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Need a new breakfast pototo

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

We own a small breakfast/lunch restaurant open 7 AM to 2 PM. Our current breakfast potato is your typical red bliss, skin on, par boiled, then baked, then left on a 340 degree flat top grill for up to 2-3 hours per batch. Seasoning is paprika, garlic and onion powder, salt and black pepper. The sheet pans are sprayed with pan spray before they hit the oven. The crisp up minimally while on the grill. And that's that. A rather non-decript potato neither good or bad IMO.

 

I can't add to it as we do an "ultimate potato" as an upcharge that includes peppers, onions, mushrooms and hollandaise. But I'd love to hear of a better version that will stand up to elongated grill time.

post #2 of 23

Typical breakfast/lunch potato choice possibilities are , 

 

Grilled red potatoes, (many variations in shape and seasonings) 

Hash browns

Cottage potatoes or Home Fried potatoes (these arent red) 

Potato fritters

Steak fries

Seasoned fries

Potato wedges

Tater Tots (recent thread on this) 

Sweet potato fries

 

Many possibilities really, Im sure there are some I missed. 

 

Quote:
And that's that. A rather non-decript potato neither good or bad IMO.

 

Well if you're leaving 'em sitting around 2 to 3 hours I'm not surprised. I won't even do that in catering.

Why exactly are you doing that? :confused: 

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 

No fryolator so anything deep fried is out.

 

I guess 2-3 hours sitting on the grill is an exaggeration. During slow times, they may sit for over an hour on the grill. If they dry out or get over crisped, they get tossed. We go through 400 lbs. red potatoes per week in the slow season, over 1000 lbs in the busy season.

 

We're a small, 40 seat eatery that does 6 full turns on the weekend in a 4 hour period, so ticket times must be fast, fast, fast which means anything we do with potatoes needs to be 1) done in advance and 2) be "at the ready" for service. Thus we precook them, hold in a warm oven, and they hit the flat top for crisping for anywhere from 10 mins. to a little over an hour or so.

 

I guess I'm just getting tired of the paprika potato and looking for a different flavor profile.

 

btw (we stick to red bliss as we only pay about $ 10-12 per 50# bag)

post #4 of 23

Well it sounds like you have the business volume  for a wider variety of potatoes. You really don't need a deep fryer

for fries and the like,  probably better that you don't--I've never been big on all that absorbed oil. You can make any

of the above mentioned the same as you do the reds, bake just til soft, hold warm then toss on flattie to finish the

order. I've made  lots this way with no complaints... its sitting around after grilling, and cooling then reheating that

screws em up. And it's far too easy to push 'em out that way when you're out of fresh product....even though its just

.....wrong. :o

 

If you're tired of the paprika blend, (understandable, it's everywhere) just try some different spices, such as lemon

pepper, or garlic, experiment with peppers and sauces, tons of possibilities. 

 

You also have to realize that if you stick to one and only one potato, that's also gonna limit any variety you

might be desiring. 

post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 

I hear you on the reheats. I preach food cost all day long but I'm constantly telling the line cooks, throw 'em out. Potatoes are our cheapest veggie!

 

No deep fryer for fries? What then? Dutch oven? Oven fry?

 

thanks for your comments.

post #6 of 23

Make a basic Potato Pancake mix shredded potato, onion ,egg, flour, s&p chopped parsley,instead of frying , put in an oiled 1/2 sheet  pan and bake till golden brown  cut into squares( sautéed mixed peppers may also be added as well as cheese)  24 squares  I call these Good Morning potato

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #7 of 23

medium dice, soak in cold water, single layer sheet pans, coat lightly with grape seed oil and sear in the oven about 9mins. If your oven is hot enough they'll sear but not cook through.

Finish on the flat top any way you wish, with bacon grease, butter, duck fat and whatever seasonings you wish to complement the entrée,

 

spicy with say a SW omelet,

parsley w/rosemary salt for poached eggs,

w or w/o onions and smoked salt for steak and eggs,

real crispy no salt for sausage gravy, (prefer this instead of over biscuits, HUGE hit btw) 

 

we look at spuds like eggs, and personally believe "one size does not fit all" as they like eggs are such a versatile medium.

