"These hash browns are the perfect combination of crisp exterior and soft inside, and can mostly be prepared a day ahead," says Curtis Stone. "After being seared to crunchy crispness, they're topped with eggs fried in olive oil and served with a herb salad spiked with a little sherry vinegar to cut through the richness."
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 eggs
- 2 sebago potatoes (about 250gm each), scrubbed
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
- 20 gm unsalted butter, diced
- ½ cup (loosely packed) bite-sized watercress sprigs
- ½ cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tbsp small tarragon leaves
- 8 chives, cut into 2cm batons
- 1 small golden shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp sherry vinegar
- 1For hash browns, cook potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender on the outside but still firm in the centre when pierced with a skewer (15-20 minutes). Drain, cool slightly, then peel. Coarsely grate potatoes into a large bowl, add cornflour, thyme and ¾ tsp sea salt, and mix well. Place a 30cm-square piece of baking paper on a work surface, place potato mixture in the centre and top with another 30cm-square piece of baking paper. Roll mixture to a rough 20cm square, about 1cm thick, and refrigerate until chilled and set (1-1½ hours – this can be done up to a day ahead; wrap in plastic wrap to prevent it going brown). Preheat oven to 100C. Remove top piece of baking paper and cut potato into 4 rectangles. Heat olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat and fry hash browns until golden brown and crisp on the base (4-5 minutes). Add butter to pan and, when melted, turn hash browns over and fry until golden brown and crisp (4-5 minutes). Drain on paper towels, transfer to a baking tray and place in oven to keep warm.
- 2Wipe out pan with paper towels and return to medium-high heat. Add oil and heat until shimmering, then carefully crack eggs into pan (eggs will bubble up), sprinkle with salt and pepper and fry, lightly shaking pan to move eggs around, until eggwhites are set and yolks are still runny (2-3 minutes). Drain briefly on paper towels.
- 3Meanwhile, for herb salad, combine ingredients in a bowl, season to taste and toss lightly to combine. Serve salad alongside hash browns topped with fried eggs and season to taste.