CLOUD-9 CHIPS-LIKE POTATO HASH, AND THANK YOU
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CLOUD 9, LIKE HOW YOU MADE MY DAY, AND YOU’LL NEVER WANT TO EAT POTATOES ANY OTHER WAYS AGAIN
Today, I woke up, and as I spent the next 1:30 hours removing microscopic dead leaves off of my succulent-babies with an eyebrow tweezer, I was utterly oblivious of the surprise that was waiting, patiently, in my email-box. A tweet from Molly telling me of the enormous gift, from you, for name Lady and Pups as the winner for Best Photography for Saveur’s Food Blog Award.
I am speechless. Looking at the other candidates whose photography make me want to lower my head into a bucket of sour cream, I am, absolutely, without words. At times like these, to show gratitude, I guess people make grand gestures. But grand-ness doesn’t reflect how I feel. How I feel, as I’m typing, is humility. For the past 3 years, including times when I didn’t exactly deserve it, humbled by your support, tolerance, for giving me the benefit of the doubt, and above all… humbled by the kind of friendship you offer me, more real than many other forms I’ve ever known.
I’m not particularly good at moments like these. I think I am less incompetent at being sarcastic… making bad jokes out of serious matters. But now, I’m out of words. So instead, I wanted to make you something simple, something earnest in its candor, something stripped off of theatrics, like how you made me feel today. Something with the purest intent to bring you incandescent joy when you take the first shattering bite, the airiest potato ribbon-hash that is both lofty and fluffy inside, sandwiched in between two impossibly crispy layers of chips-like crusts. Cloud-9, like how you’ve made my day, and you’ll never want to eat potatoes any other ways again. Because when conversing fails me, this is all I have left, for the lack of my better ability to say, thank you.
So really. Thank you.
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Makes: 1 medium sized potato makes one 6~7″ (15~17 cm) hash brown
What makes this hash brown different, is the long and wide and paper-thin, twirling potato ribbons that give it its volume and loftiness, as well as how their wide contact-surfaces lay flat on the skillet, and get crisped up like potato chips. To make this chips-like hash browns, I want you to spend the equivalent amount of money which would otherwise be wasted either on a pack of cigarette or a few bags of gummy bears, and go now, and buy what I consider one of the must-have gadgets of a home-kitchen – a stainless steel truffle shaver. This is what I think is one of the most utterly under-appreciated piece of kitchen-inventions, as affordable and easy to store as it is, that will help you shave translucently paper-thin slices of… well, almost anything within the width of 2 1/2″ (6cm). Zucchinis, garlics, radishes, anything and everything which includes the star of the day – potatoes. I’m talking about the kind of thinness that not even most mandolins will grant you. I’m talking about 0.5 mm or thinner! And it fits in your pocket! Or, okay, fine, go ahead and spend $100+ on a professional mandolin that eats away your cabinet space with its million pieces of attachments. What do I know…
- 1 medium-sized waxy potato
- 1 tbsp canola oil, plus more if needed
- 2 tsp unsalted butter, melted
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
- When choosing a potato, aim for the one that is relatively long in length so it'll give us long ribbons. Peel the potato then cut length-wise into thick slices about 1/2" (13 mm) in width. Adjust your truffle shaver to around 0.5 mm (kind of the thickness of postcards), then run the potato-slices length-wise back and forth through the shaver to make very thin and long ribbons, until it gets too difficult to keep shaving. Please don't obsess with getting the last bit of potato shaved. That little chunk is not worth shaving a layer of your finger off. Fluff the ribbons with your fingers to make sure they are not sticking to each other, then set aside.
- Do not season during cooking or it'll cause the potato to sweat and lose volume. Heat 1 tbsp canola oil inside a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Grab 1/2 of the potato ribbons and make a tall mount in the center of the skillet that is about 6" wide and 2" tall (15 cm wide, 5 cm tall). Don't let the ribbons touch the side of the skillet, which will apply too much heat and cause them to lose volume. If you want to be anal about making a nice circle, you can use a ring-mold when placing the ribbons in the skillet, then slowly remove the ring-mold when done. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and cook for 3 min, then pile the rest of the potato ribbons on top (again, this prevents over-cooking and loss of volume)(you can place the ring-mold back again for this step, then remove it slowly when done). Drizzle 1 tsp of melted butter from the side of the skillet and cook for another 2 min, until you see the bottom of the hash brown is golden browned and crispy. Flip it over, add more canola oil if needed, then cook for another 5 min on the other side, and drizzle another tsp of melted butter at the last minute.
