You’ve probably noticed me talking about the newest book by Clifford Wright, Hot & Cheesy. A word of warning — it’s going to keep happening. It’s just one of those books you can’t get enough of once you try it. Case in point, these bacon-cheddar-stuffed hash browns. Mind you, this is anything but health food, but it’s heart-warming comfort food at its best.
If you try the recipe, my first word of advice is use a really non-stick pan because if the cheese drips through, it acts a little like glue in a hot pan. My Calphalon Unison griddle did the trick.
My other bit of advice is to be patient. At first the cooking time sounded a little long to me, but following the directions paid off.
Another warning — the recipe serves four people, but you’re going to want to eat more than your fair share. There will be no leftovers.
And of course, what better way to top off this work of crispy, potatoe-y, cheesy, bacon-y perfection than a fried egg? Happy Breakfast.
Cheese- and Bacon-Stuffed Hash Browns
Makes 4 servings
From Hot & Cheesy by Clifford Wright
6 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
Pork lard or unsalted butter, if needed
2 Yukon Gold or russet potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds), peeled
Salt to taste
6 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
1. In a large nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over medium-low heat until crisp and a few tablespoons of fat are in the skillet. If there isn’t enough fat, add a couple tablespoons of lard or butter to the skillet. Remove the bacon.
2. Increase the heat to medium. Using the large holes of grater, grate 1 of the potatoes directly into the skillet. Flatten and spread out until 9 inches in diameter with a spatula and season with salt. (Actually, this is a pretty salty dish so be careful. A little pepper was nice when I made it a second time.) Sprinkle the bacon over the potato. Cover with the cheese. (The second time I made this, I skipped the cheddar and grated some Parmesan on top instead, maybe just an ounce or so, and it was amazing.) Grate the remaining potato onto a plate and then sprinkle it over the cheese in the skillet, covering all the cheese. Tamp down the edges with a spatula and cook until golden brown and crispy on the bottom, about 15 minutes. Turn with a wide spatula. Don’t worry if it breaks. (I slide mine onto a plate and then flipped it back into the pan because I was worried.) Cook the other side until golden, about 10 minutes. Serve hot. (Not surprising, this gets even tastier after it’s cooled for 10 minutes or so and the cheese congeals a bit.)