Can guarantee if you do this your customers WILL notice as it will elevate your end product and reputation.

 

 

Best,

 

EDG   

"Ars Est Celare Artem"

 

True art, is to conceal art......

 

https://www.instagram.com/smokehouse_84/

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"Ars Est Celare Artem"

 

True art, is to conceal art......

 

https://www.instagram.com/smokehouse_84/

Reply
post #8 of 23

Some suggestions. 

 Most importantly, use white pepper, not black pepper for home fries. Black pepper develops a bitter taste to the potatoes after sitting on the grill. White pepper adds the pepper punch without developing the bitterness. 

2. If you have a Hobart mixer, there is a slicing attachment you can get. Set on medium wide, it makes quick work of slicing the potatoes. More surface area means faster browning on the grill.

3. Commercial, pre cubed home fries are cost effective (virtually same price per serving) and can be mixed in with the fresh red bliss or chef potatoes for a variety of shapes. They don't have as much potato flavor as fresh but are a tremendous labor saver.  The addition of fresh potatoes to the mix will add in the potato flavor while using the pre cubed insures less effort. 

4. Diced fresh onion, not powder, is a better flavor for home fries, other seasonings notwithstanding. 

5. Baking the potatoes seems unnecessary. Blanch, cool and grill.

6. Hash browns can also be done in advance with a shredder attachment on the hobart. Mixed with seasonings, load a sheet pan thickly and par baked. Cut in rectangles and grilled as needed.

As Chefedb has suggested, other additions can be added but plain shredded potatoes will work.  

7. East coaster diners expect home fries. West coast diners expect hash browns. Doing one for the other will be novel for awhile, but not expected. 

8. You could make large quantities of scalloped potatoes on a sheet pan fitted with extenders, or multiple hotel pans,  then cut and serve. 

9. A home fry is grilled.  Deep fried cubes are tavern fries, long thin shapes are french fries, etc. A home fry is never deep fried and a deep fried potato should never be presented as a home fry. 

10. You can pre grill home fries if you have a second grill, moving them over to the service grill as needed. There are also commercial cast iron grills that can be set over the burners of a commercial stove for using the grill when needed.  Or a metal working shop could craft one for you. 

The biggest concern you are already addressing. When they are overdone, throw them out. Nothing ruins the experience more than an overdone home fry.

post #9 of 23

This may not work for you if you are definitely going for cubed with all sides browned, but if you just need chunks of potatoes that can stay on the grill without getting trashed, go Greek!  If you want, peel the potatoes first, or after while hot with those thick rubber gloves BBQ guys use (faster), but boil them until cooked thoroughly.  I'd say remove the skins if doing this method, they will not hold up on the grill like the potato will.  If anything trade the parboiling, drying and oven labor for just the peeling labor.  Cool them outside of the cooler whole so they do not get water logged and can dry, but not too dry.  Don't cut hot, they turn to mush on the bottom, crusty on top.  Cut on a box grater slicer surface, this goes really fast.  Season.  They hold up on a grill for a long time because they don't dry out like they would from your baking process, are moist when they hit the grill, and they brown nicely on the bottom.  This is also the simplest and cheapest labor for very high volume homefries. 

 

Typically the Greeks will load the grill up before the rush, and then turn it all over, make a pile that you take from at the bottom, and then lay out a whole new layer on the rest of the back of the grill, or use a designated side of the grill and take from what is towards the center/work area, and lay new towards the wall of the grill.  You can lay down a really thick layer and put a really big press on them, like I've seen used for 20 steaks at a time to speed up browning during service to renew the take pile, and they do get hot because since they are precooked and have their moisture, the steam wicks up, although it is slower than a thinner layer.  They are already cooked, get hot fast, brown nicely, for the same reasons really good fish and chips require the parboiled chips, and it is really really hard to overcook them.  You can keep turning them over if you need to which only makes them better, but they are good with just browning deep on a side and having been turned.  It sounds like it could work nicely for your workflow since they need to sit around and these get better as they sit, and you have the pace to keep them renewed, while having a ton to grab from without the hassle of dealing with an oven.  Typically by the time they are served it is like a really coarse hashbrown that is browned nicely on the bottom, sometimes a little within, and on the top from turning over and mixing as you go, but stays fluffy and soft inside.  You can keep turning them over and over if you have too, or pile them onto newer you just turned, and they won't overcook during service.  I don't know how this would work with your ultimate potato dish.  I guess pull a pile of spuds and grill the veggies with 'em like a fritatta and take it from there. 

