Carol Scudder

Open To Stuff....

Oven Hash! (for Special Breakfast!)

I love breakfast. Dinner too. And I'm not opposed to lunch either now that I think about it. But this is about breakfast. Sunday breakfast, which at our house we call "Special Breakfast".  Here's what we had today. (and no - I didn't take a picture of it ... this time)  

- Cold smoked salmon (from Acme, our neighborhood smoked fish place) - European Cornbread (not like American cornbread, more like a tangy sliced peasant loaf with cornmeal in it) medium boiled eggs (simmered for exactly 6 minutes, whites are set and yolks are runny) spicy roasted tomato salsa and oven hash.  

Oven hash is my new "discovery".  Born of dieting - trying to find a new way to make a successful breakfast potato-y dish with lots of flavor but not lots of fat.The trick is to use just a little potato - and fill in with other wonderful root veg and non-root veg.  too, adding them in "shifts" - starting with the potato. It's EASY - and so good. 

Here tis' -
Oven Hash  - (feeds two or three or maybe four people - depending on how much they eat!)
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees -
Cube two medium potatoes, whatever kind you have (I used one yukon gold and one "rose gold" (an heirloom potato with rosy hued flesh) you'll want about a 3/4 inch dice (can be bigger or smaller if you like - the smaller you but it the faster it will cook. Keep that in mind). When oven is hot - toss the potatoes with a teaspoon or two of olive oil and salt and pepper. Then put on a rimmed baking sheet and pop into the oven. (note the teaspoon - you've got to be careful with the olive oil if you're watching your calories - you want enough, just not too much. Also - most people use too much oil when they roast veg. It makes them greasy. Stop it!)

From here on, it's pretty free-form, depending on what root vegetables you have. You can add a sweet potato - parsnip - carrot etc. - I used one largish turnip and 4 small purple carrots - cut about the same size as the potatoes. Toss those with a teaspoon or so of olive oil and salt and pepper -
after about 10 minutes (You'll be able to smell that the potatoes are cooking, even though they're not done yet), add the turnip and carrot (or whatever other root veg your using) to the baking sheet.
Then you're going to add some softer veg - in this case I added half a chopped fennel bulb and medium bell pepper, cut about the same size as the previous veg - also tossed with teaspoon or so of olive oil, salt and pepper. (You could also add mushrooms, green beans, chopped kale, broccoli, celery, onion - pretty much anything you want. Really.) - LET'S REVIEW. The potatoes cooked about 10 minutes before you added your other root veg - at least 10 minutes more have passed since you added the root veg. Pull out your baking sheet and toss the potato and root veg around. They should be starting to brown, and also to release pretty easily from your baking sheet. If that's not the case, then put them back in for a while. (When things are cooked enough, they release - when not, they don't.)
OK - so once your turnips and potatoes are releasing from the pan and seem closer to ready but not done yet, you'll add that "softer" veg. Put back in the oven, and let the whole thing cook for at least 10 more minutes, maybe more. The softer veg won't get "crispy", but it will start to brown, and become tender. You want it to be browned and caramelized in spots. The whole thing takes about 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning - add salt, pepper or fresh herbs to taste. Add some grated cheese if you want. (not a lot - just enough to make it "fun") and put back in the oven until the cheese melts. And that's it!
It's as good as any fried breakfast potatoes, home fries, hash browns, etc. with way less fat and cals. - it's hard to say exactly how many cals, as there's so much variation. But I ran it through the calorie counter I use on http://www.livestrong.com/ and it's 176 per serving for 3 generous servings. Less if you use more turnip and less potato, or a little less olive oil - or have smaller portions ... right?