How to make perfect hash browns, according to a golf club chef

You too can make restaurant-quality hash browns at home.

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welcome to The clubhouse eatswhere we celebrate the most delicious food and drink in the game. Hope you brought your appetites.

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You say potatoes. I say po-tah-toes.

But when they’re grated and pan-fried, we both call them hash browns (okay, sometimes hash browns), and like most people, we love them.

That’s not the point.

The question is how to make them at home.

Garret Martindale is the former longtime chef of Sequoyah Country Club, in Oakland, California.

We asked him to give us the basics.

type of potato

Starchy potatoes yield the best results, Martindale says. Consider varieties like Kennebec and Russet. The latter, being more common, are easier to find.

proportion

One potato, two potatoes. In fact, when calculating quantities, make it one potato per person, medium to large.

The preparation

For starters, never store your potatoes in the fridge, says Martindale, because the cold will turn the starches into sugars. I understood? Good. We are now ready to go. Fill a bowl with ice water, generously salted and wash the potatoes carefully. Then grate them, using a grater, a food processor or a mandolin. Martindale likes to leave the skins on for texture.

potatoes

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Return the grated potatoes to the ice water. This will help remove any excess starch and prevent the strands from clumping. It will also minimize discoloration. If the water turns chalky white (this is because of the starch), change it. Remove the grated potatoes and run them under water until the water runs clear, then squeeze them out and place them in a bowl. Add flour and chopped onions. A good rule of thumb is 1/3 cup flour and half an onion per potato.

Seasoning

Rosemary. Black pepper. Cayenne. Wise. Almost everything is allowed. Here we take the choice of the dealer. Generously season your onion/potato/flour mixture with your favorite herb and spice blend and mix well.

The kitchen

It’s time to fry on the stove, in a heavy pan. About 1/4 canola oil works well. Clarified butter too. But Martindale prefers duck fat for the depth of flavor. A properly sized pan will allow for more even cooking. It should be just large enough to hold the grated potatoes, layered about half an inch high. Once the oil or fat is hot, add the potatoes, taking care not to splatter. Reduce the heat to medium and brown the potatoes on one side. This should take about 5 minutes. Then turn them over and repeat.

Common pitfalls

Few breakfast dishes disappoint as deeply as unevenly cooked hash browns, burnt on the outside and raw in the middle. This can be caused by improperly rinsed potatoes, too much residual starch, or adding the potatoes before the pan is hot. Impatience is another common culprit, says Martindale. Allow the potatoes time to brown evenly. Do not try to rush the process by increasing the flame.

josh sense

Josh Sens

Golf.com Photographer

A golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sens has been a contributor to GOLF Magazine since 2004 and now contributes to all GOLF platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also co-author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Have Any Fun Yet: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.

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