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Bringing life back to the family ranch with three young free range braves and lots of organic elbow grease.

Crispy Homemade Hash Browns October 22, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — Piper Long @ 7:30 am
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Before the advent of the internet… before I procured the extra funds to voluntarily relinquish on a monthly basis to satellite TV companies… before cookbooks were invented…

Ok, maybe not that far back…

I made homemade hash browns that were unequivocally disastrous as painfully apparent by their shamefully slimy silhouette.

I couldn’t figure out where I’d went wrong. I had peeled and shredded and pampered my potatoes before frying them in piping hot grease and couldn’t for the life of me understand why I couldn’t attain the golden color that hash browns were so destined to attain.

Hash Browns were supposed to be light, crisp, golden brown ultra-mini french fries.

The hash browns I made resembled densely shredded, dried globs of peppered mush.

I decided right then and there that homemade hash browns were archaic and that the hash browns I’d had in restaurants were clearly of the new age frozen variety which I have been using ever since.

Fast forward 13 years and 127,356,830 cooking shows later… and I finally learned the secret to light, crispy homemade hash browns.

Thank you Sunny Anderson.

And now that Sunny has so kindly divulged the secret, which I’m sure was never really a secret to anyone other than sheltered, isolated ranch wives like myself, I will kindly pass the word on to you all.

You’re welcome.

The secret, you see, is draining the liquid from the seemingly dry enough shreds of potatoes before you fry them.

That’s it!

Here’s my new recipe for Crispy Homemade Hash Browns:

First off, pour enough oil in your skillet to just coat the bottom.

Turn on medium high heat.
Then prep your potatoes.
If your taters have a thick skin, peel ’em.
Next, grab your shredder and start shredding your potatoes. This step goes quicker than you think.
Place your shredded hash browns on a clean kitchen towel…
wrap them up in a bundle….
and squeeze the potato juice out. Sometimes, if I don’t want to dirty a kitchen towel, I just grab a handful at a time and squeeze the juice out little by little.
Now you’re potatoes are ready for the frying pan!
Simply add them in a thin layer to your hot oil and fry, turning as needed, until golden brown. Remember to season both sides with salt and pepper.


Here’s the recipe:

Crispy Homemade Hash Browns

Oil for frying
3 Large Potatoes, peeled, shredded and drained

In a large skillet, add enough oil to coat the bottom. Heat over medium flame. Once oil is hot, add peeled, shredded, drained potatoes to hot oil in a thin layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Once the edges begin to brown, flip the hash browns over and brown the other side. Sprinkle once again with salt and pepper. Once brown and crisp, remove from pan and transfer to a paper towel lined plate before serving.


Loaded Potato Soup September 9, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — Piper Long @ 9:08 am
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I don’t make soup very often.

And when I do make soup, it’s usually as a side dish to a meal. But this Loaded Potato Soup can sometimes stand in as an entire meal as long as I load it up and serve it with crusty french bread.

Perfect for those cooler days and just what the doctor ordered for those pesky sore throats.

Loaded Potato Soup

5 slices thick cut bacon, cut up
1 Onion, diced
2 Tablespoons flour
1 can chicken broth
3 cups water
1 cup heavy cream
5 cups potatoes, cubed
Cheddar cheese, optional
Chives, optional

Cook bacon pieces in your soup pot until crisp. Drain bacon pieces on paper towel, taste one to ensure properly cooked then lock the remaining bits up in a safe in your kitchen cabinet until soup is finished cooking. Saute onion in bacon drippings. Once tender, add 2 Tablespoons of flour to make a roux. Stir in chicken broth and water. Add potatoes and boil until tender. Pour in heavy cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper and top with bacon, cheddar cheese and chives.

I love to serve this soup with a slice or two of toasted french bread.

I love the fresh loaves of french bread from our local grocery store. But we usually don’t finish an entire loaf before it goes bad. So I started sticking it in my freezer and pulling it out to slice up just what we need for the meal. I slice the still frozen bread, butter it and stick the frozen, buttered bread under the broiler until golden brown. Turns out perfect every time. And you’d never know it had been frozen.


Roasted Potatoes March 18, 2011

Filed under: Recipes,Uncategorized — Piper Long @ 10:53 pm
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Just when I thought my boys had every type of toy weaponry imaginable, my Mom up and pulls a potato gun out of her bag and bestows it to my little darlings.

Big score for Ya-Ya.

This here is a potato gun.

The best part about it? I always have the required ammo on hand. And what’s better… it’s cheap.

Here’s how it works:
1. The gun operator stabs the potato with the tip of the barrel, causing a chunk of potato to become lodged in the barrel.
2. The gun operator then squeezes the trigger with his forefinger, ideally firing the lodged potato.

This game goes on for some time until my three little darlings realize that there is but one potato gun. Then all rules are off and complete and total madness ensues. Which means I have bits of potato scattered about my living room and large, raw, holey potatoes threatening to waste away.

Not being one to let anything go to waste, I frugally gather the mutilated spuds, toss them on a cutting board along with onion, salt, pepper and olive oil and make roasted potatoes.

Cut potatoes and onions into chunks and spread out on foil lined cookie sheet, arranging in a single layer.

Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min to an hour or until potatoes are golden brown and crisp. Flip once for even browning.

This post is dedicated to Denise. And yes, you will need to purchase a potato gun in order to complete this recipe.

Just kidding.


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