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THE FRONT BURNER

FLS reporter Katie Thisdell serves up news on local food finds, tales from home cooks and inspiration to help you have fun in your own kitchen.

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Long day, new vegetable, new routine

What do you eat for dinner on a 25-hour day? What tastes good after hours spent in chilly temperatures at Belvedere Plantation trying to wear your toddler out to the highest degree possible? What do you do with that wacky-looking sweet potato you brought home from the farmer’s market a few days ago?

That was the set of circumstances that brought me to this dinner, along with another key factor: a recent decision to postpone adult dinner in this house until after baby/toddler bedtime. This is huge. Improvisation, standing at the stove and sauteeing–these are options again.

So is trying new vegetables.

C&T Produce sells something called a “Korean sweet potato.” It’s got a darker skin than normal sweet potatoes, it’s much denser and its flesh is yellowish-white, not bright orange. I’d seen them for weeks before I finally picked one up recently.

I also had a russet potato and a bunch of kale that needed to be put to use, so I took advantage of the more relaxed dinner hour to try something new.

This dish was satisfying. The Korean sweet potato has a more subtly sweet flavor (some say much like chestnuts) that would pair nicely with soy sauce and other Asian ingredients. If I were to make this again, I’d probably start with bacon, so I could render the fat to cook the potatoes and then sprinkle crisp bacon over the final dish. I think that added saltiness would complete the dish, and complement the sweetness nicely.

Two-potato hash with kale and eggs

Serves 2 with leftovers, takes about 40 minutes

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 small onion, chopped

1 russet potato, diced

1 Korean sweet potato, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon herbes de provence (optional)

5 to six handfuls curly kale, stemmed and chopped into one-inch chunks (about one-third of a typical farmer’s market bunch)

1/3 cup water

4 eggs

salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 325. Place a cast-iron skillet* on the stove over medium-high heat. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and cook the onion until translucent. Pour yourself a beer. After all, both kids are sleeping.

Add potatoes to skillet along with garlic, salt and pepper, herbs and red pepper. Reduce heat a bit and cover with aluminum foil*. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are cooked through and slightly crisped. Use the cooking time to do something virtuous, like order your toddler more warm pajamas. Sip your beer in celebration of the fact that you don’t have to do hard stuff your parents had to do, like actually drive to stores to buy things.

Add another tablespoon oil to the pan and stir. Add the kale, salt to taste, and add the water. Cover and cook 5 to 7 minutes, until kale is wilted but still bright green.

Crack eggs over kale and potatoes, spacing out around the skillet. Place entire skillet in oven for around 12 minutes, until whites have set but yolks are still runny.

Salt and pepper to taste, and serve with hot sauce, ketchup, or whatever you eat with eggs and potatoes. Watch something with bad words in it while you eat.

*You could obviously use a wide, deep skillet with a lid here. I use a cast iron skillet for almost everything that doesn’t involve tomatoes. It doesn’t have a lid, but I find that a sheet of foil wrapped around the edges works almost as well.

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Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/frontburner/2012/11/05/2317/