|Santa's reindeer - Lt. Brode and Chad Carter|
from Firestone Park Fire House #13
SNOW MEANS COMFORT FOODS
I wasn't really anticipating snow this early in the season, but it is always a good excuse to hang around the house in my jammies and make a late breakfast after lounging in bed a little later than normal.
Sunday I took that opportunity to make one of my favorite breakfast meals, Potato Hash and Eggs. I rescued a sweet potato and a small white potato from the pantry, the remains of a rasher of bacon from the fridge and a couple of my wonderful organic, free-range chicken eggs and whipped up my meal.
Hash is defined by the Food Lovers Companion (more on this wonderful resource later) as "a dish of finely chopped meat (roast beef and corned beef are the most common), potatoes and seasonings, usually fried together until lightly browned. Other chopped vegetables, such as green pepper, celery and onion, can also be added. Hash is sometimes served with gravy or sauce."
Generally, I save my morning hash making for times that I have leftover corned beef to make a true hash, but today the only meat left unfrozen was the bacon lounging around the meat drawer. A quick self evaluation determined that I was just too lazy to chop up the bacon, so it was fried whole and served alongside the potatoes. Technically at this point I was only making fried potatoes with eggs, but since food police aren't trudging through the snow to my door today, I'll just call it hash. This makes a quick and simple meal for one and can easily be multiplied to feed as many people as will wander to your table.
1 small to medium potato per person
2 tsp. vegetable or olive oil or bacon drippings
1/4 cup finely chopped cooked meat (beef roast, turkey, corned beef, sausage or chicken)
salt and pepper to taste
Start by dicing your potatoes in a small dice (1/2 inch) so they will cook fairly quickly. Heat a small heavy bottom non-stick skillet to medium-high heat. Add oil or drippings to the pan and heat. Add potato and onion and stir to coat with the oil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, turn the heat to medium and let cook for 5-7 minutes to cook the potatoes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Remove the lid and continue to cook until you get a nice brown crust on the potatoes.
Serve on a warmed plate and top with a fried egg done to your preference.
Hash is a perfect opportunity to play with seasonings depending upon your mood. Add a mild italian pepper, some chopped garlic and sausage for an Italian flare. Change out with a chipotle pepper, chorizo and add some cheese on top to go Mexican. Add a bit of chopped spinach or greens to include some extra nutrition and we're bordering on healthy eating. Experiment until you find your favorites. Potatoes are basically a blank canvas that lend themselves to whatever mood you're in. Today I used a sweet potato that added a nice sweetness to the white potato. I could easily have gone all out and included a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg and a bit of sugar make this a little different.
Overall, this is basically a really simple soul-soothing meal. Give it a try and see what you can come up with.
The meat is prepared in a simple white gravy or sauce much as you'd prepare for making macaroni and cheese. A roux of flour and butter thickens some milk and you have made a perfect white gravy. The Shingle part of this meal is generally a slice of bread or toast, so basically all we have here is some good hot meat served on toast, a version of my other simple meal for one using sliced turkey or deli beef and meat gravy served over toast. Find those recipes here.
|Make sure you rinse this really well.|
Today most people may be familiar with this meat for it's appearance in appetizers like a cheese ball or beef rolled around cream cheese - all excellent dishes. You can find recipes for all these and learn more about this product at the Armour web site.
1 Tbls butter
1 Tbls flour
1/2 cup milk
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce