Here at Food52, we love recipes -- but do we always use them? Of course not. Because once you realize you don't always need a recipe, you'll make your favorite dishes a lot more often.
Today: Everyone loves a good breakfast hash -- here's how we like to use what's on hand to create an impressive (and quick) meal.
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I always have big plans for weekend mornings. I’ll spend the better part of the week tagging recipes for what I imagine will be two days of perfectly unharried breakfasts at home. There are dreams of sweet, spicy cinnamon rolls or maybe the flakiest biscuits imaginable alongside perfectly poached eggs. Or I’ll promise myself to finally attempt to make bagels from scratch, seeing as approaching weekends often have the ability to feel limitless.
That is until they actually arrive. Come Saturday morning I find myself, more often than not, struggling to get out of bed and letting my lofty intentions fall by the wayside. Instead, I stay in bed a bit longer, roll into the kitchen, and make breakfast hash. Uncomplicated and unfussy, hash is my weekend standby when I forgot to let the cinnamon roll dough rise overnight or buy heavy cream. Toss whatever you find in your fridge into a skillet, add a few eggs, and you’ve got hash. It’s reliable and just the right amount of lazy, which is really what weekends should be.
Here's how to throw together a breakfast hash, with whatever you've got:
1. Gather your ingredients.
You'll want an onion: white or red, it’s your preference.
Choose your starch. White potatoes are standard but any starchy vegetable works well: sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, yucca, or yellow plantains.
Make it meaty with sausage, pancetta, or prosciutto.
Add whatever seasonal vegetables you have around: brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, greens like spinach and chard, tomatoes, corn, or zucchini.
Grab some fresh herbs or spices: chopped rosemary, thyme, ground cumin, za’atar, etc.
Cheese! Try crumbly options like feta or goat, or melty options like shredded Gruyère or cheddar.
2. After peeling your starch (if you want), chop everything evenly into bite-sized pieces -- we went for 1/2 inch.
3. Drizzle a thin layer of olive oil in an oven-proof, heavy skillet (cast iron or forged iron is best) and heat to medium-high on the stove. If using meat, toss it into the skillet. Once it's browned, remove it with a slotted spoon to drain on a paper towel.
4. Next, cook the vegetables. Toss in the diced onion and starch first. Sauté until just softened, and then add your other vegetables. Season with salt, pepper, and any other fresh herbs or spices you like. Turn down the heat to medium and sizzle until everything is cooked through and caramelized. Add the cooked meat back in if using, then check for seasoning.
5. Make indentations in the hash for your eggs. Crack an egg into each hole and place the skillet into a hot oven to cook the eggs until just set (or cooked through, if you prefer). Alternately, you can keep the pan on the stovetop, covered with a lid to set the eggs.
6. Once the hash is out of the oven, finish it with cheese, if you like -- it will melt from the heat. Other final touches: more fresh herbs (like parsley, chives, or basil), diced avocado, salsa or pesto, or chopped scallions. To serve, scoop out an egg or two with some of the hash. (Or, instead of baking the eggs in the hash, you can poach or fry the eggs separately, plate your hash, and place the egg on top -- but isn't it nice to have just one pan to clean?)
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).