Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sweet Potato Pecan Hash

As we creep further into October and the weather starts to cool, I start to crave not only eating but cooking heartier foods. Stews, roasts, casseroles, and root vegetables. As much as I like pumpkin pie and butternut squash soup, sometimes I want a good side that makes me think of fall. This hash fits the bill, and it's a double duty recipe because I also love it for breakfast, with some eggs and some thin pan fried pork chops.


It's just a few simple ingredients, but they are all so flavorful and blend so well together, and it's satisfying in a way that regular potatoes (which I LOVE, don't get me wrong) aren't always able to be. They're just heartier, somehow.

I start with a few good sized sweet potatoes, peeled, rinsed, and cut into 1-inch size chunks. They don't have to be perfect or uniform. Rustic is fine for hash.



I par-boil the sweet potatoes until they are a bit soft, but still hold their shape. While those are working, I start the pecans toasting.


Onions, garlic, and sage are next. I like them nice and soft and caramelized in yummy butter and olive oil.


K checks my onion chopping skills





I check on my little sous chefs...

D is annoyed he's not already eating
K is drawing, he stayed home sick and has been taking it easy today
Now that the potatoes are par-cooked, I drain and add to the onion mixture.




I also like to add a little fresh nutmeg here, and then chop the nuts and fold them in.




And it's as simple as that! I stir to combine all the flavors, add another pat of butter to bring it all together, let it simmer for a few minutes, and top with some chopped sage.


My sues chef approves!


Sweet Potato Pecan Hash
2-3 large sweet potatoes, around 3 pounds
1 large red onion
3-4 cloves of garlic
3/4 cup pecans
5 TB butter, divided
2 TB olive oil
small bunch of fresh sage
freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper

Preparation
Peel and rinse the sweet potatoes. Chop into 1 inch large chunks. Put in a heavy bottomed skillet and cover with water. Bring to a boil and par-boil until they just start to get tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

While the potatoes are boiling, toast the pecans in a dry skillet or cast iron pan, on low. Give the pan a shake every few minutes. Toast 8-10 minutes, until you just start to smell them. Keep a close eye on them, once they start to toast they will burn quickly. Pull off the heat and set aside to cool.

Melt 4 TB  butter and 2 TB olive oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet (I prefer cast iron). Chop red onion and garlic and add to the skillet. Add in about 3/4 of a small bunch of sage, 8-10 leaves, finely chopped. Saute until soft and translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Add in the cooked sweet potato, fold to combine. Add freshly grated nutmeg to taste (if you don't have fresh nutmeg, pre-grated is fine, about 1/4 teaspoon). Roughly chop the pecans and fold in. Add the last pat of butter and stir to combine, cooking until all the flavors meld, about 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle with the last bit of chopped sage. Serve with any grilled or roasted meat and veggie (shown here with roasted chicken and sauteed green beans), or with eggs for a great breakfast.