Nothing says brunch like a great breakfast potato. I’ve found breakfast potatoes to be ubiquitous in brunch fare but my favorite version remains the “hash browns” in my favorite little diner back home.
My father was the first to discover Louie’s Cafe when he was taken there by a colleague. We had just moved to Louisiana and were eager to try new restaurants. He came home raving about how he had an amazing breakfast of fruit and yogurt, very light and satisfying. I’m not really sure how he had that experience because their menu is not what I would call light per se. Over the course of high school I went to Louie’s with friends, love interests, family, and guests. Every time I had an amazing spread of omelets (often topped with crawfish) and the biggest biscuits you ever saw. It’s the kind of place where you can eat one meal and be full for the rest of the day, not to mention how your clothes will hold onto the smell of the griddle. Still, no matter how much food we ordered it was always paramount to get some hash browns on the side. On the days when we wanted to be adventurous we’d get them “Cajun Style” (with sour cream and cheese – hot sauce optional) but even plain they were phenomenal.
Here is my own (probably healthier) version of those delicious breakfast potatoes/hash browns. To get the perfect texture you must boil them first and you want them to actually get a bit mushy. That way when you cook them in the pan the mushy part will get crispy, leading to a crunchy outside and a smooth creamy center when you bite into the potato. Maybe I can’t fully recreate the Louie’s experience but I certainly can try!
Time: 40 minutes Serves: 2
- 2 white baking potatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- A few shakes of salt and pepper
- ½ tsp herbs de Provence
- You can use a sweet potato instead if you like
- If you have it, use Slap Ya Mama instead of salt and pepper
- You can add any other seasonings that you like (I added paprika)
Peel your potato and cut into chunks.
Place into a small pot of boiling water and let cook for 5-10 minutes. You want the potato cubes to be soft enough to be able to stick a fork through. I suggest cooking them for as long as you can, so long as they don’t fall apart completely.
While the potatoes are boiling, bring your cast iron skillet to medium heat. You can also use a regular pan but the cast iron is nice because things don’t burn as easily. Place your potatoes into the skillet and drizzle some olive oil over them. Give them a mix and add the seasonings on top.
Let the potatoes cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Since they’re already soft you’re just trying to get the outsides nice and crispy. If the edges of the potatoes are a bit soft when you put them into the skillet this is good because it will help the outsides get crispy. Keep an eye on the potatoes, making sure to mix occasionally so that all sides get evenly cooked. Once they are crispy enough to your liking, serve (maybe with a breakfast sandwich or a breakfast taco!)