It’s no secret I currently work as a server at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant. I’ve been with the company for nearly four years now. In that time, I’ve eaten my way through the entire menu, and experimented with my own concoctions during many of my meal breaks.
One of the most popular side dishes on the menu is Betty’s Potatoes, a cheesy, shredded hash brown casserole inspired by the founder’s mother-in-law. People order it all the time, and often substitute it for other side dishes. I don’t blame them. If you’ve tried them, you don’t either.
They are also prepared in small batches and finished in individual rarebit dishes. Often at the end of the night, there are anywhere from one to four leftover orders that cannot be reused. As is often my motto about perfectly good items due to be discarded, “If it’s me or the garbage…” I will grab a couple servings to bring home. I usually reheat them for breakfast, playing with various mix-ins, like diced pepperoni, bacon bits, scrambled eggs, and canned chili, just to name a few.
The challenge has always been reheating them, I tend to scrape off the excess bread crumbs before I pack them, because those can turn out weird in the microwave. Lately, though, I’ve taken to a very specific set of steps to prepare them for breakfast. Before, I would pack them in bulk in a large to-go container and cut or scoop chunks out for a meal. Now, I pack each serving into a soup bowl, which serves as a mold, to shape each order into a nice, round cake. I then drop them into a greased, preheated frying pan on medium heat, and cook them for about 2-3 minutes per side. They get a nice, crispy toast on each side, and each serving makes a great base to lay a fried egg on top. It’s my current morning obsession.
Obviously, if you don’t work there, you can’t get them as easily as I do. However, they are very reasonably priced. Just order a side to go the next time you’re in the store. Press them flat into your carryout container, or take them home and transfer them to something that will give them a nice round shape, and reheat them the next morning. Then experiment with your own toppings, and see if you don’t get obsessed with them as well. Enjoy!