In my futile attempt to simplify weeknight dinner, I've found myself preparing potato hash at least once a week. It's simple, filling, and since we addressed the whole potatoes are actually good for you thing, it's healthy too.
Being the foodie I am, I'm not satisfied with a simple mix of potato, pepper and onion. Of course I've got to get all fancy with it. One kitchen success included spinach, tomatoes and Indian spices. Another favorite was made with fingerlings, beets, kale, and blue cheese. But this one was my absolute favorite, and made a pretty picture with it's contrasting colors, so I'm sharing it with you today.
When I cook sweet potatoes in the skillet, they always burn before cooking all the way through. The result is a mess of half charred, half raw potatoes. Huge bummer.
I found my solution in a picture of Ashley's simple sweet potatoes and eggs. Instead of dicing, she juliennes it, yielding a delicious tangle of perfectly cooked sweet potato, with just the right balance of crispy and tender bits. Genius! It kinda reminds me of fully loaded sweet potato fries. This is some good stuff we're talking 'bout here.
The hash itself, with sweet, caramelized potatoes, smoky spices, and runny eggs, is pretty rich. The salsa and garlicky chimichurri balance it out perfectly an intensely fresh flavor. If you've never tried chimichurri before, get ready for a revelation. It is a traditional Argentinian condiment, made with parsley, olive oil, and garlic, usually spooned over grilled meats. I could eat have eaten it by the spoonful.
Besides the fact that it just plain tastes delicious, what I love about chimichurri is that it is an easy way to pack in a significant quantity of fresh herbs. Fresh herbs are so much more than a flavoring ingredient. Because the strong flavors in plants almost always come from a specific phytochemical, intensely flavored herbs, as you can imagine, are an especially rich source. For example, compared to lettuce, parsley has three time as much vitamin A, four times the calcium, five times more iron, 17 times more vitamin K and a whopping 44 times more vitamin C.
Unfortunately, herbs are generally used as a condiment rather than a main ingredient, so we're not really reaping it's full nutritional benefit. Being such a rich source of nutrition, I try to use herbs as often as possible and in dishes that incorporates them as an ingredient, rather than a garnish. Think tabbouleh, pesto, herbed salad dressing, or even as a salad green.
Since herbs tend to be a bit expensive for the quantity you get (which is either too much or not enough), I encourage you to grow them at home. Supposedly it's easy, although I have not found that to be the case. Apparently they need water. Who knew? Despite my black thumb, we plant them each year, and for the two weeks they thrive before I kill them, it's fantastic! I love being able to harvest a little or a lot. I've also found quite a few unique varieties available -we've experimented with orange mint, Thai basil, and lemon thyme. Being freshly picked, homegrown herbs contain even more nutrients than the ones sitting around the grocery store shelf. Even if you don't have a yard, if you've got a window, you can grow herbs.
Here are a few tips for growing herbs that I bet will work really well if you actually do what they say:
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 large red onion, diced, 1/4 cup reserved
- 3 large sweet potatoes, julienne cut on a mandolin
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 4-6 eggs
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- [b]Fresh Salsa:[/b]
- 2 cups quartered cherry tomatoes
- Reserved diced red onion (1/4 cup)
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- Juice from 1/2 lime
- Prepare the chimichurri by mixing all ingredients together in a bowl. Season with salt and refrigerate until ready to use. Mix all salsa ingredients together, season with salt and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Heat coconut oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, toss, and cook until mostly tender but with a little bit of bite, about 10 minutes. About halfway through, add cumin, coriander and chili powder. Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat the broiler on low heat.
- Crack the eggs over the potatoes. Cook until the whites are set at the bottom, a couple of minutes. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and place under the broiler until the whites are set, the yolks are still runny and the cheese has melted, just a minute or two.
- Remove from oven and drizzle chimichurri over the top. Serve with fresh salsa on the side.