If you like potato hash, boy have I got a surprise for you.
I find something very appealing about the idea of filling a cast iron skillet with food to be cooked. Perhaps it’s the idea of using cast iron or perhaps it’s the “all-at-the-same-time” cooking method that a larger pan offers. I don’t know, but what I do know is that any time I use my 12 inch Lodge skillet, whatever it is that I’m making comes out just perfect.
Today, I offer you the perfect breakfast recipe. This one is extremely filling and great for the whole family to enjoy on the weekend. Even though Laura and I ate it for dinner last night, I really don’t think it can be beat as a breakfast.
The recipe calls for two types of potatoes. Regular russets and then sweet. Equal amounts. It also calls for heavy cream, garlic, some salt, hot sauce and a big sweet onion. Oh yeah – and some eggs. Tasty, to say the least.
I think the part I like most about this dish is that it filled me up. I always get nervous that whatever it is that I make isn’t going to do its job. I like to eat to capacity. I don’t think I overeat or anything like that, it’s just that I like to see a lot of food on my plate. This may be some sort of a survival mechanism – you know, gathering as much food as possible. Whatever it is, potato dishes generally work out for me. I never complain about potatoes.
There’s a trick with cooking this dish. If you attempt to put the raw potatoes in a skillet and cook them, what you’ll most likely end up with are a bunch of burned edges and raw centers. Potatoes need to cook over time and a skillet really isn’t the place to get that done. Boiling them is one method and using the microwave to soften them is another. The recipe I used calls for the microwave. I didn’t complain about this because it was definitely the fastest and easiest.
Regarding the softening of the potatoes – you need to be sure you softened them enough, but not too much. There’s some additional skillet cooking afterwards that will continue to soften and brown. If you go too soft in the beginning, you’ll end up with mush. That’s definitely not desirable. The method I employed during the preparation of this dish is spot on, so be sure to follow it.
12 Ounces Russet Potatoes, Peeled and Cut into 1/2 Inch Pieces
12 Ounces Sweet Potatoes, Peeled and Cut into 1/2 Inch Pieces
2 Tablespoons Regular Olive Oil
Regular Table Salt
Ground Black Pepper
1 Large Sweet Onion, Chopped
2 Teaspoons Garlic, Minced
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder
1/3 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 Teaspoon Hot Sauce
8 Large Eggs
First, I’d like to thank America’s Test Kitchen for this recipe. Even though I did change a few ingredients and methods from their original recipe, I was inspired by them. Second, I would like to discuss skillet size for a moment. The original recipe and ingredient list was written for use with a 10 inch cast iron or nonstick skillet. Since my skillet is 12 inches, I increased the amount of potato that I used. The ingredients you see above are for use with the 10 inch, so if you would like to use a 12 inch, just throw a few more potatoes into the mix.
Soften the Potatoes
After peeling and chopping the potatoes, add them all to a large microwave safe bowl. Also add in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Mix well. Cover the bowl and place it into the microwave for a total of about 8 minutes. Cook for 4 minutes first, then mix the potato pieces up and then cook for another 4. You may have to go a bit more if they aren’t to the desired softness. The goal here is to get the potatoes somewhat tender, but not so much that they begin to break apart.
Brown the Onion
Warm your skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the pan is to temperature, add the chopped onion and cook, while stirring, for about 5-7 minutes. The pieces of onion should begin to brown.
Brown the Potatoes
This is the step that gives the dish much of its flavor, beyond the other ingredients used. In this step, we brown the potatoes.
After the onions have begun to change color, go ahead and add the garlic, thyme and chili powder. Cook for only a minute or so, while stirring. After that, add all the potatoes, cream and hot sauce.
Once all the ingredients are in the pan, even them out across the bottom as best you can. Push them into place with the back of a spatula. Let them cook, undisturbed for about 2 minutes. After that, mix the potatoes up and repeat the previous process. Continue doing this until you see the potatoes begin to brown. They should ultimately look like they do in the photo below.
FYI – If you taste one of the potatoes after this process, you may notice that they still aren’t cooked all the way through. That’s fine. The next step will take care of that.
Add Eggs & Cook
Remove the pan from heat.
Once the potatoes are browned, go ahead and make 4 indents in the layer of them. After that, add 2 eggs to each indent. I made the indents with a large gravy spoon. I simply pushed it into the potatoes. Season the eggs with some salt and pepper.
You don’t want the eggs spilling out, so be sure to make the holes large enough.
To cook the eggs, turn the heat onto medium-low and cover the pan tightly. Let everything cook, undisturbed for 5-10 minutes. They are finished when the eggs are firm and white on top. Don’t go as far as to turn the yolks hard though, so keep your eye on things.
The Final Dish
I love this dish. It reminds me of a few other skillet hashes I put together a while back. I devoured them just like I devoured this. Actually, we have some left over for lunch today. Enjoy!