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Subject: What are *real* hash browns?
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: ppnerkDELETETHIS[at]yahoo.com (Phred)
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 14:27:10 GMT
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G'day mates,

Having something of a surfeit of spuds the other day, I boiled more 
than required with the corned beef with a view to having a couple of 
"hash browns" with bacon and eggs for breaky next morning.

But I wasn't too sure how one makes hash browns, so I did a bit of a 
google and found heaps of recipes -- but they led me to the question 
"What are real hash browns?"

Having met them in the US nearly 30 barely-remembered years ago, and 
more recently in semi-upmarket city hotel "breakfast bars" when 
travelling here in Oz, I was convinced that they are just a sort of 
fried patty of minced/mashed spuds with a bit of onion or whatever 
thrown in and some goop to make them hold together while frying.

However, google threw up quite a bit of stuff which looked more like a 
dry stir fry of spuds and other vegs etc. -- most unpatty-like.

So I appeal to you yanks who are experts in this sort of cuisine -- 
just what *is* the real "hash browns"?  (And your favourite recipe for 
them would be nice too. :-)

Thanks for your time.

Cheers, Phred.

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From: Scott <heimdall[at]spamless.invalid>
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 15:34:55 GMT
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Phred wrote:
> So I appeal to you yanks who are experts in this sort of cuisine -- 
> just what *is* the real "hash browns"?  (And your favourite recipe for 
> them would be nice too. :-)

I've seen recipes for hash brown with other vegetables added, but I 
firmly believe that true hash brown should contain only potato, except 
that a little onion is nice. It's not something I eat all that often, 
but every restaurant I've had it in has made it potato-only.


According to the Joy of Cooking,
"There are two kinds of hash browns: those made with raw potatoes and 
those made with boiled ones. The kind with boiled potatoes stick 
together better and cook more quickly, but some prefer the texture of 
those that begin raw. If you use raw potatoes, cover the pan while they 
are cooking on the first side to hasten the cooking.

HASH BROWN POTATOES from the Joy of Cooking
Toss together:
1-1/2 pounds boiled or raw all-purpose potatoes, peeled and finely diced 
(about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons finely chopped onions (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper, to taste

Heat in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil.

Add the potatoes, toss them a few times, then spread them evenly in the 
pan and press down with a spatula. Reduce the heat to medium and cook 
slowly, pressing down several more times, until browned on the bottom, 
about 15 minutes. As the potatoes cook, give the pan a gentle shake a 
few times to make sure they are not sticking. Cut the cake down the 
middle, then, using 2 spatulas, turn each side over. Do not worry if 
they do not turn evenly--this is a "hash"! If the pan seems too dry, add 
a little more oil before you return the potatoes. Cook the second side 
until golden brown. Serve piping hot.

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From: Jill McQuown <jmcquown[at]bellsouth.net>
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 11:17:44 -0500
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Phred wrote:
> So I appeal to you yanks who are experts in this sort of cuisine --
> just what *is* the real "hash browns"?  (And your favourite recipe for
> them would be nice too. :-)

There are two kinds that I know of (Joy of Cooking? dunno about that).  Home
fries, which are cubed boiled potatoes (skins on) browned in oil or bacon
fat along with onion and sometimes a bit of garlic until they are golden
brown.

Then there are hash browns.  Hash browns remind me of German style potato
pancakes, which you may be more familiar with.  Grated white potato, with a
bit of onion added, pressed into a patty and browned well in oil on each
side until crispy.  Not much of a recipe required, Phred.  Just shred some
potatoes; the starch from the potatoes holds it all together.  Just don't be
tempted to turn it too soon; let it cook on medium heat until nicely golden
and the potato inside is cooked.  Then use a wide spatula and flip the
"pancake" over and brown the other side also to golden.  To serve, simply
season with salt &amp; pepper.

