First, I have to tell you the story about how I found the Hash Brown Omelette, or if you’d like to call it, the omelette of awesome deliciousness. This omelette is a layer of beautifully cooked hash browned potatoes topped by a thin layer of egg, cheese, ooey and gooey, & a filling of your choice. Then, the whole works is folded over into a crispy, crunchy, on the outside, cheesy, creamy, on the inside, breakfast.
But on to the story: My small Iowa home-town was founded, after many disasters, by a few Irish families. My Mom told me they settled there because the land, with its easy rivers and gently rolling hills reminded them of their Irish home-land. Despite floods, harsh winters, “Indian” troubles, droughts and grasshoppers, they made a go of it. The town was even picked up and moved once or twice. Over time, they were joined by others, and the town grew but always kept its Irish flair.
So, of course, you’d expect celebrations for St. Patrick’s Day, as a point of pride. It’s a rollicking good time: parades and events all weekend; family and friends flock to the area and it’s become a time of reunions and gatherings of family and friends. Houses, of course, are full of celebrants, the streets full as well, and everyone is wearing green! I wasn’t there but I watched it unfold this year through Facebook.
That is how I discovered the Hash Brown Omelette! Tanya, one of our hometown ladies, posted a photo! She made close to dozen, wasn’t it Tanya? Hash Brown Omelettes for her family the morning of the St. Patrick’s day parade. When someone is making that many of something, well, you know it’s a labor of love. You know it’s something so fantastic that everyone is clamoring for them. And Tanya, it seems, wasn’t going to let anyone go without! (Small towns = Big hearts.)
Immediately the comments began pouring in, from friends and family who weren’t there to eat them, reminiscing about them, asking for the recipe. Lots and lots of comments! I knew I had to find out how to make them! I knew I had to try one! Tanya and I sent several emails back and forth and she detailed out each step for me. Thank you, Tanya! Believe me, I wasn’t disappointed!
I had a few worries, all which proved to be of no consequence. The recipe is easy, quick and no fail! It always helps to get a recipe from an expert – they guide you through any potential pitfalls. Here’s what I wondered about:
- Would I burn the bottom? No, the hash brown layer is spread thinly, and I had no problem cooking them through to perfection w/o any issues.
- Would the hash brown crack and ooze and would I be able to turn it? No problem, here, either! It was much easier than a standard omelette to turn!
- Would they take a long time? Surprisingly quick, I turned out several in no time at all! The lid idea is genius and speeds things along!
While I wanted to try them because they looked so fantastic, it turns out they’re frugal as well. Bonus! Tanya (and I) used a grated potato, which she notes everyone likes best, but she said 3/4 cups of frozen hash browns will work, too.
They need cheese, and her daughter (like most kids) loves the American cheese, which is guaranteed to be oozy! Well, that’s dirt cheap, too! (I used a Muenster in mine, from Aldi, because that’s what was in the fridge, and Tanya’s son-in-law prefers Cheddar.) I think anything that melts nicely would work here!
Next, you add the egg (just one, two is just too much) & a few toppings – it turns out only a few toppings will fit in, so that’s inexpensive, too. Feel free to go wild with almost anything and you won’t break the bank. The possibilities, from down home to chi chi gourmet are almost endless. I can see myself riffing on these as a way to use up whatever is in my fridge. Maybe a Pizza Hash Brown omelette would be great, or Asparagus and Goat Cheese. Mushroom Swiss? I know my son would like a “Meat Lover’s” version.
If I were cooking these for a crowd, I’d consider preparing all the toppings in advance and lay them out on a tray so everyone could pick and choose what they’d like for a personalized experience. Any extra can be scooped into a salad for dinner that night.
So, here is Tanya’s Famous Hash Brown Omelette, and I hope I’ve done them justice! I suspect they’ll be a new tradition at my house, and a few others, too! And for all you home-towners, Erin go Braugh! (You can see that I did kiss the Blarney Stone embedded in Robert Emmet’s statue base – I just keep talking and talking and talking, lol!) Now that I think of it, maybe I should say Hash Brown Omelette go Braugh!
Tanya's Famous Hash Brown Omelette
This makes one. If you’re making a lot, simply cut up enough toppings all at once. Potatoes need to be freshly grated or they’ll turn brown. A food processor makes this easy, if you don’t have one, a helper can grate and cut toppings as you cook.
- 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of butter, divided, 1 tablespoon for pan, the rest to top the hash browns as they cook
- 1 medium potato with skin, freshly grated or shredded in food processor, or about 3/4 cups of frozen hash browns
- 1 egg, mixed in a small bowl with milk
- 1/2 teaspoon of milk for egg
- 2 slices (about 2 ounces if grated) cheese of your choice
- Toppings of choice, about 1/4 to 1/3 cup or so total
- Salt and pepper to taste
Equipment: 12 inch skillet and 10 inch lid
Melt about a tablespoon of butter in a 12″ skillet over medium to medium high heat.
Add potato and with a spatula, flatten into a large thin circle. Leave an empty space around the outside edge of the hash browns and the edge of the skillet, but spread the potatoes as evenly and thinly as possible with as few holes as possible. Make sure the 10″ inch lid will fit over the top of the omelette.
Place three small pats of butter on top of the flattened hash browns, salt and pepper if desired, and cover with the lid. Cook until the bottom of the hash brown is showing just a bit of browning. Note: If you haven’t done it ahead, this is an ideal time to chop up the ham, mushrooms, onions, green peppers or whatever is going inside in the omelette.
When the hash brown has began to brown, add egg and with the bottom of a spoon or a spatula, spread and nudge it across the hash browns. Put the lid back on and let the egg set for a minute or two.
When the egg is no longer runny (it doesn’t have to be completely done) add a slice of cheese to the center. Fold and break the other slice into triangles and add a “point” to each side of the slice. (It will look like a four sided star.) Replace the lid and let the cheese melt slightly.
Uncover, add toppings and fold half of the omelette over on itself. Put the lid back on for just a moment so it heats through, then unlid and serve immediately.
- Here’s the sequence for lidding: hash brown and butter, lid; egg, lid; cheese, lid; toppings & fold, lid.
- Use your eyes and your nose on this recipe, since after topping it will be difficult to see the bottom of the hash brown. If the butter begins to smell or brown, turn the heat down a bit.
- The full tablespoon of butter is needed in the pan for this hash brown to properly cook. To go a bit healthier, use a tablespoon of olive oil instead, omit the butter on the top of the hash brown, use less cheese & use lean options in the middle.
from the kitchen of http://www.frugalhausfrau.com
These are so good, I’m going to post them on Fiesta Friday, an ongoing blogger’s event. Even if you just came to see Tanya’s recipe, check out Fiesta Friday Friday! Bloggers “bring” their best dishes for this weekly event and it’s a great way to show off a bit 🙂 and see a lot of different dishes and recipes. This week, it’s co-hosted by Selma @ Selma’s Table and Margy of LaPetite Casserole.
Update: This recipe was featured on Fiesta Friday! Thank you guys, I’m honored!