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Having just returned from a food adventure in Seattle and Portland, I find that my chickens have finally started laying (of course they would wait until I was gone) and my green beans are going nuts.
So I go outside and start picking beans, and picking and picking.
This is only a part of what I pulled out in about 15 minutes time.
And there’s more coming!
I love fresh green beans. Simply steamed, a little butter, maybe some fresh herbs, salt, slivered almonds. Easy and good. But I don’t want to eat them that way every day, and since I’m not so fond of frozen beans, even when they come from fresh from my garden beans, I need to think of some new and creative ways to make them and keep them.
I start thinking about one of my favorite preparations; stewed green beans. This is when I take some bacon (or ham); sauté with some chopped onion, garlic, then add canned tomatoes (I usually make this in the winter, so canned tomatoes is the only way to go), add the green beans and simmer them together for about 30 – 45 minutes. Very tasty.
Wandering down this path, I make a slight turn to the left and decide to make a hash. A hash, as you might know, is simply a combination of chopped ingredients, usually potatoes and meat, generally, with some vegetable, that is then fried.
Like Corned Beef Hash.
I get two Idaho russet potatoes, peel them and cut it into about 1/2 inch cubes. You could use whatever potatoes you want, this is what I had. If you use Yukon gold, white rose or red potatoes, you wouldn’t have to peel them if you didn’t want too, but with the russet potato, I wanted to. I boil these cubes in salted water for about 3 minutes or until they were nice and tender, but still firm.
Then, I cut the fresh green beans to about the same 1/2 inch length. Cutting your vegetables about the same size makes the presentation so much nicer. The green beans I steam until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
While those are cooking and steaming, I cut 2 slices of thick applewood smoked bacon into a large dice, as well as half a yellow onion.
Now I’m ready to cook!
I start sautéing the bacon in a skillet until it is just beginning to crisp up and turn brown, rendering all of its tasty bacon drippings. Before the bacon gets too crispy, I add the onions, the water from the onions will stop the bacon from browning further while keeping everything cooking. As the onions start to brown around the edges, I add my cooked, diced potatoes…cooking and stirring them all together. Once the potatoes just begin to brown, I add my green beans and a pinch of salt.
Then I thought I should add some sort of herbal element.
Parsley? Too ordinary.
Cilantro? Not the right flavor profile.
I got it! Arugula. Peppery, herby Arugula. I toss in a couple of handfuls.
Just as I’m getting ready to serve, I remember the fresh eggs my son brought in from the chickens that afternoon and have an inspiration. I’m not one who generally thinks of eating eggs with dinner, but, it’s fresh from my chicken and it’s a hash. What’s better than hash with a runny oozy egg yolk on top?
Not much is my final decision. Not much at all.
This hash is good without the egg, but better with. The eggs just add an element of creaminess to the dish.
Sort of like topping with Hollandaise sauce; but without the work.
And I like without the work … a lot!
This recipe is written for two people, but can easily be doubled, or more.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the potato cubes and cook until tender but firm, about 3 minutes (generally, you always want to cook potatoes starting in cold water, so they cook evenly from the inside to the outside, but in this case, because of the size, I decided to cook them in water that was already boiling, it worked well as the outside cooked faster, leaving the inner core just a little firmer, which held up to the "hashing" )
Bring a pot of water to a simmer and steam the green beans for about 5 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Cool under cold running water.
In a large saute pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until just beginning to brown and crisp; add the onion and stir. Cook until the onions turn translucent and just begin to get brown around the edges.Add the potatoes and cook until the potatoes begin to brown, stirring gently, but often. Add the green beans; stir well until heated through then add the arugula. Stir and cook until the arugula is wilted. Taste and season with salt and pepper, and serve.
WAIT A MINUTE...You want the egg on top!Heat a small non-stick skillet over medium-low heat; add the oil or butter, when hot (or melted), add the eggs, season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and allow to cook for about 2 minutes or until set. Serve sunny side up, or turn and allow to set a bit more and serve over-easy. Place the egg on top of the hash, now it's time to serve.
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