You know those people who say they’re not big breakfast eaters? Or worse…they don’t like breakfast foods (gasp!)? Yeah, I’m not one of those people. I love breakfast and breakfast food. If I could pick one meal to eat out with friends, it would be breakfast/brunch. And my favorite favorite breakfast food? Potatoes. Hash browns. Whatever you want to call them, I will go out of my way to make sure I have them when I’m ordering breakfast or for special breakfasts at home (like, say, Christmas morning?)
I know this is pretty basic, but this is one of those things like scrambled eggs where it seems like it should be easy, but the potatoes just never come out quite right, you know? The key here is to not overwork the potatoes–you want to touch them as little as possible. Also, don’t be afraid of letting the potatoes get a little brown and crispy (if that’s your thing; if you prefer them cooked but not crispy, that’s cool, too). If you cook them just until they’re done, they’ll still taste good, but the texture might be a bit soggy.
You’ll need 4 smallish-medium russet potatoes (peeled or unpeeled, it’s up to you; I prefer the skins on mine), 1 small onion, salted butter, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, smoked paprika, and Tabasco sauce. You can also substitute 2 tablespoons of bacon grease for 2 tablespoons of the butter.
Bring a medium-large pot of water to a boil and cut your potatoes into 1/4″-1/2″ cubes (depending on how big you like ’em). When the water is boiling, add the potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes or until they are slightly softened but not completely cooked. Drain and rinse in cool water.
In a large skillet (preferably cast-iron; if you don’t have a cast iron skillet, Santa needs to bring you one for Christmas this year), melt the butter (or butter and bacon grease) over medium heat. When the butter is melted and bubbly, add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, for about 1 minute or until the onions are softened. Add the potatoes in a single layer and combine with the onions, then let the potatoes cook for 3-4 minutes without touching them at all. Sprinkle with paprika, a little salt and pepper, and about 10 dashes of Tabasco sauce. Use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan and flip as many potatoes as you can at once until all the potatoes have been flipped. Cook for another 3-4 minutes and test them for doneness and seasoning; add more salt, pepper, and Tabasco to taste. Give ’em a few minutes more if they need it, stirring gently to prevent the potatoes from burning. Serve immediately. And not just for breakfast–they’re a great quick and easy side for dinner on a cold night!
I kind of completely love them with ketchup; yes, I know that is a completely un-foodie admission, but then I’ve never really claimed to be a foodie. Are you shocked and horrified?
Recipe by Our Best Bites
4 medium baking potatoes
1 small white or yellow onion, minced
1/4 c. salted butter
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
About 10-20 shakes of Tabasco sauce
Bring a medium or large bot of water to a boil. While the water is heating, cut the potatoes into into 1/4″-1/2″ cubes. Add the potatoes to the boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes or until they are slightly softened but not fully cooked. Drain and rinse in cool water.
Heat a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Add the 1/4 c. of butter and heat until melted and bubbly. Add the diced onion and cook for about 1 minute or until the onions are softened. Add the potatoes in a single layer. Cook for 3-4 minutes (don’t even touch them) and then sprinkle with paprika, 10 dashes of Tabasco, and a little salt and pepper. Using a spatula, scrape the bottom of the pan and flip as many potatoes as you can at once. You just want to handle the potatoes as little as possible while getting every surface of the potato a little crispy.
When the potatoes have cooked for another 3-4 minutes, test them for doneness and seasoning; add more Tabasco, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook until desired doneness is reached, flipping them the same way as before. It’s hard to overcook these potatoes–they should be a little crispy on the outside, but not burned. Serves 4-6.