Southern-style Hashbrowns

Never has my moniker been so accurate than right now. Well, barring last semester. For whatever reason, spring break for me has never meant fun in the sun. Ha. No. It’s work, work, and more work. A whole heaping pile of work to be exact that never seems to end. Hopefully it does soon. I’m tired.

All bleakness aside, I have been falling down on my duty to archive the stuff I make. Actually, I ran out of material for a short period. A Sunday dinner I typically use as material ended in a catastrophe when I made an attempt to make artichokes. My new arch-nemesis gave me unpublishable material because it was, quite frankly, not good. I will cook you up one of these days you little bastards, I swear it.

In commemoration of everyone returning from their respective breaks, I decided to do a classic. Breakfast-dinner. Or Brinner for short. The apartment loves brinner, I mean how can you not? What’s better than breakfast foods for dinner? Well, probably brunch because those usually come with mimosas. But that’s not the point.

Breakfast foods aren’t all that revolutionary for me because it’s usually stuff like making pancakes, making bacon, and cooking up a few eggs. Although no eggs were requested here. And none of those things are particularly awe-inspiring or in desperate need of being archived, because their relatively straight-forward.

But, one thing I can make that is not straight out of a package for brinner is the hashbrown. Back in the South, we top our cubed potatoes fried in oil with cheese. Delicious, delicious cheese. But apparently that’s not something they do in the North. When I first made hashbrowns, my roommates were confused because they only think of those shredded potatoes as hashbrowns. Much disappoint.

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Sometimes when I make hashbrowns, I use a package of frozen potatoes, and other times I cube them myself. I prefer cubing them myself because it’s easier to get the water off the surface of the potato for ample frying. So cube up those potatoes (any kind will do really) and dry all sides of them with a paper towel.

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Then I dice up some onion and bell pepper to add in later. No garlic for this one. Garlic is not only not really a breakfast-y flavor for me, it’s also used in my hash, which I can use for material at a later date because it’s different.

But that’s all the prep work that goes into this, it’s pretty minimalistic.

Heat up some vegetable oil in a skillet and add in the potatoes. I also add in a nice helping of salt, pepper, and paprika. And that’s it for the seasoning too. Then I make sure all of the potato is coated in the oil, throw a lid on it, and let it do it’s thing for a good 15-20 minutes. I don’t like to sit there and stir it around because then the potatoes won’t really crisp up. But if that’s what you want, then go for it.

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After those 15-20 minutes are up, I add in the onion and bell pepper. At this point I’ve seasoned and oiled everything enough that I don’t really add in any more salt. Don’t want to over-salt the dish after all.

Then I put a lid on this thing again and let it go to town. Same reasoning as before. I like crispy potatoes.

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Once it cooks for another 15-20 minutes, you’ll get these beauties. Yes. That’s what I like to see. Now we could stop there and have some pretty damn-good hashbrowns. But why stop there? What really puts these over the top and makes them artery-clogging is the addition of some cheddar cheese.

So pile that cheese on, reduce the heat on the stove and let the cheese melt up. You can also throw it in an oven, but I wasn’t using an oven-safe skillet.

If you notice, I did tag this as dairy-free. That’s because, even with this heaping pile of cheese, it does not contain any lactose. Turns out any type of Cabot brand cheese doesn’t contain any lactose. It’s not even special, weird, lactose-free cheese. The cheddars have just been aged long enough that lactose proteins no longer exist within the fabric of the cheese. Isn’t that just great? Because I don’t think hashbrowns can be truly enjoyed unless they have a mountain of cheese on them.


Southern-style Hashbrowns

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 6 yellow potatoes, diced
  • ½ white onion
  • ½ green bell pepper
  • 3 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese*

Preparation

  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat
  2. Dry diced potatoes with a towel or paper towel
  3. Add potatoes, salt, pepper, and paprika to skillet, stir to coat potatoes in oil and spices
  4. Cover, and let sauté for 15 minutes
  5. Add bell peppers and onions
  6. Stir, cover, and let cook for another 15 minutes
  7. Add cheese
  8. Reduce heat to low and cover until cheese melts

* Cabot-brand cheddars are naturally lactose-free, if those aren’t available then this can be omitted or you can use your favorite lactose-free cheddar

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Vegetarian


 

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