Make ‘Hash Browns’ With a Leftover Baked Potato

Photo: Claire Lower
Photo: Claire Lower

I know that most of you reading this have never heard of “leftover baked potatoes,” and honestly I love that for you. But I am a weak-willed individual whose eyes are far bigger than her not-small stomach, and I have been known to over-order, over-purchase, and over-prepare, particularly if I am ordering, purchasing, or preparing a steak dinner.

A steak dinner, for me, has three main components (not including the martini): a bone-in ribeye, a huge loaded russet, and a wedge salad. All three are quite hearty on their own, so — yeah — sometimes I have leftovers, and sometimes those leftovers are a mostly, but not entirely, scraped-out baked potato. If you’ve never experienced this, then good job, but you’re kind of missing out. Mostly-scraped-out baked potatoes make excellent breakfast potatoes, something you’ll never experience if you consume your potato in one sitting.

This should not be that surprising. All the best crispy spuds are cooked twice. This is true of french fries and it is true of roasted potatoes. This is why frozen hash browns are so much more pleasing than once-fried cube home fries, and this is why a leftover baked potato fries up so brilliantly (and quickly). Most of the work has already been done; all you have to do is crisp your leftovers up into a golden hash brown-like mass and eat it with some eggs.

The prep is simple: Just chop up whatever’s left of your dinner jacket potato into bite-sized pieces, then fry it in a tablespoon or two of bacon grease (or some other high heat-friendly grease). If little bits of cheese, green onions and sour cream make it into the pan, melting and melding with the grease, all the better. Fry the spud bits until they are golden brown and super crispy, then enjoy with the rest of a complete breakfast. They’re particularly good in breakfast tacos.

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