Writer’s block. Why me? On a good day I can write three paragraphs about something as simple as a grilled cheese sandwich. On others, like today, I feel like I can’t even do justice to the 6th Anniversary meal that we enjoyed at Casablanca this past weekend, other than it was delicious / exquisite / flavorful / [enter your favorite food adjective here].
I can tell you that ocean views, micro-brews, crispy calamari, and baked mac ‘n triple cheese were involved, and that as we consumed these things, we looked out onto the very beach where we took our wedding pictures and said “I do.” And I’m not sure which was better – the strawberries and honeyed ricotta sandwiched between two delicate, buttery house-made shortbread cookies paired with a local pinot noir? Or the opportunity to eat out as a couple, minus the high chair? Let’s just call it a tie.
Since I just confessed my recent lack of words, it’s a good thing that this curried sweet potato hash doesn’t need a verbose description. Hash isn’t a particularly glamorous dish, but it’s easy and comforting, which is what I’ve been needing lately. Cubed potatoes and sweet potatoes are the base, to which you add a colorful melange of chopped red peppers, onions, mushrooms, and spinach. The curry powder/heavy cream/Worcestershire mixture that you pour over the vegetables adds that “mmm, what’s in this?” element to the final product, and elevates the hash from its usual place on a breakfast or brunch menu to what I deem a suitable weeknight dinner.
The original recipe includes leftover cooked chicken or turkey, but I wanted to make a vegetarian hash for a “meatless Monday” so I increased the amount of potatoes. If you want to try the turkey or chicken version, reduce the amount of potatoes to 1 1/2 cups and add 2 cups cubed, cooked turkey or chicken. I’m definitely going to be making this again after Thanksgiving! I served our hash with skillet cornbread, a salad, and of course a couple glasses of wine. Cheers to the simple meals today, memories of extravagant meals in the past, and hopefully more eloquent descriptions of meals in the future.
Curried Sweet Potato Hash
(Slightly adapted from “Cozy Turkey Hash” in The New Basics Cookbook)
3 cups cubed, cooked potato (a mixture of white and sweet)
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
2 big handfuls baby spinach, roughly chopped
3 TBS. chopped fresh parsley
5 TBS. heavy cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 TBS. vegetable oil + 1 TBS. butter
- Preheat the broiler.
- Combine the potatoes, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, spinach and parsley in a large bowl. Toss well.
- In another bowl, stir together the cream, egg, garlic, Worcestershire, curry powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Stir the cream mixture into the potato mixture and let stand for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Heat the oil and butter in a 10-inch oven-proof nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the potato mixture, cover, and cook until the bottom is set, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer the skillet to the broiler and broil until the top is set and golden, 5 minutes. Serve immediately. Makes 2-3 servings.