- Season the bottom of a plate generously with sea salt and black pepper, and transfer the hash brown on top (so the bottom side is seasoned), then season the top side again generously. Serve immediately.
Canola oil browns the hash more evenly, while the last-minute butter adds flavours.
Jill-AnnJune 5, 2015 at 10:12 PM
Congratulations Mandy!!! Well done & truly well deserved!!!
MelindaJune 5, 2015 at 10:23 PM
You’re welcome! I think I only voted on your blog and I think you could’ve easily won other categories too but that’s im-not so-ho.
Anyway I totally want to eat this but NOT make this! You’re CRAZY detailed & I LOVE it.
BettyJune 5, 2015 at 10:34 PM
Oh Mandy <3 it is so well deserved. You know that I am a HUGE fan of your photography (and crazy recipes), and you've always been an inspiration for me. Congrats Mandy!
cynthiaJune 5, 2015 at 10:34 PM
MANDY!!!!!!!!! So, so so excited and thrilled for you!!!!! Now if only you were here so that I could have physically accosted you in excitement….. and demand that you make this incredible potato hash for me in person. I hope you win every year if it means I can have gloriousness like this on my desktop. Oh my goodness. CONGRATS!!
JessicaJune 5, 2015 at 10:39 PM
Congratulations!!! These look fantastic, as well. Well deserved :)
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla SugarJune 5, 2015 at 10:49 PM
Everything about this sounds delicious! I love those thin sliced potatoes…man, so good.
RobinJune 5, 2015 at 10:53 PM
Congrats Mandy!! No one deserves it more than you. Your blog brightens my day EVERYDAY!
AysegulJune 5, 2015 at 11:04 PM
Congrats! Well deserved. :)
Allison (Spontaneous Tomato)June 5, 2015 at 11:33 PM
Congratulations! That potato hash looks amazing, especially that last photo of it, bottom right. (You definitely deserve your Saveur award!)
I’ve never used a truffle shaver, but I do have a very cheap (possibly from Daiso?) mandoline, that I rarely use because, to be honest, it scares me — the finger-protector part is too awkward to use and doesn’t seem at all safe. I’d be interested to hear how truffle shavers compare — like on a scale of confident-to-terrified, how worried are you that you’ll slice your finger on it when slicing potatoes?
Matt RobinsonJune 5, 2015 at 11:34 PM
Well deserved, congrats!
SynnøveJune 5, 2015 at 11:35 PM
Belinda @themoonblushbakerJune 5, 2015 at 11:38 PM
Woot congratz!!! Mandy your photography is one of kind and well deserved of such an award!
CarolineJune 6, 2015 at 12:02 AM
Well deserved &&congrats!
MoniqueJune 6, 2015 at 12:03 AM
Come on..look what you do:)
So much talent!
JenniferJune 6, 2015 at 12:23 AM
I would have voted for you in all categories. I love your blog, your writing, your humor, your photography and most of all your delicious recipes!
SiniJune 6, 2015 at 12:24 AM
Huge congrats, Mandy! You’re such a great mind and I look up to your work; you never cease to touch me with your words, pics, and recipes. xx
elJune 6, 2015 at 12:49 AM
elJune 6, 2015 at 12:50 AM
*meant to be under Jennifer’s comment above this one.
DawnJune 6, 2015 at 12:29 AM
Congratulations – your work–food, photos and fun–speaks for itself!
Jackie Liang FletcherJune 6, 2015 at 12:33 AM
You go! Badass girl! “Add More Oil” “More Oil”. xoxoxoxoxo
JenniferJune 6, 2015 at 2:05 AM
Exciting news! And so well deserved…congratulations!!
davidlumtoJune 6, 2015 at 2:57 AM
Congratulations on a well deserved award. You inspire all of us to cook and bake our hearts out!
AmyJune 6, 2015 at 4:10 AM
That last picture…I’m drooling! :)
Ash-foodfashionpartyJune 6, 2015 at 5:19 AM
Big huge Congratulations!! You deserve it every bit.
