Sunday, March 10, 2013

Alternatives to Potato Hash Browns, Part 2: Rutabaga

On Saturday, I started the series for alternatives to potato hash browns. I wanted to find the best veggie to use for hash browns. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have fond memories of Sunday breakfasts with my family. One of the foods that my dad had perfected was potato hash browns. They were crispy, salty and had a little bit of olive oil still lingering. So good. There's honestly nothing quite like biting into my dad's hash browns. White potatoes are a Paleo no-no, so I'm here to find the best alternative.

Saturday, I made celery root hash browns. Those actually browned nicely and got a little bit crispy (depends on how much coconut oil you use). They had good flavor. Stayed together when flipping them (mostly). If I had to grade the celery root, I would give it an A.

Moving on... I made rutabaga hash browns. I do like rutabagas quite a bit. They're quite tasty when mashed (you could even add a little chicken broth for extra flavor and richness). I used a rutabaga in my soup tonight to add some body and creaminess (it's a pureed soup). But as hash browns...

I wasn't a huge fan to be honest. I put them in the pan, patted them down into a circle and then left the room for a bit. Ok, I really went into the living room to sit in my recliner. I was just giving them time to cook and get golden brown. You know what they say, "A watched pot never boils." I think I left them a bit too long, because they burned a little. They didn't stick together at all like hash browns should. Rutabaga hash browns will have to be stirred regularly, to ensure they don't burn. Also, as long as you don't expect them to crisp up, then you may like them. I think rutabaga hash browns would be good as a base to a hash brown casserole.

Rutabaga Hash Browns
Serves: 2-3

2 rutabagas, shredded
2 T. coconut oil
Sea salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste

  • Melt the coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. 
  • Prepare your rutabagas: cut the tops and bottoms off and then peel them. 
  • Shred the rutabagas in a food processor (with shredder attachment) or with a box grater. 
  • Add shredded rutabaga to the hot pan. Flatten with a spatula and shape into a circle. 
  • Season with sea salt and pepper. 
  • Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir them around so they don't burn. Continue cooking and stirring every couple of minutes (or more frequently) for a total of 12-14 minutes. You can also turn the heat down closer to medium so they won't burn as easily. 
  • Serve with other breakfast foods, such as eggs and bacon or sausage. 

These would probably be tasty with over-easy or sunny-side-up eggs, so the yolks glaze the hash browns. Overall, I'd give these a C. They weren't terrible, but they didn't live up to my expectations. I highly recommend giving rutabagas a try though, even if you just make mashed rutabagas. It's definitely a tasty root vegetable to add to your arsenal.

The third, and final, part of the series will happen next weekend. Can you guess what root vegetable I'll be using for my final test? 

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