Parsnip and Potato Hash Browns
I thought I would take some of my own advice and use some potatoes and parsnips for a good brunch dish. I also planned this dish for New Year’s day so it needed to be fairly easy and also have some hangover curing abilities if you get my drift.
I came up with these parsnip and potato hash browns.
While these little fried pancakes of love all look the same, they are actually all different. I wasn’t quite sure how parsnips would work in a hash brown form so I made a few different versions: one with just potato (my control), one with half potato and half parsnips, and one with all parsnips.
I loved the parsnip versions. In fact, I think I liked it more than the all potato version. And that is saying something because I really like potato hash browns. The parsnips add an interesting flavor that works really well.
Let’s make them.
1) Grate potatoes and parsnips (peeled) onto a few paper towels or a clean dish towel to get out as much liquid as possible. Season the roots with a pinch of salt as they drain. You can actually squeeze them in the towel to help remove liquid.
2) Mix together potatoes and parsnips and stir in egg and flour.
3) Add olive oil to a pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot put a disk of hash browns in the pan. If it sizzles then you did it right. Use a spatula to flatten it down.
4) Cook hash browns for for 5-6 minutes on one side. It might take less time to get a good brown crispness if your pan is too hot. Also, you might want to turn your hash browns 180 degrees halfway through because the center of your pan is most likely hotter than the outside.
5) Flip the hash browns and cook for a few minutes on the second side until they are very crispy.
6) Top with a small amount of grated cheese if you’re using it.
Serve garnished with chives and with eggs and bacon.
There is lots of grating for these guys. There is one important step here. Be sure to grate your potatoes and parsnips on either paper towels or, even better, a clean dish towel. Turns out that both of these root vegetables give off a lot of liquid when you grate them and you want to get rid of most of that liquid before you fry them or you will end up with soggy hash browns.
I grate mine onto a dish towel, salt them a bit which will help them release liquid, pull all of the corners together in the towel and let it rest for 5 or 10 minutes. Then wring the crap out of it. Don’t worry about being gentle. You can’t break potatoes. I was able to get over a cup of liquid from just two potatoes.
Oh. If your potatoes change color a bit don’t freak out. They are just oxidizing. They will still taste like potatoes.
Because I was making different versions, I had to keep my parsnips and my potatoes together. Obviously you don’t have to do this if you are just making one version.
This is where you want to add your egg and your flour. I had to split up the egg and flour in all three bowls. Again, if you are just doing one version then this is super easy.
Oh and grate some cheese:
Now for the hot part. Put your olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot put a disk of hash browns in the pan. If it sizzles then you did it right. Use a spatula to flatten it down.
Let these guys cook for 5-6 minutes on one side. It might take less time to get a good brown crispness if your pan is too hot. Also, you might want to turn your hash browns 180 degrees halfway through because the center of your pan is most likely hotter than the outside.
Then give them a flip. They should be pretty sturdy at this point.
5 minutes on the other side and they should be done. Feel free to cook longer if you want them super-crispy.
I will say that I had to be gentle with the all parsnips version. Parsnips have a texture like carrots and they do not have the starch of potatoes so it was a much more delicate cake. Still worked okay though.
I ate mine with some bacon and two eggs sunny-side up.
Just for good measure, here is a close-up of the crispy hash browns.
I must say that the parsnip addition worked better than I thought it was going to. When I set out to make these guys, I thought it might be a recipe disaster, but it worked out fantastically. If I had to pick one version I would go with the half and half version. Easy to handle but plenty of parsnip flavor.