It goes with out saying that they're famous for their waffles. But the other menu mainstay no matter what time of the day or night, are their hash browns. Brilliant for breakfast with eggs and bacon and all manner of greasy goodness, perfect for lunch or dinner too especially if you order them "all the way" which basically means topped with everything from mushrooms to cheese to sausage gravy. There's nothing not to like about fried potato, especially when they're like these: lacy, crispy latticework, golden brown and buttery. Best of all, now I'm back in Sydney and a million miles away from my favourite fried food fix, I just discovered that one of those fancy food writers - James Beard award-winning Josh Ozersky - worked out how to make Waffle House hash browns at home. All you need is a box grater, a potato, some butter, a sprinkling of salt and a cast iron skillet. Oh. And three minutes. Don't believe me? Watch. Then make them yourself. I did. And I'm going to again. For dinner tonight.
Recipe by Josh Ozersky, via Food52
The key here is not to be greedy - just do one serving at a time, no more than half a potato per person. If making for more than one, you can keep the cooked hash browns warm in an oven heated to a low temperature.
Potatoes (about 1/2 medium potato per person)
Salt (I used Maldon)
Melt butter in a large cast iron skillet til sizzling, and just when the foaming subsides, coarsely grate an unpeeled potato over it on the large holes of a box grater. Do it sparingly, so that you see as much pan as potato; don’t pile it up anywhere.
Once the potato hits the pan, salt it. The reason you want there to be so much space is to give the steam somewhere to go. Potatoes need to shrink and shrivel, concentrating their taste down and replacing their water with fat. Give them room and let them bind with each other as the starch comes out. Amazingly, the shreds will form a latticework of starch, butter and salt.
Once this happens, slide it out of the pan in one motion onto a plate. Then flip, salt lightly again and cook for another 15 to 20 seconds. Alternately, you can flip in a couple pieces with a sturdy spatula.
Serve with your favourite fixings: egg, bacon, sausage, chili, gravy, mushrooms, the list goes on...