Vegetables Every Day

Vegetables Every Day
Carrot Tarator with Beets

Friday, June 29, 2018

Banana Bread

We eat lots of bananas at our house, but even so, we sometimes get caught with too many, and I need to find a way to use them up.  And people that know me, understand that I occasionally end up with bananas that have flown an extra 1000 miles or so. 

The overripe bananas usually get used in Sunday morning muffins (which is another recipe I need to add to the blog). But I consider muffins something eaten before noon, not dessert.   For dessert, I make this. Still, it's not too sweet, and great for snacks, or to take sailing, or to a potluck.  





It's also easy to make.  "Easy" is a bit relative.  What might be easy for me, it more challenging for you.  But this is certainly easier to make than most desserts, and quicker to mix up than the muffins I normally make.  One of the things that makes this easy is mixing the wet ingredients with an immersion blender. (And if you don't have an immersion blender, you should get one). So one blender cup, one mixing bowl.  No food processor, or other tools or bowls to mash bananas. 







Another thing that makes a recipe easy is a recipe that uses ingredients I already have.  Face it, I didn't plan for too many bananas.  So I haven't planned for anything special for baking them (of course, I assume everyone has flour, baking powder, soda, and eggs...).  And these type of quick bread recipes are not too fussy.  It will still come out good even if you make a few substitutions to use up what you happen to have in the house.  For example, I made this at my mom's...  she didn't have any whole wheat flour, so I used all regular flour.  No plain vegetable oil, so I used olive oil.   No buttermilk, so I used Greek yogurt thinned with a bit of milk.  Don't like any of the cultured milks? Any milk-like substance (soy milk, etc) will work.  It might taste a little different, but it will be good.  It will come out fine without the vanilla extract. In fact, the recipe that I used for inspiration called for oats (which was fine, but I didn't really like the texture), and no add-ins (like chocolate chips or walnuts).   One last tip:  when the bananas hit that speckled ripe stage, toss them into the refrigerator (this would be before the overripe all brown stage).  The skins will get dark, but the bananas will still be good for making bread for another week or so. 

  



Banana Bread

2 cups flour (I like best with half white whole wheat and half all purpose)
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
------------------------------------
2 medium ripe bananas cut into quarters
2 eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt*
1/4 cup vegetable oil (or olive oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-------------------------------------
½ cup chocolate chips

* If Greek yogurt, use a couple of spoonful’s of yogurt plus milk to make 1/3 cup.

Preheat oven to 350F.   Grease and flour a loaf pan.

Put the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and stir to mix.

Put banana, eggs, milk/yogurt, oil, and extract in mixing cup of immersion blender, or in 1 quart measuring glass measuring cup.  Blend until mostly smooth  (don’t over blend, you don’t want a lot of air mixed in). 

Pour wet into dry, stir a bit, add the chocolate chips, finish mixing together.  Don’t stir too much.   Scrape batter into the prepared loaf pan. 

Bake for 55 – 60 minutes, until nicely brown and skewer comes out clean (you can also check with a thermometer, looking for 195 -200F)  .  Run a knife around the edge, and then turn onto cooling rack.   Let cool at least 10 minutes before slicing (an hour is better).   Once cooled, wrap loaf and store in refrigerator. 







And this is of one of my recent platters...  colored porcelain inlaid on dark stoneware.  



Sunday, June 17, 2018

Meatballs with Mushroom Gravy

As promised, more ways to use old bread.

This is one of the meals that I used to cook with my mom growing up.  We ate a lot of hamburger.  There was a rotation that included spaghetti with meat sauce, chili mac, taco's, sloppy joes, and hamburgers for normal weeknight dinners.   Weekends might include pork chops or fried chicken, or occasionally steaks. Once in while a pot of stew, chili, or beans and ham hocks.  Duck and other game birds were also eaten weekly through the fall and winter, and fresh fish when someone caught some trout or bass.  There was always a vegetable to go with, and potatoes if not pasta.  We ate very well, most everything from scratch, with a few helpers like a can of soup (but never ever Hamburger Helper!).  From those days, I still have the habit of cooking dinner, at home, most nights.  And once in a while, I still want one of those hamburger based dinners.

