When it comes to breakfast potatoes, I have many thoughts and feelings. When it comes to hash browns, there are only two acceptable forms. I mean, I don’t believe there’s such a thing as a “bad” potato, but if you are going to claim you have “hash browns” on your menu, they had better come out shredded and golden brown, or in a fast food-like patty. These are the rules of hash browns, and they are rigid.
At home, I like to keep hash brown patties in the freezer, as I have found they make my mornings 100% more lovely. Beyond accompanying breakfast sandwiches, they make excellent delivery systems for a wide variety of breakfast foods. If you would put it on toast, you should put it on a hash brown patty and it will, in my esteemed opinion, be the better for it.
Do I have suggestions? Of course I do. Almost anything is better on a plank of chopped and fried potato, but these are some of my favourite hash brown toppings:
Labneh + Everything But the Bagel Seasoning
This one is my personal favourite—thick, tangy yogurt with salty, savoury goodness.
Pimento cheese + chives
A good lunch option. You can substitute chives with any onion-y green thing.
Any configuration of Benedict toppings
Hollandaise and a poached egg are a must, but have fun with the third component. Canadian bacon is the classic option, but spinach, smoked salmon, or a pile of thinly sliced prosciutto are also very delicious.
Cream cheese + smoked salmon
Add capers and finely diced red onion for extra credit.
Bacon + egg + cheese
Top it with another hash brown to make a sandwich.
Pastrami + fried egg + sautéed leeks
It’s a hash you can pick up. Corn beef would also be a good idea (obviously).
I mean, if you’re going to treat something like toast, you might as well go all the way.
As far as the hash brown itself, just follow the preparation instructions on the packaging — I cook mine in the toaster oven — and let them cool for a couple minutes before adding toppings, particularly dairy-based toppings like labneh, cream cheese, and pimento cheese. Though melted pimento cheese is actually kind of nice, so maybe you don’t need to wait on that one.