My wife loves hash brown casserole and I was going to whip up a batch this weekend for her but all the recipes I can find call for a bag of frozen shredded hash browns while I have a 7lb bag of whole potatoes.
Is there any major difference between using frozen bagged hash browns and shredding up a few potatoes of my own?
posted by Captain_Science to food drink (18 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
No difference except the elbow grease and skinned knuckles. You'll want to rinse your freshly shredded potatoes before you cook with them, though; they release a lot of cloudy starch that holds water and might make your casserole goopy and/or keep it from getting crunchy on top.
You probably also want to press the excess water out.
posted by cmoj at 8:27 AM on September 12, 2012
Frozen hashbrowns are usually a thicker piece than you would get using a cheese grater. They are also usually blanched.
If you were to use a food processor with a plate that mimics the size of the bagged version and you blanch, cool and dry them before using, you should be okay.
posted by Seamus at 8:28 AM on September 12, 2012 [2 favorites]
The deal breaker with fresh potatoes to hashbrowns is the water. Rinse them well, yes, but squeeze the hell out of them afterwards. If you have a potato ricer that is ideal (not to rice the cooked potatoes just use it as a squeezer to wring rinse water and/or potato juice out of the fersh shreds).
The biggest difference is the flavor. Frozen potatoes never taste nearly as good as fresh ones.
posted by Ery at 8:39 AM on September 12, 2012 a large, sturdy (clean) dish towel, all the shreds inside, twist tight, twist some more. I mean, Twist.
a good salad spinner usually does the trick for me.
Also, use the largest nonstick (or well sized cast iron) skillet you have, to be able to spread everything out; use quite a lot of de foamed butter (or whatever else fat you're planning to use), cook gently until some more dehydration has happened before attempting to brown them up. Oh yum.
posted by Namlit at 8:45 AM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]
Getting the water out is really key. After grating, I use a salad spinner and then squeeze them dry, too.
posted by jeffch at 8:45 AM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]
Major difference in taste? You betcha!
As Ery says, fresh is best. We make hash browns all the time for meals. Shred your 'taters, soak them in salted water 1/4 1/2 tsp per qt then squeeze the water out. Make sure your pan is good and hot to fry. Butter or oil it's up to you.
I like to brown my hashers before I use them in a casserole as they have that great crisped flavor.