Everybody loves Sunday Brunch whether it’s at home or going out. On those Sunday’s when you go out, where’s you favorite place? Ours is, and always has been, the Frontier Restaurant in Albuquerque. It’s a funky place occupying half a city block directly across the street from the University of New Mexico. We don’t go often because it’s very crowded on Sunday mornings, but when the college is on break, it gets slow and relatively quiet – perfect for Sunday brunch. When we go, we invariably get the same things – Bobby gets the Huevos Rancheros with Red (chile sauce) and I get the Western-style hash browns with an egg. The Huevos include 2 eggs, beans, and red chile on corn tortillas with a freshly made flour tortilla for $6.59. The Western-Stye hash browns are a LARGE stack of hashed brown potatoes, piled with chopped green chile and cheese, all for the bank busting price of $3.10! With the egg, tack on another $1.35 for a total of $4.45. Two delicious, plentiful meals for less than $12 and because it’s self-serve, there’s no tip. On the way out, we grab a dozen freshly made flour tortillas, still warm, for $2.99. So if you’re ever in Albuquerque and want to get a cheap and delicious New Mexico meal with GOOD chile and a VERY interesting atmosphere, stop by the Frontier. It will definitely be a meal and an experience to remember. To learn more about the Frontier Restaurant, read Gil’s Thrilling (and Filling) review. He obviously has spent as much time there as I have.
Even though I absolutely LOVE the Frontier’s Western-Style Hash browns, they are heavy with the starchy potatoes; therefore, when I make them at home, I try to make them a little healthier. I substitute part, if not all of the potatoes with sweet potatoes. The cheese and pile of roasted, chopped green chile? They stay. Add the egg, some chopped tomatoes on the side and we’ve got a tasty, healthy Sunday brunch.
A little something interesting (from Wikipedia): The first known mention of the term “hashed brown potatoes” was in 1888 by food author Maria Parloa. Hashed brown potatoes, also called hashed browned potatoes, was later shortened to “hash browns”. The first use of the term “hash browns” was in the pilot episode of the original “The Twilight Zone” in 1959, one of my favorite shows as a kid (actually I still like watching the old black & white reruns).
Green Chile Sweet Potato Hash browns (Western-Style)
Prep and Cook time: less than 30 minutes
1 large sweet potato, washed, scrubbed, and grated
1/2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup roasted, chopped green chile
1/4 to 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- Grate the potato with a cheese grater.
- Heat a skillet (I use a non-stick skillet) over medium heat. Add the butter.
- When the butter has melted, add the grated potato and toss to coat with the butter.
- Spread the grated potatoes evenly across the skillet.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cover and cook over medium heat for 4 minutes. Remove lid.
- Turn heat up to medium high.
- Cook until potatoes are toasty brown on the bottom. Flip.
- Continue to cook until the other side of the potatoes are toasty brown.
- Reduce the heat and top the potatoes with green chile and cheese. Let sit over a low heat while you cook the eggs.
- Cook 2 eggs sunny-side up or over easy.
- Divide the potatoes (with chile and cheese) between two plates. Top each serving with an egg.
Suggested Sides: chopped fresh tomatoes, avocado, or both
The Potatoes – For the potatoes you can use sweet potatoes or white, red, or yellow potatoes or a combination. Some times I mix it up or even cut the potatoes into small cubes (instead of grating) for country-style fries. The cooking process is the same, but with the cubes, you’ll need to increase the cooking time by 2 to 3 minutes.
The Cheese – Cheddar or Monterey Jack are best.
The Chile – Any kind of roasted, peeled, and chopped fleshy chile works with hash browns. It you can’t handles spicy, use roasted bell of any colors. It’s hard to beat the combination of potatoes and peppers, so use you favorites of both.
Rinsing potatoes – High starch content potatoes, like Russets, can make hash browns gummy. So if you choose potatoes such as Russets or any large white, you might want to rinse with cold water after grating to remove some of the excess starch. Red potatoes, sweet potatoes, and new potatoes (any potato less than 2″ (~5 cm) in diameter) are relatively low in starch content, so I never bother to rinse those.
Non-vegetarian Option - Add bacon or Mexican chorizo to the hash browns
Sunday brunch, Sunday supper or a meal any day of the week, these sweet potato hash browns with green chile are a fast and fabulous option.