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Hashed Browned Potatoes

Mmmm – hash browns.  Mmmmm.  I’ve only just eaten this brunch and looking at this photo is making me hungry again.  It was delicious – especially the hash browns.  I followed Vincent’s recipe to the LETTER and they were perfect.  I boiled up a big ole Desiree potato last night before I went to bed in preparation.  The beauty of planning ahead.  I do like a nice big brunch on a Sunday and when there are no house guests, I still like to make something nice for myself.  Oooh what self-indulgence!

I’m working on the Diana Dors article and was VERY pleased to see that the entry under V in her “For Adults Only” book was dedicated to Vincent.  Diana is very, very outspoken and has been very rude about many men in this book including Bruce Forsyth and Nicholas Parsons – two national institutions not beloved by La Dors.  I was a bit worried that she would be nasty about Vincent but of course, she loved him.  I am keeping her “A-Z of Men” in the littlest room for amusement of my guests.

The recipe for these delicious hashed browned potatoes and the grilled tomatoes that follow were gleaned by Vincent from Gage and Tollner’s in Brooklyn, established in 1879.  In the 1960s Vincent said, “For those who like their steaks and chops broiled to a tee, or some of the finest seafood on the Eastern seaboard, this venerable chop-and-chowder house with its Gay Nineties’ atmosphere is a powerful magnet.” The menu printed in The Treasury of Great Recipes proclaims, “We intend to preserve the nostalgic atmosphere that serves to bring much fond recollections of the gas light era, known affectionately as “The Gay Nineties”. If your waiter sported a Gold Eagle insignia on his sleeve it was a sign that he had worked for the establishment for 25 years or more.

What now of the “rows of cut-class chandeliers, mirrored walls lined with dark red brocade, and hat hooks large enough to accommodate the tall toppers of the horse-and-buggy era…”?

Recipe from: A Treasury of Great Recipes.  I haven’t quite got to the bottom of what “nip-ups” might be, am going to ask the esteemed fellows over at The Guild of Food Writers.  Left overs?

Update: Ha ha – I am so literal sometimes, thinking nip-ups must be an American nickname for scrambled eggs or something similar.  A vibrant discussion on the google group for the Guild put me straight.  The dictionary definition of a nip-up is a spring from a supine position to a standing position, and Guild members pointed out that Vincent was probably saying that he and Mary were jumping for joy over their hash browns – yes!

About Jenny Hammerton

I am a film archivist living in London, making film star fodder and writing about movie stars and their recipes in my spare time. My main website is at - over there I record my attempts to cook the favourite dishes of the greatest film stars of Hollywood's Golden Era - 10 years of nonsense and counting!

2 responses to “Hashed Browned Potatoes

  1. Lauren

    Don’t know about the nip-ups, but that’s so sad about Gage and Tollner’s. It seems like such a cool place from the menu! It seems like all the old-guard establishment-type restaurants just disappeared here in the United States. I need to get to New Orleans and go to Antoine’s!

    P.S. My Friday Dinner and a Movie feature this month is all-Vincent! So excited to try his Kedgeree this week!

  2. oooh ooh – would you do a guest post for me Lauren? Pretty please? I’m procrastinating here rather than getting on with my cabbage and bacon as per your recent post. I’m getting my cleaver out for the cabbage…

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