I’m a pretty stiff critic of my own cooking, so when I say that this is one of the best dishes I have ever developed, that is saying something. These little babies are waffled perfection! Waffling things was all the rage last year, and I spotted a recipe in one of my fave mags, Eating Well, for a breakfast dish made by waffling a mix of potatoes, eggs, cheese and other add ins. Looked so good! Tasted so awful! It had waaaaay too many eggs giving it a burnt scrambled egg taste (no bueno) a fussy first step of squeezing the potatoes in a kitchen towel (no thanks), and way too few add ins, making them (and me) sad. BUT! My desire for cheesy, crispy, savory waffle hash goodness was ignited and I set out fixing this mess.
After making several batches, tweaking ingredients and method, I have found the perfect mix of ingredients that come together in minutes. Enjoy!
- 20 oz frozen shredded hash brown potatoes (I like OreIda brand)
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp fresh grated black pepper
- 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- 1 ½ cups finely shredded cheddar cheese (I use Kraft pre shredded Triple Cheddar or Mexican Blend, but you can use any cheese you like that melts well)
- 3 scallions, finely sliced – or – 1 shallot, minced
- 1 cup diced ham
- 2 Tbsp grapeseed (or other neutral flavored oil)
- 2 eggs
In a large glass bowl, thaw potatoes in microwave, using the “defrost” setting if your micro has one. Just be careful not to heat the potatoes up AT ALL – you can leave them a bit frosty, but don’t let them get warm! Sprinkle flour, salt and pepper over potatoes and gently toss to thoroughly combine. You want the flour to absorb any moisture from the potatoes and evenly hydrate – this will keep the “waffles” crispy and cohesive while making sure they don’t seem gummy or floury in the interiors. While the flour hydrates, prepare the rest of your ingredients (just let the potato/flour mixture sit at least 10 mins or so). Sprinkle cheeses, ham and scallions/shallots over potatoes and gently toss to combine.
Drizzle oil over potatoes, and add eggs. Toss and fold mixture until eggs and oil are completely and evenly distributed. You will have a moist mixture, not a “batter”. Don’t worry – the heat will melt everything together in a perfectly cohesive waffle.
Preheat your waffle maker to medium hot and oil or spritz with cooking spray. We have a large waffle iron with 4 sections, so I make 4 small waffles at a time. The directions that follow are for making multiple smaller waffles, but you can certainly make one large waffle at a time too. Using a serving spoon, or a ½ cup disher (cookie scoop) or a ½ cup measuring cup, portion out 4 scoops of mixture into center of each section of large waffle maker.
Close lid tightly and cook until well browned. Makes 12-16 small waffles.
You can vary this recipe in lots of ways – change the meat or don’t use any at all; change up the cheeses; add some very well browned sautéed mushrooms or some diced roasted veggies. The only things you want to keep in mind are: (1) make sure your add ins aren’t adding a bunch of moisture (that is why mushrooms must be well-browned, not raw) and (2) keep the add ins diced small.