Growing up, I was never much of a fan of breakfast for dinner. I didn’t really like eggs or pancakes enough to have them again at night. So we never really did that much at home, but at friends’ houses, I thought it was the strangest thing. Why anyone would want silly waffles instead of a pork chop baffled me. Hey, I was a “unique” kid.
And while I still haven’t totally lost that feeling, I finally get it. Well, not the sweet breakfast treats (I’m still not much for waffles – unless they are ordered for the table as a side to my huevos rancheros), but a savory hash is welcome for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
This roasted hash is a bit of a conglomeration of different recipes, techniques and restaurant orders. The basis of the hash comes from this recipe that I made for Thanksgiving. It was beautiful – the bright, vivid colors were quite refreshing on what can often be a beige table, but it had a bit more steps and ingredients than I needed outside a day of feasting. Add bonus however, was the leftovers were great for lunch with a quick egg, so I knew we were headed in the right direction.
But then there was the question of getting the potatoes quite right – the creamy flesh with a crispy crust can sometimes be a bit illusive. Thankfully, I saw the trick twice – once in a video and once in a detailed step-by-step – so we had that down pat. The secret is to parboil the potatoes for a few minutes, drain, transfer back to the hot pot, and shake them around (covered) to smush the sides a bit. The fuzziness will take the oil and crisp up much better than the smooth side of a totally raw spud. This even worked with my mixed bag of russets, garnet yams, and yellow sweet potato.
And as for the sauce, there is a restaurant around the corner that has a spinach sauce over poached eggs and a potato waffle. As hollandaise is not my fave, I was eager to make a new sauce for eggs. Granted theirs is a bit too creamy for my taste, but, it was a start. To be expedient, I used raw spinach and garlic, but next time I would blanch them both – to mellow things a bit.
Oh, and guess what. I should maybe be embarrassed to admit this, but I had previously never poached an egg. These pictures are from my first (and second) poached egg! If you too aren’t sure of your poaching skills, well, I’m not much help, but go HERE! Quite a tutorial – boy, someday (swoon).
So, now that we have all that settled, the next course of action is to call over your friends, pop open the bubbly, mix up some bloodies and have brunch – at any hour!
Roasted Potato Hash with Poached Eggs and Spinach Sauce
NOTE: I kept the potatoes simple, as there is flavor in the spinach sauce, but you can of course add herbs and seasonings, if you prefer.– 2½ – 3 lbs. potatoes (can use anything – I like a mix of russets and sweet potatoes/yams), peeled, cut into ½” dice 2 (+) T. olive oil salt pepper
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Place the potatoes in a large pot and fill with cold water to cover the potatoes, season liberally with salt (about 1 t.). Set the heat to high, cover and bring to a boil; once the water is boiling, lower the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes.
When the water is boiling, add the oil to your roasting pan and place in the oven (to pre-heat the pan and oil).
After cooking the potatoes for 5 minutes (they will not be done), drain the water and return the potatoes back to the (dry) pot and cover with the lid. Using a towel or mitts (as the pot will be very hot), shake the pot to smash the potatoes together a bit and breakdown the sides, making them a bit “fuzzy.”
Remove the pan from the oven, add the slightly-smushed potatoes, season with kosher salt and mix to coat the potatoes with the oil. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the potatoes have developed a nice crust and are cooked through; flipping them once about halfway through the cooking time.
In the meantime, prepare the spinach sauce (recipe below).
To serve, top hash with a poached egg and ladle spinach sauce over top.
Spinach SauceNOTE: I did not do the first step of blanching, but think it would be better and will do it this way from here on out… – Large handful of fresh spinach leaves (maybe 3-4 ounces); could also use frozen spinach, defrosted and drained well 1 clove garlic, smashed juice of 1 lemon dash of chili flakes 1-2 T. water (if not blanching spinach) 2 ounces goat cheese ¼ cup sour cream ¼ cup olive oil kosher salt freshly cracked pepper
Prepare a bowl of ice water. In a large pot over high heat, add spinach and garlic to salted boiling water, blanch for one minute, and transfer to ice bath.
In a blender or food processor, add spinach, garlic, chile flakes and lemon juice; pulse to combine. If the mixture is too dry to come together (in a blender), add a bit of water. Add the goat cheese and sour cream and pulse again. With the machine on low, add the oil in a slow steady stream until you have a thick, but pourable sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.