Q. Dr. Potato, why do I love Waffle House-style hash browns more than ones I make at home? What do they do to the food service version that makes them so good? Are they partially dehydrated? Or maybe seasoned with some kind of chemical? I mean the shredded kind that come in boxes, not the deep-fried QSR formed hash brown.
Posts Tagged ‘hash browns’
Q. Dear Dr. Potato, my customers want favorite breakfast items on the menu all day long. Can you suggest breakfast dishes that satisfy 24/7?
Q. I just eat the insides of a baked potato but my girlfriend says the skin is even better for me to consume. Is she right? Should I eat the entire potato or peel the skin? Help me understand the why! Will I lose some of the nutrition if I always peel my russet potatoes for mashed, fries, hash browns, etc.?
Q. Are you seeing fast food and casual dining guests order more potatoes because they are a comfort food, or a comforting food, against the stress of the economy?
Q. I think I need to get with the program and offer some value priced menu items to capture price conscious diners. Any suggestions?
Q. What is the difference between No. 1 and No. 2 Potatoes?
Q. I just made a batch of potato latkes and fried them up until crispy brown. They tasted excellent, but we stored them in the refrigerator, wrapped up and continued to eat them for a few days. After the third day, the center on some of the potato pancakes turned black. Can you tell me why or what to do to prevent it? I added lemon to the shredded potatoes while I shredded them to prevent discoloration. I used 12 large Idaho® potatoes, 10 eggs, a half cup of Matzo Meal, a half cup of high gluten flour, a tablespoon of baking powder, salt, pepper and two grated Spanish onions; I fried them in a blended oil. Could the high gluten flour have something to do with it?
A. I am guessing the onions accelerated the potatoes turning black or the potatoes were not fully cooked in the middle (make the same thickness and not mounded up in the middle next time to try this out). I used to run into this when different people made pizza, especially with fresh sausage. The piled high section, in the middle of the pizza, never got fully cooked.
Q. I want to make a casserole dish ahead of time that calls for thawed hash browns. Can I combine all of the ingredients, defrost the hash browns, and return the uncooked hash browns back to the freezer?
A. You can do this, but the quality of the thawed and refrozen hash browns will not be as crispy when refrozen and they will hold up for a shorter time period, no more than just a few days to a week. Frozen hash browns are flash frozen very quickly and this is hard to replicate at home, so the potato has a tendency to be soggy.
Another option you might try is to use a package of dehydrated hash browns. That way, you can add water to make how many you want, while the amount that remains unhydrated is still shelf-stable. These products can be found in the grocery aisle where the instant mashed potatoes are sold.
Q. In my refrigerator today I found a package of commercially prepared shredded hashbrowns that was 2 weeks past the “fresh by” date. The package was swollen up like a balloon so I threw it out. Could the package have contained botulism?
A. You did the right thing by throwing the package out. Any time a can is swollen or a refrigerated plastic pack balloons in size, it is prudent to discard it. If the package had been stored improperly before you bought it, such as being stored at too warm a temperature, this may cause the potatoes to break down. There is an excellent section of common questions about potatoes that discusses this specific issue: http://www.simplypotatoes.com/faq/
Q. Do you have any idea how much oil is absorbed by the hash browns at Fast food joints? I know that potatoes can be healthy, and I was hoping that when in a crunch and on the run I could use a napkin and suck up most of the grease from the hash brown. I just was wondering if you knew approximately how much oil is actually getting into the potatoes. Thanks!
A. I don’t have specifics, but while blotting the excess oil can’t hurt, the oil absorbed by the potato when first cooked at the manufacturing plant and then finish fried is a major part of the hash brown patty.
A fresh potato by itself is: 26 calories per ounce with o% fat so a two ounce portion would be 52 calories: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2770/2
A Hash Brown Patty portion is about 2 ounces from McDonalds. Total calories is 130, calories from fat is 72 or 55%: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/foods-from-mcdonalds/6265/2
Hash Brown Rounds from Burger King are slightly less than 3 ounces. Total calories are 229 and calories from fat are 132 or 57.6% http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/foods-from-burger-king/6790/2
You could do what I have started doing… order a full portion of hashbrowns, and leave half uneaten. However, I have to admit, if I am really hungry or know I am headed onto a plane this theory never seems to work.