Weekend Brunch at Home
Ah, the weekend! Sleep in, start the day late with a mouth watering plate of decadent hash and kick back for a relaxing afternoon at home in the fog. That’s San Francisco living as we know it and we couldn’t be more content. We know what some of you might be thinking – San Francisco? Hash? No, it’s not the type of hash you can buy on Haight St., but the type you’ll find on a brunch menu served with eggs and at times, corned beef. This is, after all, a food blog.
While Steve was out for a noon jog, ok we slept in really late, Jason spent the time in the kitchen by whipping up an amazing hash of par boiled potatoes, roasted beats, roasted peppers, mushrooms, onions and chicken sausage. A couple of eggs fried over easy in lots of butter, reminiscent of the eggs Jason’s Grandfather once cooked on Saturday mornings, completed the meal and with just a dash of Tabasco and a sprinkle of crunchy sea salt it was time to eat. The presentation was not the most beautiful sight, but the flavors and textures of the plate were perfect!
The combination of warm, earthy, salty and sweet made for a satisfying start to our already late day. The produce used in today’s hash was left over from last night’s fresh salad supper. The caramelization that came from pan-frying turned the vegetables into something completely different. Our breakfast didn’t look or taste like leftovers and that’s the real secret to keeping your cold pantry* well stocked and at the ready. Potatoes, beets and peppers can be prepped ahead and stored in containers in the refrigerator for a multitude of future uses. The cold pantry may be a future subject here. In the mean time we’ve given you a rough outline of things to come with Just a Thought, below.
Recipe: Beet, Potato and Sausage Hash
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Large Onion cut into large dice
6-8 Button Mushrooms quartered
2 Chicken Sausages cut into half-inch rounds
4 Small White or Red Potatoes, boiled, cooled and cut into half-inch pieces
2 Roasted Beets cut into half-inch pieces
Salt and Pepper to taste
Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until soft and beginning to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until browned, probably 5 minutes. Next add sausages and brown for a few minutes. Transfer items to a plate and keep warm in the oven.
Add a couple more tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and add the potatoes on one side and the beets on the other side. Try not to combine the two right away, at least until a sear has developed. After a few minutes toss them together in the pan. The color of the beets will bleed into the potatoes. (If you wish them to look more pristine you can sauté the beets and the potatoes separately.) When everything is cooked, toss vegetables and sausage together and serve with fried eggs, or eggs of your choice.
Like most recipes we use, this is a technique and does not have to be followed word for word. Cooking is experimental and fun, so if you don’t have beets, make it without. If you don’t like mushrooms omit them. Make a hash that’s right for you. You won’t be disappointed.
*Just a Thought
When we’re cooking/prepping ingredients individually for a dish that requires combining them later, it usually makes good sense to cook more than we’ll need in the moment. By doing so, the next use of the ingredient will require less prep time and faster cooking. The advantages are obvious, but the result for us has been a more efficient and diverse use of the produce that comes into our kitchen every week.
When you’re prepping veggies for storage, be sure to save the skins, peels and stems in a sealed container in your refrigerator or freezer. It makes flavorful, inexpensive broth that beats any veggie broth you’ll find in a grocery store. There’s no special recipe for making veggie broth or even chicken broth, just using the left over vegetable remains and even a chicken carcass or two with a little chateau de faucet (water), salt and pepper is all you need. Bring to a simmer on the stove and allow to cook for an hour or so to produce a wonderful broth that can be used immediately or frozen for another use. We have only been doing this for about a year and the savings has been pretty remarkable. We used to spend $2 a container on broth and purchased one or two a week. This year we haven’t bought one container. At the end of this year we will have saved about $150. Not bad for using something that we used to just throw away.