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Potato Hash

October 7, 2011

I’ve blogged before about how I love potatoes (see Potato Salad with a Twist).  I just love the starchy goodness of potatoes, even though I know they are so bad for me.  I love potatoes in all different forms.  I love baked potato soup.  I love mashed potatoes, especially if they are garlic mashed potatoes.  I love french fries, the crinkle cut kind, the steak kind, the think and crispy find.  And now you know that I’ve found a potato salad I like. 

Today, we’re going to talk about potato hash.  Potatoes for breakfast are a wonderful thing, especially a potato hash (more so than a tater tot or hash brown).  Unfortunately, potato hash is something I always get at a breakfast place if I can even get myself together enough to have breakfast.  In the past, I’ve looked up recipes online and I’ve tried to make it at home and I’ve failed miserably.  Once, when I was home alone I thought I’d try to make some potato hash.  I basically ended up with a potato blob.  Not pretty.  The second time, I made my husband try to make it as I tried to give him direction.  That turned out badly too and had to be tossed in the trash.

But I was determined.  After all, I’m a self-proclaimed potato lover.  So, I found a different recipe online, and while this third try didn’t turn out perfect, it was pretty good and certainly edible and hey, my husband and I ate the whole thing, so it couldn’t have been too terrible. Right?

Ok, so the ingredients:  cleaned and scrubbed russet potatoes, diced onions, lemon zest and lemon juice, and fresh herbs (cilantro, thyme, rosemary, dill and parsley flakes).  Ok, admittedly, I cheated.  The recipe I was loosely following called for fresh diced parsley, and lots of it.  As I don’t particularly love fresh parsley (I can stand it to a point – and the freeze-dried herb is better) and I love cilantro (love it!) and I had some cilantro on hand, I made the executive decision to substitute the called-for parsley for cilantro instead.

Starting with the potatoes, I cut each potato lengthwise, though my husband ultimately said it was still large in size so he suggested cutting each potato into fourths.  It does work out to be a nicer size.  Thin slice the potatoes; the thinner you slice them, the easier they are to cook and the crispier it will get.  The easiest, and fastest, way to get the potatoes cut to the way you want them and have them all cut evenly is by using a mandolin, if you’ve got one.  After the potatoes, take an onion and small dice it.  Then take your cilantro (or parsley, if you prefer) and rough chop a handful into a small bowl.  I also took a few springs of thyme and rough chopped that and added it as well.  Combine the cilantro (or parsley) with the zest of one lemon and mix it together so that the flavor from the lemon zest infuses into the herbs.

Now it’s time to start cooking.  Throw your potatoes into a skillet and let them start cooking.  Stir constantly to cook the potatoes and make sure they aren’t sticking to the skillet.  Here’s where you want to add some salt and pepper to the potatoes for a little flavor.   In a separate pan, start cooking the onions until they become tender and translucent.  You’re just cooking the onions until they are slightly brown, you don’t want to caramelize them.

Once the potatoes are tender and starting to get crispy you’re almost done.  Add the now tender onions into the skillet with the potatoes and start to incorporate the two.  Here’s where I added a dash of dried parsley flakes to make up for the lack of fresh parsley later.  Also, I added some dill as well.  Fresh dill is better than dried dill, but that also works fine.  Mix everything together.  The potatoes and the onions should both be tender, brown and slightly crispy.  At this point, taste it a bit and see if it needs more salt and pepper.  When the potatoes and onions are cooked to the doneness that you like, turn off the flame.

Take your potato hash and transfer it to a bowl.  Into that bowl, add your cilantro and lemon zest mixture and combine everything.  Finally, take the lemon that you zested and squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over your potato hash.  How much lemon juice you add is up to what your taste buds like.  Mix everything together and you’re done.

You should end up with a tangy lemon potato onion hash mixture that is both tender and a bit crispy.  You’ll want to serve this side dish hot, or at least warm.  And watch as your family devours the whole thing!

Now, it’s back to the drawing board for me to find more potato dishes I can make!

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