PamelaJune 6, 2015 at 6:31 AM
Fantastic Mandy! Congratulations! Cool!! You deserve it. We can all see how hard you work on this. You make it look so easy and delicious too. I want to make everything that you write about. Your passion shows through in what you make and how you make it. Though I know it’s not really easy…
Jess @ alittlealice.comJune 6, 2015 at 8:25 AM
congratulations mandy!! you most definitely deserve it :) those photos are beautiful and your work always makes me smile – if i could grow up to be a big blogger like anyone – it’d have to be you. your hard work, wonderful personality and soul comes through in every post and brings a welcome reality back into the world of bright, white and fluffy food blogs. i look forward to more lady and pups in the future!! xxx
RuthJune 6, 2015 at 2:14 PM
Goddess of the Kitchen, we salute you!
Millie | Add A LittleJune 6, 2015 at 3:50 PM
The biggest congratulations to you Mandy! So well deserved, i always sit at my screen gawking at your beautiful photography! Sending hugs!
Rebecca@Figs and PigsJune 7, 2015 at 5:25 AM
Awesome potatoes and you totally deserved the award. I follow so many blogs which are all wonderful but yours really is just so special.
Thalia @ butter and briocheJune 7, 2015 at 6:58 AM
Congrats! You deserve it Mandy.. always love your unique recipes and mouthwatering photography. And these potato hashes are no exception.
molly yehJune 7, 2015 at 10:41 AM
i’m almost positive i shrieked loud enough for the both of us when your name was announced. you SO deserve this, lady! i am so happy for you. one day we will celebrate in person!!!!!
Anne greeneJune 7, 2015 at 11:26 PM
The photos are lovely. It’s mound not mount and by not buy
David Lum (davidlumto)June 8, 2015 at 12:31 AM
Hi Mandy, Congratulations again on the much deserved Saveur award! Thank you for always being an IG inspiration! I had to let you know that I made your Cloud 9 Potato Hash recipe this morning and absolutely loved it. It was so good I posted it on my IG feed crediting you of course. Can’t wait to try the Cruffin recipe on your blog, but will have to wait until I purchase a pasta maker. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!
ErinJune 8, 2015 at 5:16 PM
Congrats! You really do have the best pictures out there right now. I never look at your blog when I’m hungry, well done!
KankanaJune 8, 2015 at 5:33 PM
Congrats! your photos are stunning, so that had to happen :) And girl, I love potatoes and i HAVE TO have make this. Fun recipe.
mayaJune 9, 2015 at 8:19 PM
this was so painfully obvious, mandy!
you could have easily sweeped up every category
might be the time to say, on behalf of all of us, i guess, a huge thank you for putting so much of your time, talent, and effort, into feeding us with such beautiful imagery and inspiring recipes
PS if you and yeh need a dishwasher for your playdate, i’ll do it totes
LindaJune 10, 2015 at 12:04 AM
Congrats Mandy, always knew you were destined for greatness! keep doing what you do.
ChristineJune 10, 2015 at 9:32 AM
Congratulations, Mandy! Your blog is the first place I’d come if I had to plan my last meal! xo
DayleJune 10, 2015 at 8:02 PM
Congrats are well deserved. Of course I voted for you and wanted to vote for you in the writing category as well, but you were not there ( a big mistake). There are times when your writing is laugh out loud funny- such a treat. Thank you for always making my days a little bit brighter ( and a lot more tasty).
I would love to have some of your photos framed in my kitchen. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Perhaps you could sell them on Etsy?
DanaJune 12, 2015 at 4:50 AM
I just discovered your blog, and am completely obsessed! Julia Child meets David Chang meets Fran Lebowitz. Unfortunately, I now have to order a new keyboard because mine has been ruined with drool.
ellie | fit for the soulJune 12, 2015 at 6:22 AM
Awwww girl!!! I totally know this is well deserved because your photos are STRIKING! Pretty much–I want to eat the screen whenever I open up this darn (but beautiful) page, hehhee. ;) Congratulations and God bless yaaaaaaa <3
AngelaFebruary 24, 2016 at 6:38 AM
Okay maybe I was too ambitious. I don’t have a non-stick pan, only cast-iron, and I tried to make a giant hashbrown with two potatoes. It took much longer to cook than anticipated, and looked NOTHING like an ethereal elegant stack of potato slices. Kinda got smushed. And since it stuck to the pan… BUT it tasted wonderful! As a side note, I saw the exact truffle shaver you used on eBay, but got distracted and bought a mandolin… Not a super expensive one, and it made fantastically thin strips.
Hank PlungisAugust 6, 2016 at 9:17 PM
Great food , keep doing what you do .