Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Smoky sweet potato hash for supper, breakfast or brunch
I know it's not a good idea to go grocery shopping when you're hungry, but I probably shouldn't shop when I'm full, either. That was the case on Saturday, when I hit the supermarket on the way home from a culinary event.
I picked up the basics -- milk, eggs, bread, fruit, veggies -- but I was having trouble deciding which meats looked appealing. Then I spied a package of smoked pork chops. These weren't the mass-market brand, which tend to release a ton of water when you put them into the pan. Instead, they were from a Missouri smokehouse, Burgers'. If you make this recipe -- or anything with smoked pork -- seeking out artisan-quality meat will be worth the effort and any additional price.
The chops went into my cart, and later, into this hash. It's a hearty meal with a satisfying combination of flavors and textures. To reduce cooking time considerably, start the potatoes in the microwave, then saute them with the onions just until they brown. The pork was so tasty that I didn't want to overcomplicate the dish with herbs or other seasonings, so I stopped at salt and black pepper. And cooked in a covered pan on a blanket of hash, the eggs develop a soft, almost custardy consistency.
SMOKY SWEET POTATO HASH
Yield: 2 servings (see note)
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 smoked pork chop (about 8 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 4 eggs
Wash sweet potatoes and pierce the top of each two or three times with the tip of a paring knife. Microwave on high until tender but not mushy, about 6 minutes, depending on their size. Cut in half lengthwise and set aside until they are cool enough to handle. Peel, discarding skin; cut sweet potatoes into 3/4-inch cubes.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a 10-inch well-seasoned cast-iron skillet or a nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, until it softens. Add cubed sweet potatoes; cooking, stirring gently, until they begin to brown. If sweet potatoes stick to the skillet, add up to 1 tablespoon additional butter.
Meanwhile, cut pork into bite-size pieces, discarding excess fat and the bone. Add pork, pepper and salt to the skillet; stir well.
Make two or four shallow indentations in the hash. One at a time, break eggs into a small cup and slide into the indentations. Reduce the heat to low. Cover the skillet and cook until eggs are done, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Note: This recipe can be doubled and cooked in a 12-inch skillet. You'll need to microwave the potatoes for about 12 minutes.
Copyright 2013 by Judith Evans. All rights reserved.