 

This is how tons of East Coast diners, and most Greek family restaurants do 'em.  This is the standard homefry of Western NY from Syracuse to Buffalo, and they do it like this is in (some or all?) Philly joints too.  I'm sure it is like this in many other places like NYC and Jersey, but I won't officially speak for places I haven't been to.  Greeks are the cheapest owners I have ever worked for, and they usually base all of their methods on never having to throw something out, because usually they won't even if they should.  I've never seen home fries done like this need to be thrown out.  You get a feel for the rhythm you need to keep them consistent.  I've only worked for one restaurant anywhere around here that did not do it this way, and it was cumbersome and slow and really did not work for high volume. 

 

There's a guy with a little place near me, seats a little over 50, his menu says shallot infused home fries. I don't know what that means exactly.  Just a thought.  Sounds good on a menu.  I'm sure he only uses like one or two shallots and just calls it that. 

 

But that gets me thinking you could roast garlic, saute onion, add to some (veggie or grapeseed) oil, throw into a blender with some other seasonings, and premix all ur spuds with this for a familiar but different (better?)taste.  Maybe powdered dried herbs like thyme, especially thyme, and terragon would be great, but I have no idea how these ingredients or their flavors would hold up on the grill.  They may get bitter, but I suspect thyme holds up.  Thyme, onion and coriander is a good flavor mix, but I don't know if it would look good.  There is a Tex-mex place near me that uses cumin, very effectively, but that may not work for your place except possibly in a really low dose.  The Greeks usually take each tub of home fries just cut and throw in their seasonings and oil and mix like crazy, but usually forgo the salt and pepper until they're on the line.  Black pepper usually loses the volatile compounds that taste good through the cooking process and always tastes the best the less it has been cooked, although in many dishes it does need time to mix in its flavor.  Hence the old season as you go mentality.  Presalting the potatoes just draws water out and makes the cooking process weird on the grill.  Many use the bacon grease but not all do.  In my experience whole or coarse dried herbs do not work well for this approach.  Overall it is low effort, has a lot of margin for error, they can sit a long time and but get hot really quick, and you can always be ahead on spuds ready for the line without hassling with ovens.  I have noticed a huge difference between using these potatoes and leftover bakers.  These will hold up better.

 

Also, I would not bother with reds if you go this way, which may also save you cash.  Russets get so much starch washed away that they act pretty much the same, and the peeling is easier.  Flavor is another story though, but honestly once any spud sits on the grill long enough, there won't be much difference.  I can tell you russets taste better after a long time on the grill than reds, they get too earthy in my experience. 

 

Just some thoughts. I tried the white pepper suggestion earlier tonight, it is a solid one.  One last note though, this works better for a standard flat top.  A snap-action grill WILL  overdo these if you don't watch your temp and pace.  Use a side, not the back and keep temp lower there in that case.  These tend to never overcook on a manual because the grill slows down with a huge layer of fresh spuds put on it and takes awhile to get back up to and saty at temp for long enough to damage them during rush hour.  Peace. 

post #10 of 23

How about a non-potato side.

I have enjoyed other alternatives to breakfast potatoes.

 

Here's on for instance; small diced zucchini with red onion, parsley and oregano, sautéed in garlic olive oil.

post #11 of 23

That's involved for pumping out really fast ticket times to turn tables in a small set up.  That would however be a great omelet.  Shredded zuchini is awesome in them.  Just add goat cheese and black pepper to what you described and YUM.

post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by CapeCodChef View Post
 

I guess I'm just getting tired of the paprika potato and looking for a different flavor profile.

