It’s Saturday morning! In my house that means lying in bed feeling a little bit hungover, but essentially cozy and happy. At 7:30 children might make clamorous noise and jump on me or they might snuggle in next to me and play weird games on their Dad’s iphone. Their dad makes no sound or movement, but remains a warm silent lump under the duvet. All this is my idea of fun. I know it does not sound like fun. But I don’t have to get up and go anywhere or make lunches or figure out what black item of clothing to wear to work. Sure there are soccer games later and coffee, breakfast and cat feeding are on the horizon. But no rush. We just are. An hour or so goes by.
When thinking of some warm crispy Saturday morning comfort food, I turn to this great recipe of Ruth Reichl’s for hashbrowns from her book Garlic and Sapphires. Potatoes, tons of butter, a little onion and plenty of salt and pepper. It is crispy, salty and looks kind of impressive.
Hash Browns for 2 hungry people or 4 people as a side dish
Not exactly Ruth’s recipe, but pretty darn close
6 medium waxy potatoes
5 tbs butter
1/2 small onion, very finely diced
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Medium/small sloping frying pan
1. Boil the potatoes whole and get your coffee on for the day.
2. Check the potatoes after about 10 or 15 minutes. They should be almost cooked, not fully cooked.
3. Drain and let cool. Peel and cut into small chunks.
5. Melt half the butter on medium heat, season with salt and pepper and add in the potatoes. Press the potatoes down with your spatula to form a cake. You want waxy potatoes so they will be sticky and hold together. Run the spatula around the edges of the potatoes to keep them from sticking to the frying pan.
6. Cook for about 5 or 6 minutes until a bottom crust has formed. Cover with a large plate and turn the heat off. Leave the potatoes for a couple of minutes to steam cook. Then hold the plate firmly onto the frying pan and in one swift motion, flip the potato cake upside down onto the plate.
7. Add the rest of the butter, plenty of salt and pepper to the frying pan and melt on medium heat.
8. Sprinkle the onions evenly into the frying pan.
9. Carefully ease the potato cake back into the frying pan to keep its shape. If any potatoes come loose, just mush them back into place with your spatula. Repeat the same process of loosening the sides of the potato cake with a spatula and pressing down to keep the shape.
10. Cook for another 5 minutes, until a nice golden brown crust has formed on the bottom. Add more salt and pepper to the potatoes.
11. When the hashbrowns are cooked and there is a nice crust on the bottom, loosen the sides with the spatula and flip upside down onto a plate again.
Call everyone to the table and dig in!