Cooking with Ken
I love it when house guests feel comfortable enough in my farm kitchen to jump in and cook a dish. This past weekend Ken Gilbert (Herbaria on The Hill) came prepared to make his Sunday morning hashbrown potatoes.
Now these are not your ordinary roadhouse hashbrowns. Ken brought his own slicer to get just the right cut and the peanut oil that he prefers to mix with butter in a skillet before sauteing 47 mustard seeds—or so he joked. The sliced and seasoned potatoes cooked atop the mustard seeds. He topped the mixture with a sprinkle of paprika, though I saw online recipes used Indian flavors as well—turmeric, coriander and cumin for what is sometimes called Bombay Potatoes.
A Flip or a Flop
Ken added an additional maneuver to the recipe. When the skillet-size potato cake got golden brown on one side, he turned it over. Not with a spatula (too easy), but by tossing it in the air and catching it in the skillet. Quite an impressive move. He admitted it doesn’t always land in the pan, but the gamble adds to the mystery and the viewer’s appreciation of the dish.
The traditional method of flipping involves using a spatula to sneak a look at the underside before covering the skillet with a plate and turning it out. Then you skootch the potato cake back into the skillet with the uncooked side down. It’s the less showy option.
I don’t want you to think we do nothing but eat all weekend at the farm. There’s lots to do outdoors this time of the year when the foliage is alive with color. And there’s no better way to appreciate the season than on foot or horseback.