In the path to eating less CRAP, I have cut out most of the shortcuts, like cream of something soup. Generally, the cream, the something, maybe some onions and broth will pretty much replace any of these. But I have done things that do make life a bit easier, like baking the meatballs.

Before and after baking the meatballs


The bread is considered a "stretcher" to make the meat go further, but they are also key to getting the right texture.  I use fresh bread to make this, but you can substitute about a 1/2 cup of dry breadcrumbs, plus an extra tablespoon of milk.  

But the big change is making the mushroom sauce from scratch, not starting with a can of cream of mushroom soup.  It is certainly more work, but not really hard.  And so much better.   

One last note....  If you make this with the full recipe, and plenty of noodles, it will feed 4.  For just the 2 us, I just use half the meatballs (and freeze the other half).  I generally make something green to go with (above with some roasted asparagus).  I make a few less noodles, but all the gravy (I like it saucy).  It feeds both of us and enough left for a lunch.  

You can also freeze all the meatballs for a total do-ahead weeknight dinner.


Meatballs with Mushrooms

Meatballs: 

1 egg1 cup (about 1 slice) fresh bread crumbs or cubes
½ of a small onion, minced
2 tablespoons milk 
½ teaspoon Worcestershire or fish sauce
2 tablespoons fresh parsley (or 2 teaspoons dry)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400F (convection if you have it).  Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper. 

In medium sized bowl, lightly beat egg.  Add the bread, onion, milk, and seasonings.  Stir and let bread get mushy.  Add beef and cheese, gently mix together (hands work best).  Make golf ball sized meatballs and place on prepared sheet pan.   Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, turning balls after 10 minutes.  They are done when brown and cooked through. 

Once the meatballs are in the oven, you can start the mushroom gravy and pasta.  Or, the meatballs can be done ahead and refrigerated or frozen.    

NOTE:   for just the two of us, I just use half the meatballs (and freeze the other half).   I make the same amount of pasta and gravy.  

Mushroom gravy:

8 ounces sliced mushrooms
½ of a small onion, diced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup flour
¼ cup white wine (optional)
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk (preferably whole milk)
Salt, pepper to taste
Parsley or other herb for garnish

6 – 8 ounces egg noodles  

Heat oil or butter in large skillet, add mushrooms and onions, add salt. Place pot of salted water on to boil for noodles.  Sauté the mushrooms until they have released their moisture.  Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms, stir and cook until flour is absorbed.  Add white wine, stir and let cook down, then add broth and stir well (if using cold meatballs, add now). Bring to a simmer.  Cook the noodles. Let the gravy simmer until the noodles are almost done, then add milk and warm meatballs.   When the noodles are done, drain and add to the meatballs and gravy.  Stir to mix, then taste, add salt and pepper as needed.  Sprinkle with herbs and serve.


Leftover meatballs, heated with a handful of kale and Bread Crumb Topping.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Bread Crumbs and What to do with them!



A new study about food waste came out this week, claiming that the typical American wastes about a pound of food per day.  And that the worst offenders were healthy eaters, because fruits and vegetables comprise 39% of the wasted food  (followed by dairy and meat).  What surprised me was that bread was not on this list.  I know I do better than most on using up fruits and vegetables, I have a lot of strategies ranging to buying really fresh product at the farmers market, to sweep-the-veggie-drawer recipes, like Pasta Whatever and Quesadilla's... just check the "Random Vegetable" link.   But it seems that I'm constantly tossing bread that is moldy or stale.  I know its in part because I buy bread that isn't loaded with preservatives, but the reality is that we just don't eat enough sandwiches or toast to go through a full loaf in a week or so. Or you get (or make) a nice "artisan loaf" to go with soup, and its stale the next day.    I do toss bread into the fridge after a few days, and it's still good for toast, but after about 10 days it's stale even for toast (and likely starting to mold).

