Mexican Hash Brown Stack
Mexican Hash Brown Stack – crispy potato topped with sunny-side eggs, sliced avocado, homemade pico de gallo, and crumbled queso fresco cheese!
Confession. I had the hardest time naming this recipe. I stared at my computer for an inordinate amount of time (consulted several family members) and still struggled to name this–in fact, I actually changed the name yet again just before publishing this post.
As strange as it sounds, sometimes that is the hardest part of creating a recipe. When you don’t know what to call something (so that it actually makes sense to people?), but the dish is straight-forward and logical.
Apparently Mexican hash brown stack won. It’s a little long and I’ve come to realize I don’t like the word ‘stack’, but it really does the best job of describing this dish. A crispy hash brown base topped with sunny-side eggs, homemade pico de gallo, sliced avocado, and queso fresco!
Breakfast, or better yet, breakfast-for-dinner is served.
This recipe was loosely inspired by a smoked salmon potato tartine that I shared almost two years ago (i.e. don’t look at the pictures).
Though that recipe is equally as delicious in its own way, albeit very different, the two recipes do share something in common: a crispy potato base. In culinary school, we came to know this as a pommes darphin, but in reality, it is very similar to a large, round crispy hash brown.
Have you ever met a person that doesn’t like crispy hash browns? Of course not! Everyone (or anyone worth trusting) loves a good hash brown. There are a few tricks to achieving a good hash brown base for this dish:
- Grate the potato very quickly (as it will oxidize immediately) and work with just one potato (aka. one hash brown) at a time.
- Do not soak the potato in water. You want to remove the excess moisture from the grated potato, but not the starch–as it will allow you to create a pancake-like hash brown that holds together.
- Use a neutral, high-smoke point oil, such as grapeseed, safflower, or canola–or better yet, clarified butter–to cook the potato.
- Watch the pan carefully, adjust the heat as necessary throughout the cooking process, and flip gently.
- To keep the potatoes warm and crisp, hold them in a 275 degree oven (on a rack set on top of a baking sheet) as you prepare the rest of the recipe. No one likes a cold hash brown.
The hash brown base is the most technical aspect of this recipe. The rest comes together very quickly and is very straight-forward! Although you could easily buy a fresh pico de gallo from the store, you’d be surprised just how easy it is to make from scratch.
It takes just 10 minutes or so, tastes infinitely better, and if you’re anything like me during the summer months, you already have fresh tomatoes lying around on your kitchen countertop.
My only request is that you use fresh pico de gallo–and not jarred salsa–for this recipe. It’s a must!
The next step? Cook up the eggs! I topped the hash brown base with sunny-side eggs, but feel free to prepare them as you like. Easy over, fried, or poached would work just as well! Assemble. Devour. Repeat.
Mexican Hash Brown Stack
Pico de Gallo:
- 2-3 medium vine-ripened tomatoes (about 8 oz) cored, de-seeded and diced
- ¼ cup finely chopped red onion about ¼ of a medium onion
- ¼ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely diced jalapeno pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- kosher salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
Potato Hash Brown Stacks:
- 1¼ lbs russet potatoes roughly 1 small russet potato per serving
- kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
- canola or avocado oil for cooking
- 2-4 large eggs
- ½ ripe avocado thinly sliced
- 2 ounces queso fresco or cotija cheese crumbled
- fresh cilantro leaves for garnishing
- Prepare Pico de Gallo: Combine the ingredients in a small bowl, stir, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to sit out at room temperature as you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Prepare Potato Tartine: Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). To reduce oxidization of the potaotes, peel, grate, and cook one potato hash brown at a time. Using a large box grater, grate the potato lengthwise into a large bowl. Place the pile of grated potato into the center of a clean kitchen towel. Wrap and twist tightly into a ball. Squeeze the grated potato over the sink to remove and discar any excess moisture and starch - repeating a few times as necessary. Place the grated potato into a clean, dry bowl and season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a 8-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the grated potato and shape roughly, using a spatula, into a large circle. Press on the mixture with the back of a spatula to compact it, and cook gently for 8 to 10 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown and crisp.
- Flip the potato carefully and cook for another 8-10 minutes, adding more oil as necessary, or until both sides are golden and crisp. Place on a cooling rack, set in a half sheet pan, and transfer to the oven to keep warm as you prepare the remaining hash browns, eggs, and additional toppings.
- Cook the Eggs: Heat a small non-stick skillet over low heat, grease with a small amount of butter or oil, and crack the eggs (ensuring that the yolk does not break). Cook as desired, or until the eggs until the whites are firm and the yolks are still runny. Remove from heat immediately.
- Assemble: Remove the potato tartines from the oven, and serve. Top with one or two sunny-side eggs, a generous spoonful of pico de gallo, sliced avocado, crumbled queso fresco cheese, and garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve immediately.