As proven by Waffle House, hash browns are delicious with all sorts of toppings, but the base layer needs to be two things: crisp on the outside, soft and steamy on the inside. Squeezing excess water from the raw, shredded potatoes is essential for the former, and even cooking in a single layer that’s not too thick is essential for the latter. A fried egg, or a freshly cooked BLT Scramble, is a simple yet perfect accompaniment. Or try our Skillet Potato Pancake with Cheese recipe if you like your hash browns “covered” (as they say at Waffle House).
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds (about 3 medium) russet potatoes, peeled
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
1Line a large colander with a clean dishtowel or a double layer of cheesecloth. Shred the potatoes on the coarse holes of a box grater into the lined colander. Let sit for 5 minutes, then gather up the corners and wring out as much excess liquid as you can.
2Heat the oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the squeezed, shredded potato in an even layer, then season with salt and pepper. Use a spatula to press the shredded potato flat. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Using the spatula, carefully flip the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper again. Cook until golden brown on the other side, about 5 minutes longer. Slide onto a paper-towel-lined plate to drain briefly, then serve at once, whole on a warmed platter, or cut into wedges on individual plates.
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