 

Swap the paprika out and use garam masala in it's place.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #13 of 23

Smashed potatoes are the bomb and super easy to make ahead! I use fresh garlic, rosemary and thyme with olive oil drizzle. I also go full out with bacon fat, smidgen of cayenne, salt and pepper with a chipotle aioli drizzle......Yummy!! 

post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fablesable View Post
 

Smashed potatoes are the bomb and super easy to make ahead! I use fresh garlic, rosemary and thyme with olive oil drizzle. I also go full out with bacon fat, smidgen of cayenne, salt and pepper with a chipotle aioli drizzle......Yummy!! 

 

Those smashed potatoes with chopped thick cut bacon and poached eggs and hollandaise instead of the aeoli would be amazing.

post #15 of 23

@mckallidon  Mmmmm.....sounds like a plan! Guess what I am having for breaky tomorrow....hehe....thank you for the suggestion :D

post #16 of 23

There is a gastropub like 1/2 mile from me and they are known for having an amazing from-scratch menu with nothing but sliders and potatoes, and they use their leftover s/mashed with deep fried mashed potato balls that are to die for (must destroy the fryer oil though).  That would be incredible with that dish too.  Enjoy, let me know how that breakfast works out.

post #17 of 23

@mckallidon  The breakfast was so freakin good that we ate it all before I even thought about pictures.....lol......oh well, will just have to make again just to take pictures of it of course....hehe :lol:

post #18 of 23

How about an old fashioned potato called Hashed in Cream

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #19 of 23
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post
 

Make a basic Potato Pancake mix shredded potato, onion ,egg, flour, s&p chopped parsley,instead of frying , put in an oiled 1/2 sheet  pan and bake till golden brown  cut into squares( sautéed mixed peppers may also be added as well as cheese)  24 squares  I call these Good Morning potato

 

 

Thanks to all who have taken the time to reply. Although many of these are terrific potato dishes, many are dishes that the average Joe customer is not expecting as a side with their morning eggs.

 

We decided to give chefedb's suggestion a go this past week and not only was it an immediate hit, we're able to get an upcharge for them. Easy peasy to do ahead, and simple to service. I can't get nearly 24 squares per 1/2 sheet though chef. How thick do you layer? I'm using about 3 # of mixed shred on a 1/2 sheet?

post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fablesable View Post
 

@mckallidon  The breakfast was so freakin good that we ate it all before I even thought about pictures.....lol......oh well, will just have to make again just to take pictures of it of course....hehe :lol:

 

I believe it.  Very nice.

post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by CapeCodChef View Post
 

 

 

Thanks to all who have taken the time to reply. Although many of these are terrific potato dishes, many are dishes that the average Joe customer is not expecting as a side with their morning eggs.

 

We decided to give chefedb's suggestion a go this past week and not only was it an immediate hit, we're able to get an upcharge for them. Easy peasy to do ahead, and simple to service. I can't get nearly 24 squares per 1/2 sheet though chef. How thick do you layer? I'm using about 3 # of mixed shred on a 1/2 sheet?

 

We're going through this same exercise right now.  Literally - your old potatoes sound exactly like what we're doing now. 

 

I also like the idea of chefedb's potato squares!  CapeCodChef, did you end up sticking with this recipe?  Any further refinements to share?  Tips on staging trays ahead of time so we can bake one off as needed?  

post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by modchef View Post
 

 

We're going through this same exercise right now.  Literally - your old potatoes sound exactly like what we're doing now. 

 

I also like the idea of chefedb's potato squares!  CapeCodChef, did you end up sticking with this recipe?  Any further refinements to share?  Tips on staging trays ahead of time so we can bake one off as needed?  

 

We kept our standard paprika b'fast taters but added chefedb's suggested potato squares which are really just shredded hash browns. We buy par cooked shreds by the 10 pound case (Simply Potatoes) and mix 1 1/2 to 2 cups of AP flour, about 4-5 cups whipped egg, S& P, granulated garlic, chopped flat leaf, caramelized onion and red bell pepper and bake them off in an oiled 1/2 sheet. (10# case gives us four 1/2 sheets) We bake them off ahead of service, cut into 12 squares per 1/2 sheet and then toss on the flat top to order with some canola to heat them through and add a crispy coating. I get a $2 upcharge over our standard potato and about 25% of the customers go for them.

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