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April 2008 Issue
What's a Hash?
by Ronda L. Halpin
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When I say the word "hash", unless you are a serious computer geek, you probably think of a breakfast dish. The most common version is corned beef hash and is familiar to many. However, if you asked someone to tell you what a hash is, you might find a long pause and some head scratching.

The word "hash" means to chop foods into small pieces. Most hash recipes are composed of some type of meat, such as beef or corned beef, along with chopped or mashed potatoes, often with other vegetables. Standard hash is a great way to use leftover meat and potatoes, however updated recipes use seafood, chicken, and other non-traditional foods.

Since meat and potatoes are pretty common in hash recipes, I'm offering three fairly different recipes that all include some kind of potato and at least one kind of meat. The great thing about hashes is that they are not unlike casseroles or stir-fries in that they are easy to tweak to your tastes and the ingredients you have on hand. So if you don't like sweet potato, swap it out for white potatoes. If you don't have beets, work in some other vegetable that you do have. The sky really is the limit. Well, maybe your imagination in combination with your pantry and refrigerator!

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

 

Sweet Potato and Ham Hash

  • 1 medium sweet potato (about 1 lb.)
  • 1 lb. ham
  • 1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 6 T. butter or margarine
  • 8 poached eggs
  • 1/4 c. sour cream
Preheat the oven to 250F. Wash but don't peel the sweet potato. Shred the potato on the fine blade of a shredder or in a food processor. Place the sweet potato in a mixing bowl and set aside.

Finely chop the ham; pulse using the puree blade of a food processor. Add the ham to the shredded sweet potato. Add salt and pepper and mix well. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a non-stick 6-inch skillet over medium heat. Add one-quarter of the potato-ham mixture. Cook for about 4 minutes, pressing down gently to compact the hash as it cooks. Flip the hash patty and cook another 5 minutes. Add more butter if necessary. Repeat with the remaining mixture; add more butter to skillet as needed. As each hash patty is done, transfer it to the oven to keep warm. Place 2 poached eggs on each serving. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes
 

 

Red Flannel Hash

  • 1/2 lb. beets, trimmed
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled
  • 3 c. cubed cooked corned beef
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 T. chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 T. butter
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. hot pepper sauce
  • 1/4 c. tomato juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 poached eggs
Place the beets in a saucepan, cover with cold, unsalted water and slowly heat to boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer them until they are barely tender, about 35 minutes. Drain them under cold running water. Remove the skins, cube the beets and place them in a large bowl.

While the beets are boiling, cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Drain. cool slightly, cube and add to beets. Add the corned beef, carrots, green pepper, onion, garlic and parsley. Mix well.

Melt the butter in 10-inch oven proof skillet. Press the mixture into the skillet and cook, uncovered, for 6 minutes. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, tomato juice and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, without stirring, for 30 minutes.

While the hash is cooking on the stove, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using two large spatulas, flip the mixture over and place the skillet in the oven. Bake until the potatoes are brown and tender, about 30 minutes. Top with poached eggs.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 90 minutes
 

 

Campfire Hash

  • 2 T. cooking oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 lb. smoked sausage, cubed
  • 1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chiles
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
In a Dutch oven, heat the oil. Sauté the onion and garlic until tender. Add the potatoes. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sausage; cook and stir until the potatoes are tender and well-browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the chilies and corn; cook until heated through.
  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 40 minutes
 



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