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From: wardna[at]aol.com (Neil)
Date: 26 Sep 2004 20:56:16 GMT
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>Grated white potato, with a
>bit of onion added, pressed into a patty and browned well in oil on each
>side until crispy.

Don´t skimp on the oil, either.  Give 'em enough to sizzle in:  a good eighth
of and inch over the bottom of the pan.

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From: wardna[at]aol.com (Neil)
Date: 26 Sep 2004 20:57:31 GMT
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>Grated white potato, with a
>bit of onion added

I should have added, grated RAW white potato.

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From: Jill McQuown <jmcquown[at]bellsouth.net>
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 22:54:59 -0500
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WardNA wrote:
>> Grated white potato, with a
>> bit of onion added
>
> I should have added, grated RAW white potato.

Yep, I should have specified that as well.  Raw, grated and lots of oil in
the pan.  Not deep frying, but hot oil to really get a nice crispy golden.

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From: Jill McQuown <jmcquown[at]bellsouth.net>
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2004 11:14:34 -0500
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elaine <sass@ca.inter.net> wrote:
> Is there a difference between a rosti potato and a hash brown?  Seems
> to me like they're both cooked the same way.

I'm afraid I am not familiar with a rosti potato so to attempt to comment on
the similarities or differences would be futile.

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From: cj.green[at]worldnet.att.net (Christopher Green)
Date: 28 Sep 2004 14:36:25 -0700
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Jill McQuown wrote:
> I'm afraid I am not familiar with a rosti potato so to attempt to comment on
> the similarities or differences would be futile.

German/Swiss/Austrian "rösti" are approximately the same as US "home
fries". Cut up, not shredded the way hash browns are.

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From: Dave Smith <adavid.smith[at]sympatico.ca>
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2004 18:15:02 -0400
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Christopher Green wrote:
> German/Swiss/Austrian "rösti" are approximately the same as US "home
> fries". Cut up, not shredded the way hash browns are.

I have had rosti in Germany, at the home of my German friends and other places,  and have I  used several
different recipes to make them myself.  They always used shredded pre cooked or leftover potatoes, not cut up.

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From: Kenneth <usenet[at]SPAMLESSsoleassociates.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2004 19:41:45 -0400
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Dave Smith wrote:
>I have had rosti in Germany, at the home of my German friends and other places,  and have I  used several
>different recipes to make them myself.  They always used shredded pre cooked or leftover potatoes, not cut up.

Howdy,

Every time I have seen 'em, they have been shredded...

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From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 28 Sep 2004 22:37:51 GMT
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Christopher Green writes:
>German/Swiss/Austrian "rösti" are approximately the same as US "home
>fries". Cut up, not shredded the way hash browns are.

I see no real similarity other than they're potato... ingredients are similar
but the method is very different: http://tinyurl.com/58l46

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From: Christopher Green <cj.green[at]att.net>
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 06:45:10 GMT
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elaine <sass@ca.inter.net> wrote:
>Really??  Cut up small and formed into a patty?  I'm asking because I love
>rosti potatoes, but they don't always -- never actually -- taste the same as
>when I get them in a restaurant.

The roesti I recall are always in pieces, not formed into patties or
anything like that. It may be a regional difference: I never
encountered anything called roesti in the form of a patty around
Hannover, only roesti that were the same thing as US home fries.

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From: Mr. Wizard <spacedog[at]yahoo.com>
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 17:49:58 GMT
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Phred wrote:
> So I appeal to you yanks who are experts in this sort of cuisine -- 
> just what *is* the real "hash browns"?  (And your favourite recipe for
> them would be nice too. :-)

Hash browns were derived from German and Scandinavian recipes
where you fry last nights leftovers in a type of scrapple.
In the southern United States they were generally made with
left over vegetables especially the previous evenings baked potatoes.
In the 1940s they evolved into the present form you find in most diners.
where you take par boiled potatoes and fine shred them for frying.

