Yes, I'm still alive. And thinking about...hash browns. Specifically, thinking about hash browns in yoga today, when I was probably supposed to be one with my body or the universe or some such thing. But I made the mistake of going to yoga slightly hungry, and then at some point while grabbing my left foot with my right hand and grounding my rear end into the earth and twisting my spine and sweating profusely, I just started thinking about hash browns...and let me tell you, an hour-long class has never passed so slowly. At the end of class, while lying in shavasana, I was plotting lunch big time. As soon as I said my namastes, I sped home and made it happen.
I'm moving in a week or so, and so the recent challenge has been to use up my perishables, including some potatoes I've had kicking around, which is probably why I had hash browns on the brain. Those potatoes and about two dozen egg whites, left over from making multiple lemon tarts. So basically I'm trying to think of anything that makes scrambled egg whites more appealing, and hash browns definitely fit the bill. The real icing on the cake, (or, more technically, the salt on the potatoes) was that I finished them off with a healthy pinch of truffle salt. Truffle salt is exactly what it sounds like--salt with a bits of truffle mixed in. It is fantastic, and really adds that special something to simple foods, such as eggs and potatoes. I found my truffle salt at a place in NYC's Chelsea Market (one of my all-time favorite places) called The Filling Station. The salt is a bit pricey--$10 for a jar that's about ¼ cup--but well worth it. I only need a pinch when I use it, so it'll last me years. So without further ado:
Speedy Quick Hash Browns For One (or More...)
*Potatoes of your choice, as many as you need. I used one 12-ounce red potato, but saved half for another meal. However, any potato you have on hand will do, in whatever quantity you're hungry for
*Olive Oil (Extra Virgin or regular, it doesn't matter)
*Salt and Pepper (if you have a fancy salt, such as truffle salt or herb salt, this is a great time to use it)
1. In a nonstick pan, heat a Tablespoon or two of olive oil over medium-high heat, until it is shimmering but not smoking. Ideally your pan will fit the potatoes in a single to double layer, but no more than that, or else you won't get lots of nice browning. If you're making these for a crowd, better to do several batches than overcrowd your pan.
2. Dice your potatoes evenly--a half inch dice is ideal to ensure quick and even cooking. Once the oil is hot, add your potatoes to the oil, spread them out, and then let them sit for about a minute. Resist the urge to disturb them--this is when a nice brown crust forms.
3. If you're able, toss the potatoes using a couple of nice wrist flicks, TV-chef style, or if not, use a spatula to flip them over, then let sit again for another 45 seconds or so. Repeat two or three times, until most sides are browned. Add some water--a ¼ cup or so--and put a lid over the potatoes (it doesn't have to fit perfectly). Let the potatoes steam a little bit, but continue to toss/flip every minute or so. Check your potatoes for done-ness after about 8 minutes, either with a sharp knife (they should offer no resistance), or with your mouth (careful, they're hot!). When they are tender, season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately, with eggs or without. Enjoy!!