From Late Night College Eats to Brunch Staple:: My Take on Hashbrowns

I recently posted a photo of a breakfast-for-dinner we made on social media and the comments were abuzz asking for my hashbrown recipe (even though that night they came out a little crispier than I’d like!).

When I was a student at LSU (gulp…twentyish years ago…), Louie’s Cafe was one of my most frequented late-night eats spots. I’d always get the same thing: a small fruit salad, hold the raisins, and an order of Super Hashbrowns. There’s just something about Louie’s hashbrowns (technically, home fries): crisp but tender cubes of perfectly seasoned potatoes, covered in melty cheese and cool sour cream. My mouth is watering just thinking about them!

Even though the location has since changed, Louie’s is still a guilty pleasure of mine when we’re in Baton Rouge. But now that we live on the Northshore and have two babies under 2, we aren’t exactly hitting up late-night diners off LSU’s campus very often! So I’ve done my best to recreate my favorite dish at home. And, because I’m an avid freezer cook, you know I’ve found a way to make these work there too. It’s my understanding that Louie’s steams their potatoes instead of baking them, but my baked potato shortcut is nearly identical. 

You know you’ve unlocked some new adulting level when you recreate your college drunk food as a freezer meal for your family.

I like to keep these on hand in the freezer for a quick and easy weeknight dinner side or as the star of a weekend brunch (hello, Super Hashbrowns!), but my husband’s favorite is to roll them inside breakfast burritos. At the bottom of the recipe are instructions for freezing and reheating them as well as ideas for toppings.

Cajun Hashbrowns inspired by Louie’s Cafe in Baton Rouge

2-3 large Russet potatoes
3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup chopped onion
Cajun seasoning (like Tony Chachere’s) to taste

Bake the potatoes however you normally do. I find the potatoes cut better when they’re cold, so I usually refrigerate my baked potatoes overnight. Cut the potatoes into bite-sized cubes. 

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and saute the onion until clear, about 5 minutes. Gently place the potatoes into the skillet and fry, carefully flipping the potatoes a few times, until slices are browned around the edges. Season to taste with Cajun seasoning.

To Freeze: Let hashbrowns cool completely and freeze portions in Ziploc bags, removing as much air as possible. I prefer to vacuum seal mine for freshness.

To Reheat: Thaw in refrigerator overnight OR defrost in the microwave until no longer hard. You may heat them in the microwave, but I prefer to crisp them in an air fryer or an oven for 7-10 minutes at 375 degrees. Alternatively, heat a little butter or oil in a skillet and heat them there.

Louie’s Super Hashbrowns:

Top with sauteed mushrooms, shredded Colby cheese, green onions, and sour cream

Other Topping Suggestions: Jalapenos, bacon, crumbled sausage, sauteed peppers & onions, chili, salsa, hot sauce, the sky’s the limit!

Joey is a New Orleans native, Dominican alum, and LSU grad who joined the ranks of motherhood in the summer of 2019. She and her Colorado born-and-raised husband, Phil, left their Mid-City apartment for a house on the Northshore about ten days before they welcomed their son, Sam, into the world. Though she’s always had a passion for writing, it’s her work as the Director of Marketing for a Louisiana-based electrical firm that pays the bills. She’s a longtime member of the dance troupe The Muff-A-Lottas and when she isn’t covered in glitter and dancing through the streets of New Orleans, she’s usually cooking, trying new restaurants, and listening to true crime podcasts. A consummate Pinterest fanatic, she’s always looking for her next DIY project or recipe to try. She believes good senses of humor and random acts of kindness make the world go ‘round.

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