Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sweet Potato Hash

Happy New Year, my friends! I am employed full-time back in NYC now, which means you can expect healthy, simple, inexpensive and fairly quick-to-prepare meals out of this blog (and quite a few more restaurant recommendations and write-ups). This sweet potato hash recipe, is one of my all-time favorites, a go to comfort food that's easy to make and easy to prepare ahead of time. In fact, if you have any cubed sweet potatoes left over from making your Superfood Soup, you can use them here. 
The best thing about this dish is all the possible ways you can take it. This year, I've heard many of my colleagues (especially those my age) tell me that they wish they could cook, but they just don't know how. I think the key to confidence in the kitchen, to moving beyond heating water for spaghetti or mac & cheese, is learning basic recipes that you can slowly learn to modify. This sweet potato hash is a learn-to-cook dish if I've ever seen one. Once you get comfortable with the textures and timing of this recipe, feel free to chop other vegetables the same size and saute them along with everything else. Certain choices will probably fare better than others, so I've listed out some "possible add-ins" for you under the recipe. Another great thing about this recipe? It is vegan-friendly, and you can serve it for breakfast, lunch or dinner! Enjoy. 

Sweet Potato Hash
By Alexandra Rogers

Olive oil
2 cups sweet potatoes, cut into roughly 1/4" cubes
2 cups zucchini or other summer squash, cut into roughly 1/4" cubes
2-3 teaspoons garlic, minced
1/4 cup pine nuts
Pinch of cumin (optional)
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt & Pepper

Heat enough oil to coat the bottom of a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add sweet potatoes. Cook the sweet potatoes for approximately 3 minutes. Add zucchini and cook for 5 minutes, stirring infrequently so the vegetables have the opportunity to caramelize a bit. At this point, the sweet potatoes should be almost tender--able to be pierced easily with a fork. Add the garlic, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper and pine nuts and stir to combine. Cook for at least 3 minutes, until garlic softens and cooks  a bit, and until potatoes are tender enough to eat. Serve hot. Makes 2 servings.

Possible Add-ins: Diced red onion (1 cup), red or orange bell peppers, other types of squash (e.g. patty pan)

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