So....  I have been trying a few new things.  First has been to get more proactive about making dry bread crumbs, which keep for a long time in the freezer.  But of course, this doesn't help unless you actually use the bread crumbs from the freezer.  I have a couple of recipes  that use bread crumbs, like Spinach Crusted Quiche, and meatballs (and hopefully will get around to posting that recipe).  But I needed more outlets for bread crumbs, because storing crumbs in the freezer for a year and then throwing out is not reducing waste.  I have managed to stumble across a few of recipes that use a lot of crumbs (by stumble, I mean I found one, then googled and found another 100 similar recipes, then pulled together the way that seemed best to me).  The first is a Bread Crumb Topping that you put on pasta or salads. This is something that really elevates a ho-hum salad or leftover pasta. The next is Oven-fried Zucchini.  Way back (we are talking about my college days) many people "discovered" that they liked zucchini when it was breaded and fried.  I will admit these are not quite the same, but they are quite tasty and actually pretty good for you.    How do you use bread crumbs?

First, let's cover making bread crumbs. You can use any kind; white, French, whole wheat, whole grain, seeded, etc., but I don’t like to use bread that is on the sweet side (> 2 grams sugar per slice according to the nutrition label), like a honey wheat or most of the whole grain breads.  Sugar will cause the crumbs to brown faster, which might be a problem in some recipes.  Plus I'm just not a fan of sweet tasting bread (and yes, I'm the crazy lady looking at the label of every loaf in the store).

Bread Crumbs

Leftover bread, preferably stale, torn into chunks.  Sandwich bread is fine as long as its not sweet.

Oven: 300F, convection if you have it.    Place parchment paper on a sheet pan (or pans, depending on how much leftover bread you have).

Place 1 - 2 inch chunks of bread into the bowl of a food processor, filling up to about half to three quarters full.  Pulse until broken up, go with longer pulses until the bread is in crumbs.    Put crumbs on prepared sheet pan.  Repeat if you have more bread.   Keep the crumb layer to less than a ½ inch.

Place pan in preheated oven.  Toss after about 10 minutes.  Then check every 5 minutes… goal is dry crumbs, not toasted crumbs.  It generally takes 15 - 25 minutes. Let cool completely.   If the crumbs are a bit big for what you want, give them another twirl in the food processor. Use dry crumbs within a few days, or put into freezer zip-lock bag and freeze, they are good for many months (at some point, they get that freezer taste).







Bread Crumb Topping

Good on pasta or salads.  But they don’t keep.  Use within an hour or so of making. This makes enough for 2 servings, double or triple as needed.  My inspiration for this recipe is from Melissa Clark of the NYTimes... that one uses anchovies.  Probably delicious, but haven't yet tried that!

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
½ cup dried bread crumbs
2 tablespoons fresh herbs (such as parsley, thyme, oregano) or 1 teaspoon dry Italian herbs
Optional:  1 tablespoon finely chopped preserved lemon or olives
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Warm olive oil over medium heat in small skillet.  Add garlic and red peppers, stir, then add remaining ingredients.   Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently until the crumbs are golden.  Add lots of pepper, and maybe salt (if you are using preserved lemons or salty olives, you probably don’t need more salt).





Breaded Zucchini

Serves 4 … but 2 people can finish this off if they are hungry.

Zucchini – about 8 small or 4 medium or 2 large, ends trimmed
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Italian herbs
Good grind of pepper
1 jumbo or 2 large eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt

Preheat oven to 425F, use convection bake if you have it.   Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. 

If zucchini are small, just quarter (and maybe cut the quarters in half if you have long skinny zucchini.  If you have larger zucchini, cut into ½ inch slices. 

