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Foodie Friday: Brunch Basics – Part 1

Food & Drink >

brunch3Some of the most simple and basic recipes also sometimes the hardest to get right. As it is for most things in life, the road to perfect over-easy eggs is paved with shell fragments and broken yolks. But you shouldn’t let that stop you, or even slow you down. With practice and a few tricks of the trade you will be inviting your friends over for a nice Sunday brunch in no time.

In the next few Foodie Friday posts, I thought it might be a good idea to share some of my favorite brunch recipes for you all to try. This week, I thought I would start with a definite staple to any brunch menu: hash browns. These crispy little shredded potato disks have made it onto more than a few of my brunch plates over the years and I hope they do the same for you. Enjoy!


Perfect Hash Brown Disks

These can and should be made in the morning before you start the rest of your meal preparation. Since they are kinda tricky you might want to try one at a time until you get the hang of it.

Special Equipment:

1 or 2 small non-stick egg pans

1 wire rack for cooling

1 large non-reactive container

1 heat proof rubber spatula


1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and shredded lengthwise (I use a box grater)

3 quarts cold water

2 cups clarified butter (recipe to follow, you can use oil if prefer no dairy)

1/2 cup grape seed oil

Kosher salt

Directions for Clarified Butter:

2 1/2 cups unsalted butter

In a saucepan, over a very low heat, melt the butter. Do not stir while it is melting. Once the butter melts it should be separated into three layers. The bottom layer is solids and water, the middle is butter fat and the top is foam. Carefully skim the foam off the surface of the butter with a small ladle or gravy spoon and discard. Try not to dip the ladle into the butterfat while skimming.

Pour the butter fat into another container very slowly making sure none of the water at the bottom goes with it. You can also use your ladle to remove the butter fat being sure not to get any of the water while doing it. Allow your clarified butter to sit for about 5 minutes and skim any milk solids or foam that have risen to the top with a spoon.

Blend the grape seed oil into your clarified butter and you are all set. You can use this to cook anything you want just about since the smoke point is much higher than butter it works great for all kinds of egg dishes and of course hash browns.

Directions for Hash Brown Disks:

Fill your non-reactive container with cold water and 2 tablespoons of kosher salt and mix to dissolve.

Shred potatoes length wise to get nice long shreds, this helps your hashbrowns to stay together. Allow the shredded potatoes to soak for about an hour then drain them off really well, pressing all extra water out. Lay them between two thick layers of paper towels and press to release extra water.

Preheat your egg pans to medium and add 1 tablespoon of your clarified butter/oil mixture to each one. Fill the bottom of each egg pan with potato until it is about 1/2 inch thick and season with a pinch of kosher salt. Lightly run the tip and edge of a heat proof rubber spatula around the potatoes pulling them slightly toward the middle (you are trying to form a disk). Cook for about two minutes or until the potatoes are browned on one side. Gently flip the disk over the way you would two eggs and brown the second side of each disk once again lightly running your spatula around the edge to form a disk. Carefully remove each disk onto your wire rack and repeat the process until all of your potatoes are gone or until you have enough for your guests.

Store them at room temperature for no longer than two hours.

Re-heat the disks by placing the hash browns into the oven on a parchment lined or non-stick cookie sheet and baking at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes or until hot.


Of course, Easter weekend is one of the biggest brunch weekends of the year. So, why not check out these great Easter brunch events coming up around the country this weekend? Save the cooking for next weekend.

Saturday, March 30 

Discuss N BrunchWashington D.C. Great food, great conversation and bottomless mimosas! Menu includes: The Delightful (3 eggs, your choice of home fries, grits or fried apples, your choice of meat, served with toast); French Toast (two flaky croissant halves dipped in cinnamon and vanilla); Chicken & Waffles; The Cuban Scramble (Scrambled eggs served with black beans, sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, fresh salsa and fried plantains); Omelette (Cheese, Garden or Spanish Style served with your choice of home fries or grits and toast) and did we say BOTTOMLESS MIMOSAS?

Easter and 4Rivers Wine Trail Kick off Party at SSE VineyardBlaine, Tennessee  Celebrate Easter with great wine, food, music and fun! Begin your 4Rivers Wine Trail Odyssey at Spout Spring Estates Vineyard and Farm Winery! You can enjoy meal and wine at the table or bring your blanket and do picnic style in the vineyard! Brunch menu: Pasticcio al forno with pesto and crème fraiche; Finger sandwiches; Salad; Soup; Soft drinks and a scoop of SSE Cabernet Sauvignon Ice Cream specially made by Cruze Farm for dessert! There will be plenty of wine and wine related items for you to purchase and enjoy, or you can bring your own wine!

EASTER! Sunday, March 31

A “Hopping” Easter at the New ParkwayOakland, California  What better way to spend Easter than a movie at the New Parkway?  Enjoy a late brunch and viewing of a family favorite, “Hop.”  They’ll be serving a family style French-ish meal for two or four people, replete with sweet and savory crepes, salad, and drinks. Seating at 12:30 with food served shortly thereafter and the movie starting at 1PM. Can’t make the 12:30 seating? No problem.  Join them for an even later brunch and viewing of the classic film “Harvey.” Seating at 1:30 with the movie starting at 2PM.

Central’s Easter Brunch “Bonnets and Bowlers”Minneapolis, Minnesota  The Easter Brunch returns to Central’s campus thanks to a team which is focused on providing a delicious meal in a festive environment. Seating is limited, so be sure to purchase your tickets early! Menu includes: House-made Quiche, Skillet Potatoes, Fresh Fruit, Assorted Pastries, Coffee and Juice.

Enjoy Our Elite Easter BrunchKokomo, Indiana  Enjoy: Old Fashioned Glazed Ham; Braised Black Angus Sirloin Medalions; Fresh Baked Quiche; Assorted Fruit Danish; Fresh Baked Heartland Biscuits with Homemade Sausage Gravy; Premium Homemade Chicken Salad Croissants; Assorted Fresh Fruit; Long-Grain & Wild Rice Medley; Fresh Asparagus; Three Cheese Au-Gratin Potatoes
Heartland Very Green Beans; Crispy Cool Caesar Salad; Garden Fresh Farmhouse Salad; Fresh Baked Sweet Yeast Rolls & French Bread; Assorted Decadent Desserts and endless Soft Drinks & Fresh Brewed Premium Coffees. FREE PICTURES with the EASTER BUNNY for KIDS of all AGES.

Spring BrunchMadison, Wisconsin  Join the staff of Ironworks Cafe for an all you can eat brunch buffet! They are offering three seatings on Sunday:  9:00-11:00 AM,  10:30 AM – 12:30 PM or  12:00 – 2:00 PM. You may arrive any time during the seating printed on your ticket to enjoy your meal. They’re bringing back last year’s popular menu:  crepes, pancakes, fruit & cheese, smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, ham & bacon, granola, roasted potatoes, pastries, coffee, tea, and juice provided and mimosas and bloody marys available for purchase. All proceeds benefit programs at the Goodman Community Center.