Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sweet potato hash browns

I remember the first time I realized that my family sometimes has odd names for things.

I was 10 or 11 years old and out at a diner with my parents and sister after church, and we were placing our brunch orders.  I requested French toast, which came with two eggs and a choice of bacon or sausage.  The waitress asked, "How do you like your eggs?" to which I responded, "Dippy."  She looked at me like I was speaking in tongues.

"Dippy?" she confirmed.  I immediately looked to my parents for help, whispering, "What's wrong with dippy?  Is that not allowed?" 

My parents smiled at me and, before they could rescue me, the waitress explained the many ways that the cooks could prepare my eggs.  "Sunny side up, over easy, over medium, over well, poached, soft boiled, hard boiled, or scrambled," she rattled from memory.

I didn't hear "dippy" anywhere in that long list of egg preparations.  And dippy was what I wanted, by golly.  I wanted dippy!!!

After all, I grew up being familiar with three ways to prepare an egg: dippy, scrambled, or hard-boiled.  It was how my parents did things and, by extension, how I did things.  Never before had I been presented with so many choices about one little ingredient -- the egg!

Thankfully, my dad stepped in to save the day (and his oldest child's dwindling pride) and informed our very patient waitress that I wanted two over easy eggs.

After she left, my dad, never wanting to miss an opportunity to teach, explained to me what all of those bizarre terms meant in regards to eggs.  Then, my mom assured me that when my food arrived, I would have two dippy eggs, just how I liked them.  And, yes, I could still call them dippy eggs.

Although I appreciated my dad's instruction, it was my mom's words that really stuck with me.  Dippy eggs for life!

Regardless of what you call them, dippy eggs are the perfect finishing touch to these sweet potato hash browns.

The original recipe calls them sweet potato pancakes, but that conjures up images of fluffy buttermilk pancakes rather than hash browns, which is what these are more like.  As you can see, my issues with food names extend beyond eggs :)

These pancakes hash browns are sweet and savory and crispy!  And quite eye-catching, to say the least.  Topped with eggs, they looked like a five star breakfast, but were a pretty fab dinner as well.  Make sure you pierce the yoke ASAP so it can run all over the sweet potatoes and create an incredibly rich sauce.

While dippy eggs may be the fancy way to enjoy this dish, don't think that they're necessary.  Being the always impatient cook that I am, I couldn't wait to dig in and topped a few with a quick drizzle of Heinz 57.  And the results were phenomenal.

By the way, Heinz 57 is ketchup if you're not familiar with that food slang.  I could go all day with this stuff, especially if I went beyond the culinary world.  For example, we call chipmunks "grinnies."  Why?  Because my family has an interesting way of doing things.  And I wouldn't have it any other way.

One year ago: Orange creamsicle cookies
Two years ago: Fresh green bean casserole

Sweet Potato Pancakes with Dippy Eggs
(recipe adapted from The Chew cookbook)
-serves 4

A few notes: While dippy eggs are totally bomb served over these potato pancakes, don't feel obligated to stop there.  I topped one with ketchup, as I do with regular hash browns, and it was divine.  Sour cream would be a great savory addition, too.  Sweet options include but aren't limited to applesauce, chopped nuts and maple syrup, or even caramelized onions.  Swoon!

1 yam, peeled and grated
1/2 white onion, peeled and grated
1/2 apple, peeled, cored and grated (I used a Pink Lady apple)
1 whole carrot, peeled and grated
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
5 eggs

Combine yam, onion, apple, and carrot.  Wrap mixture in a cheesecloth or paper towels and wring out as much liquid as possible.  Then, in a large bowl, mix together all the grated ingredients with egg whites, flour, salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Working in batches, drop in roughly 1/4 cup worth of batter to make one pancake.  Fry until golden, about 3 minutes per side.  Drain on paper towel lined-plate.  Cook eggs in a nonstick skillet until whites are set but yolks are runny.  Serve eggs over pancakes and enjoy!


  1. This post is soooo Pittsburgh and I love it! Dippy eggs and Heinz 57.

    1. Do you say dippy eggs, too?! I wasn't sure if that was a Pittsburgh thing since my parents grew up in Maryland.

  2. Yes, ma'am! My dippy is sunny side up, although I don't think it matters as long as they're dip-able :)

    1. Better get Hawaii on the dippy bandwagon :)

  3. They're on, although they don't call it dippy. Ever heard of a loco moco?! I should post about it!