Mix the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, herbs and pepper in a shallow dish.   Beat the egg(s) in shallow bowl 

Dip each piece of zucchini in the beaten egg, then drop into the crumbs.  Press crumbs on all sides.  This goes a bit easier if you have one “wet” hand for the egg dip, and one “dry” hand for the crumbs.  Place each coated piece on the prepared sheet pan.   Drizzle the coated pieces with the olive oil.  

Bake for 20 – 30 minutes, until brown and crispy.   No need to turn!  Sprinkle with salt when they come out of the oven.  Serve immediately with ranch or bleu cheese dressing, or marinara sauce.




Ranch Dressing

1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup plain yogurt or buttermilk
     Or use Greek yogurt and less mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dill or other fresh herbs
Few drops of soy sauce
1 – 2 drops of hot sauce
Salt and pepper

Place the garlic and lemon juice in a small bowl while you get the rest of the ingredients together… this helps tame the raw garlic.   Whisk everything together.  Chill until ready to use.  Keeps for a few days.




Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Just Enough: Apricot Clafouti



I have been planning to post this recipe for a while (apricots where in season a month or two ago?) because it is so easy to make and just hits the spot for me for dessert -- full of fruit, not too sweet, and a texture that is fun -- halfway between a cake and a custard. 

It's pretty much the same recipe as the Fig Clafouti I posted a few years ago, one talking about abundance. This recipe is just enough for 2.  Well, really it's a lot for 2, but we always manage to eat the whole thing!   


This is really just a 1/2 recipe of the Fig Clafouti, with a couple of tweaks.  To adjust for the apricots, I changed from orange liqueur to Amaretto, because I think almonds and apricots are a good combo.  To get fewer dishes dirty, I use the immersion blender instead of the mixer (but you could still use a mixer if you don't have an immersion blender ... or you could even do with a whisk).  I have also included weights for ingredients... this further cuts down on dishes as you don't need measuring cups!   The baking time is cut down a bit, as this will depends on the thickness as much as the size, as well as your oven, so best go more by how this looks than by time.   



Figs are back in season, so I will be making the fig version this weekend.  In the fall, I'm planning to try with pears.  And someday, I will do with cherries... which is the fruit traditionally used for a clafouti!

Apricot Almond Clafouti for 2

½ lb fresh apricots, pitted and quartered if large, halved if small
2 tablespoons almond liqueur (like Amaretto)
½ lemon
Butter

1 large egg
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) sugar
3/8 cup (3 ounces) milk
1/4 cup (1¼ ounce) flour
Pinch salt
2 teaspoons sliced or slivered almonds

Combine the apricots and liqueur in a small bowl.  Add grated zest from ½ the lemon, plus about 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to the apricots.  Stir and let sit for an hour or so if you have time. 

Preheat oven to 350F (or 340F convection bake).  Coat a 5-6” diameter baking dish (or something similar) with butter.  Pick the apricots out of the bowl (leaving the syrup) and place into prepared pan.  

Combine the eggs and sugar in cup for immersion blender.  Mix with immersion blender until pale yellow, this will take a minute or so.  Add milk, flour, salt, and reserved syrup, mix to blend.  Pour the batter over the apricots, then sprinkle with almonds. 

Bake until puffed and golden, 35 - 45 minutes (or 30 minutes on convection bake). The clafouti should be puffy, browned, and not jiggly.   Let cool about 20 minutes to serve warm.  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Curried Lentils



I'm thinking that Trader Joe's should be sponsoring me. 


This take on beans and greens has quickly become a favorite.  It has a flavor profile that's different from a lot of what I make, and its really quick to put together.  I like curry, but certainly not an expert.  I do know that curry powder is a mix of spices, and that your grandmother from India wouldn't be using some mix out of a jar.  But, so far, I have made this with 3 different kinds (ranging from the above Trader Joe's curry powder to one I bought in London) and they have all been good... although maybe not authentic. I'm guessing a canned curry paste will work too. No matter what kind of curry you use, realize the heat level between brands can vary considerably.  If in doubt, use less, as you can always add some more at the end.  

