Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprout Hash

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Beyoncé and I have so much in common. While she was holding tight to her secret album, waiting until last night to release it, I was holding tight to this post, only wanting to share it at the perfect moment. And now, at last, on this Friday before a snowy New York weekend (a weekend in which I’m supposed to fly back to L.A.) I’m ready to share it with you. It’s probably the prettiest thing I’ve made in a long time and, like most of the best things, it was made completely on the fly, using up all of the items in my fridge before I left for three weeks. Now I’ll have to re-buy those items when I get back because clearly I want to make this again.

The key is a cast iron skillet. The recipe employs a technique I first learned about from the Marion Cunningham Breakfast Book when I made her potatoes: you pour in a thin layer of vegetable or Canola oil, heat it up until it’s extremely hot, then add your cubed potatoes, leaving them to sizzle for a while and then flipping and leaving and flipping until they’re toasty brown all over the outside and tender and fully cooked on the inside. This time around, I did that with sweet potatoes.

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There was one white sweet potato and one orange sweet potato (or a yam, though a commenter corrected me the other day and said that what I thought was a yam is actually a sweet potato; I’m so confused). Just cube them as you see here, add them to the hot oil, sprinkle with salt and leave them alone for a bit. When you flip one and it’s crusty brown, you can flip them all and continue to cook them. The game you’re playing here is that you want them to get crispy on all sides without burning (the sugar in sweet potatoes makes them more likely to burn). Just hang around and keep your eye on them; meanwhile, shred up a bunch of Brussels sprouts. When the potatoes are good and crisp and almost cooked all the way through, add the shredded Brussels sprouts (use about 10 sprouts).

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Sprinkle with salt and pepper and, at this point, add a splash of olive oil. It’s a weird step but it works because the olive oil adds its own distinct flavor here and also lubricates the brussels sprouts which will also start to fry in that really hot pan. Stir everything around and cook until everything is taken right to the edge (dark brown but not burnt).

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At this point, you can turn off the heat (taste for salt) and then fry up an egg or two in olive oil. Scoop the hash on to a plate, top with the egg and grate some Parmesan or Pecorino on top.

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It’s a totally weird but harmonious breakfast that’s as colorful as it is tasty. And there it is. Beyoncé and I are now going to take a well-deserved weekend break: see you back here on Monday.

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