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Friday, September 18, 2015

Vegetable Potato Hash Recipe

Now for something completely different! I really enjoy cooking. I didn't always enjoy cooking, but I learned to enjoy it. I, like every other human, get hungry. And when I get hungry I want to eat. I don't want to eat fake processed nonsense. I don't want to eat food from a freezer. I don't want to get take out and throw my money down the toilet on food I can make at home. I also don't want to hate myself after making something gross. Though, believe me, in the early days of learning to cook there were many nights of "goodness I really don't want to eat this but I made it and I'm hungry and I have done this to myself."

This week my mom was baking a chicken, it was actually a Perdue Oven Ready Chicken Roast and it was delicious. They aren't paying me to say this at all (but if they want to, heeeey! I love chicken!) it honestly was just much better than I expected it to be. Something about cooking chicken in a plastic bag just seemed wrong to me at first.

I was tasked with the job of making a side for the chicken, and I wanted potatoes. But not mashed potatoes. So I made a potato hash. I would make this rather frequently in Japan, it was cheap and easy and I would usually cook it with ground beef for an entire meal. Sometimes I would sprinkle some cumin and paprika on it for some taco-taste goodness. You can really add any thing to it, it's such a versatile great dish.

The cast of players is as follows:
We have about 1.5-2lbs of potatoes, two smallish carrots, two stalks of celery, half a sweet onion, half a green bell pepper, some garlic, herbs de provence, extra virgin olive oil, and some butter. Also better lighting than what is in my parents' kitchen if you're taking pictures. I need to fix this for the future.

First thing you want to do is shove all the ingredients up the cutting board you just took a picture of and begin cutting up that onion. I go for quarter to half inch pieces. I also don't cut onions like every chef tells you to because my personal method is easier to me. Oh well. I'm no Iron Chef.

Put the onion in about a table spoon of butter and three table spoons of olive oil that have been heating up on med-high heat.

Begin cutting up your vey nicely washed potatoes. I used gold potatoes but any potato will work really. I just like the skin of these guys the best.

Debate if you've chosen to go with too many potatoes, and after a push from your mother add the last two. The veggies and potatoes actually loose a lot of water mass in the cooking process so you'll end up with less than you think.

Add the potatoes to the pan with the onions and sprinkle on some salt and pepper before stirring it around. I just feel like the potatoes need the seasoning more than the onions.

Cut up your celery. You can see my garbage bowl in the background, a tip I got from the hours and hours of cooking shows I watched as a teenager growing up. I never cooked, I just liked watching them. But seriously garbage bowls make clean up so easily.

Add the celery. I don't mix them up right away because I don't want them to overcook and get mushy while I cut up the carrots.

So I cute up the carrots and add them, then I go ahead and mix them all up.

Then I cut up the bell pepper. You don't want to add too much because it's such a strong taste, just enough to get that bitterness to offset the sweetness of the carrots.

Next is the garlic. I love garlic and I add loads of it in everything I cook. This is why my food tastes good. Because of garlic. Others may not like a lot of garlic. Add as much garlic as you like, I don't care!

Ignore your mother when she complains about the amount of garlic you're about to put into the food.

Add the garlic to the nicely cooking veggies. If the oil has been mostly absorbed you can add more so that it doesn't burn and stick.

Add the herbs de provence because it's easier than adding in each spice individually. And it goes well with chicken. You can replace these spices with anything you want, really. Also add more salt and pepper here.

Once the potatoes start to get very brown you are done. Should take about 5 minutes on med-high heat. Stir it around so that it cooks evenly. I added some of the chicken grease because why not?

And there you have it! Some lovely hashed potatoes. 

Full Recipe

3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 sweet onion 
1.5-2 pounds potatoes (gold works best)
2 small carrots
2 stalks celery
1/2 green bell pepper
6 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon herbs de provence
salt and pepper to taste

1. heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium high heat
2. chop onion into quarter or half inch pieces and add to the oil
3. chop potatoes into half inch pieces and add to onions, sprinkle with salt and pepper, mix
4. slice celery, add to potatoes and onions but don't mix in
5. cut carrots into quarter inch pieces and add to potatoes, mix
6. cut up green bell pepper into tiny pieces, add to potatoes and mix in
7. finely dice garlic and add to potatoes
8. add herbs and sprinkle with salt and pepper
9. cook for five minutes over med-high heat, stirring frequently, until potatoes begin to brown

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