Halve some waxy potatoes lengthways.
Boil enough water to cover and add potato halves.
Time six minutes from the moment they are all in.
Pour into a colander and rinse lightly, allow to cool.
Chill in fridge till cold. Shred finely as possible.
After shredding put a  thin layer on a very hot griddle and
pour some oil over the top. Use enough oil to fry well.
Flip them when brown and brown the opposite side.
Salt and pepper to taste.

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From: Kenneth <usenet[at]SPAMLESSsoleassociates.com>
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 14:27:36 -0400
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Mr. Wizard wrote:
>Hash browns were derived from German and Scandinavian recipes
>where you fry last nights leftovers in a type of scrapple.

Howdy,

You lost me with the mention of "scrapple."

Scrapple is a pork dish. What connection are you suggesting?

Thanks,

Kenneth

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From: ksoa650[at]yahoo.com (Karen O'Mara)
Date: 27 Sep 2004 15:26:46 -0700
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Kenneth wrote:
> You lost me with the mention of "scrapple."
> 
> Scrapple is a pork dish. What connection are you suggesting?

I think he was thinking of HASH, not hash browns. Lapskaus is a
Norwegian dish... like Hash. Isn't Scrapple similar to hash like this,
too? Fried leftovers of potato, meat, onion, etc. Think corned beef
hash, only substitute corned beef with what you have on hand.

Some variations of lapskaus is more like a stew, though... with a
gravy or sauce.

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From: fairwater[at]gmail.com (Derek Lyons)
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 05:05:16 GMT
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Phred wrote:
>So I appeal to you yanks who are experts in this sort of cuisine -- 
>just what *is* the real "hash browns"?  (And your favourite recipe for 
>them would be nice too. :-)

Real hash browns are kinda like mini-french fries, I.E. loose, not in
the patty/pancake form.  (Not all will be browned though.)

My favorite recipe is to order them on the rare occasion I am in the
vicinity of a Waffle House.  (All their griddle dishes are cooked on
the same griddle, and the hash browns pick up the bacon, onion, egg,
etc flavors...  Wonderful and not reproducible at home.)

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From: ppnerkDELETETHIS[at]yahoo.com (Phred)
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 14:12:42 GMT
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Derek Lyons wrote:
>Real hash browns are kinda like mini-french fries, I.E. loose, not in
>the patty/pancake form.  (Not all will be browned though.)

Yeah. I noticed that a lot of recipes use olive oil, but I was 
thinking to myself that a good dollop of bacon fat would tbe the way 
to go with these!  :-)

[But I've never met "loose" hash browns here in Oz, only patties.]

Cheers, Phred.

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From: dfreybur[at]yahoo.com (Doug Freyburger)
Date: 29 Sep 2004 11:53:48 -0700
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Phred wrote:
> But I wasn't too sure how one makes hash browns, so I did a bit of a 
> google and found heaps of recipes -- but they led me to the question 
> "What are real hash browns?"

There are several competing ways to make them, so *real* hash
browns are the way they are done in *your* family.  If your
family doesn't have its own recipe, then select one of the
popular versions and decide on it for your own family.

I prefer doing them with raw potatoes:  Scrub a raw potato
without peeling it.  Use a mandolin or grater or shredder
machine to shred one spud straight into a oil frying pan with
a spoon of oil.  Cook until crispy, flip, cook until crispy,
done.

Optional variation: Peel the spud first.

Others prefer using pre-cooked version: Form cooked mashed
potatoes into a patty then fry it rather like a hamburger.

Optional variation: Leave the peel on when you mash.

In both major variations adding some diced onions or
peppers or whatever you like is good.

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From: Kenneth <usenet[at]SPAMLESSsoleassociates.com>
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 16:06:07 -0400
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Doug Freyburger wrote:
>Use a mandolin or grater

Howdy,

Don't ruin a musical instrument shredding food...

Get a mandoline instead <g>
              ^

All the best,

Kenneth


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