Monday, July 25, 2011

Ham, pepper & potato hash

Happy Monday!  Feeling rested and rejuvenated after a long weekend?  Or are you feeling like you need some more time to regain your energy after a fun and packed weekend?  Either/or.  My weekends have belonged in the latter category for the past month, but this most recent one was a much-needed lounge fest!

Sure, there was a very thorough cleaning of the old apartment on Saturday morning, but the rest of my time was spent finally enjoying the new apartment and enjoying the overwhelming feeling that this is my new home!  Everything has been long unpacked and found its place in the new abode, and I've become familiar enough with my surroundings that I'm getting into a comfy little groove.  There were evening walks around the new 'hood with ice cream pit stops (weekend tally = 3: Razzy Fresh, Baskin Robbins, and Cold Stone, in case you're wondering).  And I discovered my walk to church is even shorter now -- 0.7 miles.

And then came the lounging.  Ohhhhhhhhh, the lounging.  I shook things up and bought groceries on Saturday (gasp!) and had the whole afternoon to do whatever I wanted.  And what did I do?
I watched a whooooooooole lotta Harry Potter (just typed "pottery"!) this weekend.  Planted on my plush couch in the cool air conditioning, I enjoyed movies 3, 4, and 1 that were on TV this weekend.  I could hardly believe how young all of the actors looked.  Such kids!  And I finally caught the latest and final installment in the theater yesterday.  Did it live up to the hype?  Ab-so-freak-in-lute-ly!!!  Lots of action in this "war" movie, and lots of emotion, too.  Did you like it?  I'll probably see it again with Matt since he's dying to know Snape's fate.  He hasn't read the books at all and I've kept him in a nice little bubble so the ending isn't spoiled for him... shhh, please! :)

You know what else lived up to and even surpassed the hype?  Having ingredients chopped and prepped ahead of time.  My lazy afternoon turned into a lazy evening because dinner was an exercise in opening containers and dumping the contents into a skillet.

How gourmet, no?

Regardless, I give you ham and potato hash.  Not to be confused with Who Hash, of course. 

Chopping and dicing and mincing days ago meant that I could practically cook with one hand and hold a glass of wine in the other (I didn't, don't worry... just sayin').  Admire at those preppy colors, won't you?

All but the potato needed some attention and even that was minimal, leaving the skin on as I diced.  A little butter and crisping later and the remaining ingredients could join the party.

I was maybe 10 minutes in when I found a use for my idle hand: sampling!  And then I couldn't stop.

I seriously could not restrain myself from nibbling on the salty ham and the suuuuper crispy buttery potatoes.  The crunchy peppers and sweet onions.  The runny yolk over the whole skillet creation!  It was a dinner that, though photographed near the kitchen table, was eaten practically lying down on my couch, my stomach as the table.  Hearty, delicious, and lazy as its maker :)

Ham and Potato Hash
(adapted with some changes from Simply Recipes)
-serves 2 alone, or 3-4 topped with eggs

A few notes: None, really.  If hash is your thing, check out my other variations.  Maybe one unrelated one -- go see Harry Potter (typed "pottery" again, d'oh!) so we can discuss it.  'kay, thanks!

3 Tablespoons butter
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 baking potato, 1/2-inch diced
1 cup diced cooked ham (I used one thick slice of country ham)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Melt butter in large cast-iron skillet over medium heat.  Add potato and cook, stirring often, until beginning to turn golden and crispy, about 6 to 8 minutes.  Add onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes.  Add the pepper and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients, toss to mix, and cook hash until browned, about 5 more minutes (but this may vary), stirring occasionally.  Serve

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