We’ve tried to make the most of our time living on this side of the pond and so we’ve been on a lot of road trips (I love a good road trip.) It’s become a bit of a tradition that if we have a full day of driving ahead of us we like to get off to a good start by filling up with breakfast at a Waffle House. Waffle House is a bit difficult to explain if you’re British, it’s a bit like a Little Chef crossed with a greasy spoon garnished with a lot of American character. The first one we went to was in North Carolina and the lovely woman who served us behind the counter called me ‘Baby-Girl’ every time that she spoke to me!
Obviously American breakfasts are pretty meat-centric (which I’m not) so if I don’t want syrup drenched pancakes or waffles then hash browns are my best breakfast option. I love the way that you order hash browns at a Waffle House, it’s almost like a secret code. Smothered, covered, capped – it all makes perfect sense to the guy at the griddle!
The secret to getting really crispy hash browns is to get rid of as much moisture as possible from the spuds. If you have a microwave then the ideal thing is to give them a blast for a couple of minutes to get the starches working.
No quantities here, you know better than I how hungry you are as well as how spicy/cheesy/savoury you want them to be.
oil for frying
anything else you want to add
Coarsely grate the potato, put it into a clean tea towel and wring out as much moisture as possible. Put the potato in a microwave proof dish and nuke it for a couple of minutes.
Slice the onion and fry it in little oil, preferably in a non-stick heavy-based frying pan. I like mine to be really caramelised but it’s really up to you. Dice the tomatoes and chop the jalapeno before adding them to the pan too (add any other bids and bobs, apart from cheese, that you like now too.)
Put the potato in the pan, season it and toss everything together. Use a spatula to press it together a bit and then let it brown in the pan. Turn the hash brown every few minutes so that it gets nice and crispy on all sides.
Sprinkle the cheese over the top and allow it to melt, you can place it under the grill if it needs a helping hand.
Serve immediately so that it is still crispy and gooey. An amazing way to start the day. In the words of Ron Swanson “there has never been a sadness that cannot be cured by breakfast foods.”