handfuls of them
very well in towels and drop immediately (careful: hot oil splash) into
your hot oil.  Both russet and waxy potatoes fry well when grated.

If you want to cook them first, you'll probably have better luck dicing
them than trying to grate them.

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From: "sticks(pud)" <maryf[at]earthlink.net>
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2000 05:45:56 GMT
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aem wrote:
> You might try this method that used to work for us until we got lazy and
> switched to the frozen product.  Put cold water, some ice cubes and a
> couple of slices of lemon in a big bowl.  Then grate all the potatoes
> into that cold, acidulated water.  They will hold there without
> discoloring until you're ready to cook.  Then squeeze handfuls of them
> very well in towels and drop immediately (careful: hot oil splash) into
> your hot oil.  Both russet and waxy potatoes fry well when grated.

I do similar.  Grate them and put immediately into cold water (I don't
use lemon juice, but that's a preference).  The water also helps to get
the starch off the taters to prevent them from sticking together (which
is what you want if you make potato pancakes, but not hash browns). 
Then I do what "aem" does, squeeze out the water and dry well in paper
towels before frying.

I also do what B. Green does, use leftover baked taters, grate them and
fry em up, both methods work well for me :-).

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From: "B. Green" <tobgreen[at]home.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2000 21:15:27 GMT
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First parboil, nuke or bake 'em, let them cool, works well..

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From: Eric <rubicon_1[at]my-deja.com>
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2000 15:29:24 GMT
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I worked in a restaurant for a while, and we'd boil them just until
they weren't quite so hard anymore. After that, we'd cool them off and
drain. We'd stick the whole pot into the fridge, and the next morning
the skins would just slide off. After that we'd grate and fry.

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From: Ivan Weiss <ivan[at]nwlink.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 2000 18:35:12 -0700
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Gentleman Jack wrote:
> I have tried making hash browns from raw potatoes but they always come
> out looking un-appetizing...even though they taste great.
> 
> How do I keep them from turning dark blue or black while cooking? 

Discoloration of raw potatoes is a problem only if you let them sit around
after grating before putting them in the skillet. I have got hash browns
perfected, at least to my personal taste, and IMO timing is key.
 
I turn on my exhaust fan, put my (cast iron) skillet on the burner, and
turn the heat to between medium high and high. Only then do I start
grating my potatoes. When the pan starts to smoke a little, I add the oil.
When the oil starts to smoke, I add the potatoes. I never have
discoloration, and I never have felt the need to use anything but raw
potatoes.

I grew a variety of potato called Nooksack this year. It is a russet type
bred for use in W. Washington, as its name would indicate. The two forks
of the Nooksack River run in a westerly direction parallel to the Canadian
border, emptying into Bellingham Bay. This potato has a nutty flavor which
is just *made* for French fries and hash browns. The Nooksack doesn't
"brown" like other russet varieties do, and that took some getting used
to. but it has made some of the best fries *I* ever made, and I'll be
growing it again, you betcha.


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