Finely chopped or shredded, cooked potatoes that are fried (often in bacon fat) until well browned. The mixture is usually pressed down into a flat cake in the pan and browned on one side, then turned and browned on the other. It's sometimes only browned on one side. Other flavorings such as chopped onion and green pepper are often added.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.