Besides the curry, what makes this different from my normal lentil soup is coconut milk, it adds a nice richness (and keeps you from noticing there is no meat). And to my friends in Arizona:  even though this is a stew, it's still good to eat on a warm day. 


And like other lentil or bean stews, this freezes very well.  I just put 1 serving into a 1 quart ziploc freezer bag, press out the extra air and seal.  Freeze flat.  When ready to eat, put the bag into a bowl (or sinkful) of hot water.  When thawed (about 5 - 10 minutes), dump into a bowl and heat a couple of minutes in the microwave.  And then garnish.




Freezer Ready


Curried Lentils

6 servings

1 tablespoon oil  
1 large onion, chopped
3 to 4 carrots, sliced 
2 - 3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 - 3 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon salt
~ 2 tablespoons curry powder (to taste)
1 pound red lentils (or regular green lentils), rinsed
4 cups of water
1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
1 bunch of greens (kale, mustard, chard), large stalks removed, chopped, or a bag of baby arugula.

Garnish:  Chopped avocado, yogurt, cilantro, fried egg, and/or lime wedges

Heat the oil in a large pot.  Sauté onion, carrots, garlic, ginger, and salt until onions are translucent.  Add curry powder, stir well, and then add lentils, 4 cups water, and coconut milk.   Cook about 30 minutes, add a bit more water if needed to just cover the lentils.  The red lentils should break down, or green lentils should be soft.  Add chopped greens.  Kale or mustard greens need to cook about 5 minutes; baby arugula is done as soon as you have stirred it in.   Taste -- add salt or more curry, if needed.    

Garnish with chopped avocado, yogurt, cilantro, and/or lime wedges.  To make hardier, add a fried or poached egg, or serve over rice. 




Sunday, June 18, 2017

No-Knead Whole Wheat (or Rye) Sandwich Bread


Buying good bread seems harder ... and more expensive ... than it should be.  Making your own bread is cheap (the cost for ingredients for this recipe is less than 50 cents!) and good. But for most of us, baking bread, doesn't fit into our modern lifestyles.   Using traditional methods, there is the kneading (or cleaning of the stand mixer), then the "being around" for a good 4 or 5 hours for it to rise, punch down, rise again, form, rise again, bake.  So through some internet searching and experiments, I have put together the following recipe, which makes 1 loaf.  It takes just one bowl and no kneading. It's mostly whole wheat, although you can use all bread flour or a combination of bread flour and AP flour.  You can also use some rye flour for a change of pace. The flavor is nicely developed by the use of some sourdough starter and a long rise in the fridge, so you don't need to be around for 5 hours straight. You do need to be around a couple of hours for the final rise and bake, but that seems manageable, at least for me.  As with all yeast products, the rise time will vary with kitchen temperature...  if the kitchen is warm, the rise times will be shorter. 

Typical timing to make the bread: 
Before bed - get Blob (the sourdough starter) out of the fridge
Next morning - feed blob
Before lunch -- make dough (and replenish Blob)
After lunch - put dough and Blob in the fridge
The morning of the day you want fresh bread - get dough out and form loaf, let rise and bake...


Whole Wheat (or Rye) Sourdough Sandwich Bread

150 g sourdough starter (see below for care and feeding of a starter)
400 g water                          
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
100 g bread flour
400 g white whole-wheat flour, or 100 g rye flour plus 300 g www flour
1 ½  tsp salt
Olive Oil

In medium-large bowl, combine sourdough starter, water, yeast, and sugar.  Stir with a sturdy spoon (or dough whisk) to mix.   Add the flours and salt, and give a very good stir (a minute or so).  The dough will be soft and sticky.  Let rise at room temperature for about 1 hour, and then put in refrigerator for at least overnight, and up to 5 days. The dough will get more sour with more time.


