Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Potato, Winter Squash, & Sausage Hash

We eat some variation of this hash frequently, often with an over-easy egg plopped on top.  Our basic formula is a combination/adaptation of a few different recipes, notably this one from the Smitten Kitchen, and two from the lovely and talented Nigel Slater (one of them has Brussels sprouts -- inspired!).  The one we're bringing you this week uses winter squash, which browns up in a pan just as nicely as potatoes do, and in about half the time.  I know this is an oft-heard refrain from me, but this recipe is adaptable to just about any veggies you have on hand (is there a better kind of recipe?), so try it again in the spring when the asparagus is here -- please!

Two notes: Unless you have a really, really big skillet, or are halving the recipe, it may be worthwhile to use two skillets here, one for the potatoes and sausage, and one for the squash (sorry about the extra cleanup).  This prevents crowding of the pan, and allows all your veggies to get nicely browned.  Also, if I were going to make this vegetarian, I would probably throw in a chopped onion or a shallot or two after the potatoes start to get some color, and maybe some mushrooms, but really, you know what you like best!

from Jake & Emma's kitchen, adapted from a few sources

serves 4

4 small, thin-skinned potatoes (about 1 lb)
2 small winter squash (about 1 lb), such as Delicata, Acorn, or Butternut
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lb sausage of your choice
salt and pepper

optional garnishes:
- over-easy or poached egg
- chopped fresh parsley, sage, thyme, or chives
- good quality sauerkraut (this is what Jake likes!)

Clean potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch dice, unpeeled.  Do the same with the squash; Acorn and Delicata don't need peeling, but I usually peel butternuts.  Heat oil in a large skillet (cast iron is great, but anything with a nice, heavy bottom will work), and dump the potatoes in when it's shimmery.  DO NOT STIR!  Sprinkle with pinches of salt and pepper, and leave those spuds alone for at least a couple of minutes.  Then you can use a large, flat spatula to flip them over; you should see some color starting to appear on the undersides.  When they're mostly all flipped, leave them alone again.  Season with more salt and pepper, and wait wait WAIT to stir. 

After you've flipped the potatoes a couple of times, and they're really starting to get some color, add the sausage in smallish lumps (remove it from its casing first if you're using links).  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage just starts to lose its pinkness.

Then, add the squash (you can also do this in a separate skillet; start it as soon as you've added the sausage to the potatoes).  Give it a chance to brown, too -- don't stir it a lot right away.  Season the squash with a bit of salt and pepper too.  

Your hash is done when the sausage is browned, and the potatoes and squash are tender.  Top with a fried egg (over easy is my preference) and some freshly chopped parsley, or whatever you want.  Serve hot. 

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