Diner Favorites - Potatoes O'Brien and French Toast

I love eating "breakfast" for dinner. I love to eat at Diners. My favorite Diner that I miss the most is 5 & Diner. They had them all over Phoenix. I use to always get an Oreo milkshake and they would give you the extras in that tin cup. And I would order hashbrowns, eggs and toast. Simple but oh so good.

I recently found out that my grandmother also loved Oreo Blizzards. So that is something we have in common. She died recently and this was listed in the handout at the funeral. Next time I'm in the states I'm totally going over to DQ and getting myself an Oreo Blizzard in her honor... and I'll be sure and stop by a diner and eat all my favorites as well.

So, occasionally for dinner I make a special "diner night" and I often serve pancakes and hashbrowns, egg omelets or egg "mc" muffins but this time I served Potatoes O'Brien and French Toast. I've read that there are hundreds of different variations of Potatoes O'Brien. I suppose my version - adpated from the original "Jack's Restaurant" of New York in the 1900's - could be called Potatoes O'Daams. Maybe we can give it a Dutch name like Aardappellen van Daams. Anyways, we like to serve them with ketchup or BBQ sauce.

To make the Potatoes
turn to page 76 of WILLIAMS-SONOMA Kitchen Library Potatoes or follow below:

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 small red bell pepper, deribbed and finely diced
1/2 small green bell pepper, deribbed and finely diced
2 lb (1 kilo) small white or red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces [I like to use 1 lb baking potatoes because I add extra extras - see below]
salt [1 teaspoon]
fresh ground pepper [1/2 teaspoon]
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley [1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes]

I like to add:
1/2 medium zucchini, washed clean and finely chopped
1 package of Alpro Soya Tofu reepjes (you could use something like ham or bacon for you meat eaters)
1/2 medium eggplant (aubergine), wash clean and finely chopped.

1. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, melt 1/2 tablespoon of the butter with 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the onion and saute, stirring frequently, until golden brown and just beginning to caramelize, 5-7 minutes. Add the red and green bell pepper [zucchini and eggplant] and saute for 3-5 minutes longer. Transfer to a serving bowl.
2. Add 1/2 tablespoon each of the remaining butter and oil to the same pan. Add half of the potatoes and cook, turning too brown on all sides, 5-7 minutes. If the potatoes are too sticky or dry, add a bit more butter or oil. Transfer into the bowl with the onion mixture. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter and oil and brown the remaining potatoes on all sides in the same manner. [Fry the tofu, ham or whatever you like to add as well].
3. Return mixture to the pan. Raise the heat so the mixture quickly warms throughout. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the parsley and mix to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately. [Or you can always reheat in the microwave :)]

Serves 4-6.

To make the French Toast
go here or follow below:

4 eggs
2/3 cup whole milk [low-fat is good, too]
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon [double this or triple it - b/c cinnamon makes everything better]
6 slices Texas toast thick bread [plain white thin bread or Turkish bread, sliced as thick as you like]
3 tablespoons butter [liquid butter for cooking]
powdered sugar
syrup [Real Canadian Grade A Maple Syrup - the best!]

1. Mix together the eggs, milk, flour, sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon.
2. Heat a large skillet or griddle.
3. When the skillet is hot, add 1 tablespoon butter.
4. If the butter smokes, your pan is too hot; turn down the heat.
5. Dip each slice of bread into the batter for 30 seconds on each side. [With thin bread, not that long]
6. Let some of the batter drip off, then put in skillet.
7. Cook each slice until golden brown - 1 1/2 to 2 minutes each side.
8. Add more butter, if necessary, to cook all the slices.
9. To serve, put on plate, dust with powdered sugar. Serve with butter and hot syrup.


Chef Dennis said…
you gotta love diner food!! NJ was like the birthplace of diners, and we do have our share.....I have not heard potaotes o'brien in so long, wow.....thanks for sharing and for bringing back some memories!

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