When you are ready to bake, take bowl out of refrigerator.  Prepare a 9” x 5” pan by oiling (rub around about a 1 teaspoon or so of olive oil) and flouring.   Scrape the dough on to a floured surface (like the kitchen counter), then pat into a rectangle about the size of the bread pan. Handle the dough gently, with as little flour as needed to keep from sticking to hands and counter. Stretch the dough to 3 times the width of the pan (so about 9” x 15”). Fold the dough into thirds, like a letter. Turn 90 degrees, and stretch dough the long way, to (so about 5” x 27”), and fold into thirds.  Turn one more time, and do it again like the first time. When you are done, it should be about 9” x 5”.  Pinch the seams, and put into the pan, seam side down.  Cover and let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.

Preheat the oven to 450 oF (this takes a good half hour, so start the oven 30 minutes after the bread is in the pan).   Use convection bake if you have it.

Score the top of the loaf with a sharp paring knife about ¼” deep, then place the pan in the oven and bake 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 350 oF and bake another 40 - 45 minutes.  Bread is done when crust is golden, internal temperature should be at least 190 oF (and 200 oF or higher is OK).

Unmold by turning out the loaf to a rack. Let cool completely before slicing.

Also... Sometimes I will make a smaller loaf in a 5 x 5 pan, this uses half the dough (and about 5 or 10 minutes less to bake). That is what I am showing in the pictures.  More work, but fresh bread twice a week!  



















Care and feeding of a starter:

My starter is nicknamed Blob, and he’s been around for about 8 years now. It's what I use to make pizza dough too.  If you want some, just let me know!  These instructions assume you have some of Blob to start with.

Blob needs to be fed every week or two.  I use the following method so that I don’t have to throw any starter out (assuming I am making dough).   In between using, he stays in the refrigerator.  A couple of notes:  You want to use non-chlorinated water… tap water that has been through a filter is OK or bottled water.   This is what they call a 50% hydration starter, so you always use the same weight of flour and water.  I generally err to the side of too much flour.  

At least 6 hours before you want to make dough, pull Blob from the refrigerator to warm up (or do the night before).  After it’s up to room temperature (2 or 3 hours), or the next morning, add 1.5 ounces of all-purpose flour and 1.5 ounces of water, stir well to combine.  Let sit for another 3 hours or so, it should be nice and bubbly and ready to make dough.  After you take enough out to make the dough, add another 1 ounce of water and 1 ounce of flour, stir well, and let sit until its bubbly again (3 hours). If you have used more than 5 ounces to make the bread (including what you lose on the spoon), increase the amounts accordingly.   It’s ready to go back into the refrigerator.   Every so often, transfer Blog to a clean container. 

If Blob gets a little gray around the gills (like if he has been neglected for a few weeks), feed a couple of times, throwing out the excess. As long as it gets happy and bubbly again, its fine.  If it gets pink or other colored, I would start over. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Potato Hash




I think I finally have a theme for a cookbook: 1-Skillet Dinners.  At least once a week I make something that falls into this category:  Stuffed Quesadillas, Fried Rice, FrittataSautéed Chickpeas, Scrambled Eggs.    Here is another one to add to the list:  Potato Hash.  Like the others on this list, it's a vehicle to use up miscellaneous veggies in the fridge, maybe left-over meat, and quick to put together.  To make a cookbook, I would just have to do ten versions of each of these...  The Meat-lovers, The Vegetarian, The Superfood version (i.e.salmon, kale and quinoa), then the seasonal versions, Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall.  Then maybe fill it out with a gluten-free vegan challenge...

Of course, it seems silly to actually follow a set recipe for this type of a meal, as one of the things that makes these quick to make is not having a "real" recipe, where you would measure and have to have specific ingredients.  Would love some feedback on this... Do you like to make it up with some basic guidelines, or a "real" recipe?

