What do you make for dinner when you are tiered of eating, cooking, and baking? Not to mention that you have a refrigerator with lots of almost nothing. I guess that is a result of the holidays, but if you are dumb founded then you are on the same page as I was this past week. On my way home from work I decided my car was dirty; as I road though the car was I was scanning recipes on my iPhone. Because sitting in a car while it gets sudsy is the best place to ponder what to make for dinner – is it not?!? I was not interested in a soup, nor was I interested in a stir fry. I guess I was looking for something to excite me. As the huge dryers were vacuuming the rinse water away from my car I came across an article I read some time ago in the New York Times about making a vegetable hash. It is a great way to take advantage of the extra things you have laying around and no real “recipe” needed for it.
I road home in my nice sparkling clean car and was making a mental list of all the root veggies I had. I knew they would hold up well to the sauté and slightly crispy texture you look for in a hash. I knew I had several eggs that I could poach. Oh, it was on; I had a plan. As dinner time neared I pulled out all the vegetable odds and ends I had. Dicing away, sautéing, and poaching we ended up with a meal that was so delicious, satisfying, and stunning to look at. The combination of the beets, carrots, parsnips and onions I used had this glistening hue to it. Topped with a poached egg that oozed a golden lusciousness when it was pierced with a knife was too lovely to explain. I honestly do not think I could have planned a better meal at that moment. Give it a try with the “extras” in your refrigerator, or use the recipe below. It is simple, satisfying, and terrific for any meal of the day. Particularly, a brunch to kick off the New Year!
Veggie Hash with Poached Eggs (Serves 4)
2 medium beets
1 large parsnip
1 large carrot
2 medium Russet Potatoes
*All the above peeled and cubed small
1 medium onion, chopped small
About 5 Brussels sprouts, sliced thin
3 tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp of smoked paprika
¼ tsp of ground cumin
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Eggs (at least 1 per guest)
2 tbsp of distilled vinegar
First, place a very large non-stick frying pan over medium to high heat. When pan is heated through add in your olive oil and warm it through. Add your onion to the olive oil and sauté about 3 – 5 minutes until it begins to become translucent. Sprinkle in the smoked paprika and the ground cumin, stirring it well. You want the spices to coat the onion and toast a bit (about 3-5 minutes more).
Next, add in youth diced veggies and stir it all well. Add in about a ½ - ¾ cup of water and cover with a lid or foil. You are looking to have the diced veggies steam a bit to cook through (without doing this you risk undercooked veggies). When water had evaporated remove cover and stir a bit. Season with Sea Salt and black pepper and let it all sit to simmer. You are looking for the bottom to get a bit crispy.
Meanwhile, you are looking to fill at least a 4 quart pot with water and place it over medium heat. Add you vinegar and some sea salt, gradually letting it come to a gentle simmer. When water is simmering you can gently add in one to two cracked eggs at a time. You are looking for them to gently cook in the seasoned water…do not let it boil. Keeping an eye on them you are looking for the egg whites to become opaque and the yolk to be somewhat soft. (You are actually cooking the egg for no more than 5 – 6 minutes.) Gently remove your poached egg with a slotted spoon and reserve on a plate until ready to eat.
Next, add your Brussels sprouts to your veggies and stir well. The heat of the pan should wilt your sprouts quickly and that is just what you are looking for. If you feel that you veggies are not “crispy” enough you can raise you heat to let more caramelization occur, but keep a close eye on it. Season it well with sea salt and black pepper. When you feel you veggies are “crispy” enough and tender you are able to plate it all as you wish.
Finally, it is ready to plate. Add a soup of the veggie hash to a plate and gently top with a poached egg. The egg may need a bit more of salt added, but that is personal preference. Serve this with a nice green salad and some toast for a more complete meal, although just as good on its own.