Potato hash has always been one of my favorites, but it didn't often make into the rotation, since you traditionally start with cooked potatoes (whole boiled potatoes), which I rarely happen to have in my refrigerator at 6pm when I want to make dinner.   But then I stumbled across a shortcut in the Serious Eat Blog that really works:  par-cook cubes of potatoes in the microwave.  You just cube the potatoes, put them on a dinner plate, cook for a few minutes, then into the skillet.  You can use any kind of potatoes. Russets are usually, recommended, but have been happy with red, gold, and even sweet potatoes.  I even mix potatoes if I have a bunch of small ones.


So, like the other dishes in this series, I am just giving some guidelines, not a "real" recipe.  Feel free to improvise and adjust to your taste, and what you happen to have around!

As to quantity, look at the amounts of each component to decide how much you want to eat.  Double if cooking for two, adjusting plus or minus for how much they eat compared to you. I don't ever make this for more than two, since my skillet isn't big enough (I like to use a non-stick skillet, and the biggest one I have is 11 inches").  It does look like a big pile when you start, but it shrinks some when it cooks.   I like this best with broccoli or greens like swiss chard or kale, but use what you like.  I do always use some onion (or a shallot, or green onions), and most always red bell pepper.  Meat is optional.



And last, I like to top this with something. Usually it's a fried egg (done in the same skillet, it just takes a couple of minutes after the hash is done), but sometimes shredded cheese, and/or a half an avocado.  Chopped herbs will make it seem fancy.  And ketchup is a traditional topping, although honestly I don't even have any in the house.

So, here is a start, improvise to your taste!

Potato Hash

One serving, double for two

Any kind of oil, or bacon grease (about a tablespoon)
Enough potatoes (about 1 medium-large russet or equivalent amount of any kind of potatoes)
   If you have boiled potatoes, skip the microwave step…
Salt
Pepper
¼ of a an onion, diced
Red pepper flakes

Veggies:
¼ of a bell pepper (any color, but I like red best)
A good handful or two of a green vegetable or 2:  Broccoli (small florets), or any kind of greens (kale, swiss chard, spinach), or diced zucchini.  Leftover roasted or steamed veggies are OK.
Other options: mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes

Optional:  Bacon, ham, or leftover chicken, any kind of leftover grilled or roasted meat.

Toppings:  Egg, and/or shredded cheese, avocado, chopped herbs, sour cream, ketchup

Dice potatoes, place in a single layer on a plate, then microwave for 2-3 minutes per serving.  They don’t need to be cooked through, but good and hot and have lost the raw crunch. Taste a cube to check.  Careful – the plate can get hot.

If using bacon, slice the bacon into half-inch pieces, then put into a 10 – 11” nonstick or cast iron skillet. Add a little water (a couple of tablespoons or so, this will keep it from spattering), and turn on medium-high heat.  Cook until the bacon is crisp.  Remove bacon and leave the grease.  If not using bacon, heat a tablespoon or so of your favorite oil (enough to nicely coat the bottom of the pan) over medium-high heat.

Add the potatoes to the hot skillet, sprinkle with a good shake salt, and a big grind of pepper.   Shake, then let brown.  If you are using mushrooms, add them now.  Once one side of the potato cubes are brown (this takes a five minutes or so), toss, then add the red pepper flakes, onions, bell peppers, and any longer cooking greens (like raw broccoli or zucchini).  Just leave them on top to start cooking as the potatoes continue to brown.  Toss again, now cooking/browning everything in earnest.  Add study greens like kale at this point.  When it’s almost done add any meat, sun dried tomatoes, or leftover veggies (just want to heat through, not really cook), and tender greens, like baby spinach.  Add more salt and pepper to taste.   Remove to serving plate(s) or a dinner bowl(s).   If using an egg to top, add a bit more oil (or butter) to the pan, and quickly fry the egg.

Add the egg to the top, along with other optional toppings – bacon, cheese, avocado, herbs, etc.