Thursday, October 25, 2007

'Shrooms & Hash

Totally legal option.

I love hash. Hash is usually made of potatoes that have been cut up ("hashed") and fried with onions and beets (red flannel hash), corned beef (corned beef hash), smoked salmon (smoked salmon has... you get the point, ya?). Most recipes say to use "leftover" potatoes. When's the last time you had leftover boiled potatoes on hand? Right.

This is a mushroom hash and is great as a side dish for steaks or roasted chicken. You could use fresh mushrooms, but in this version I used dried mushrooms. There's not a lot of bulk provided by these little morsels, but oh ... the flavor.

Most hash recipes have you make everything in a skillet. That works fine, but for a large quantity of hash, I make it in the oven on a large sheet pan.

Mushroom Hash (Serves 4-6)
  • 1/2 cup dried mushrooms, porcini are best, but try what you can find at your market (although I think that shiitakes and morels are the wrong mushrooms for this technique - too fleshy)
  • 4 medium-large potatoes (8 small-medium potatoes or 5 medium potatoes), yukon golds are great for this
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves or garlic, minced or pressed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
Put the dried mushrooms into a bowl and cover with hot water. Set aside.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the potatoes into small chunks (hash-sized, your call how small. The smaller the pieces, the faster they'll cook.). On a large baking sheet, toss the potatoes and shallots together with enough olive oil to make everything glisten. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Put the pan into the oven.

Let the potatoes cook, stirring them around every 15 minutes or so. After 20-30 minutes, they should be browned and starting to crisp.

Lift the mushrooms out of the water and chop finely. Strain the water through a coffee filter. Take the pan out of the oven and toss into the potatoes: the mushrooms, garlic, thyme and 1/2 cup the soaking water. Put back into the oven for 10 minutes.

Serve hot as a side dish or as a bed for poached or fried eggs. This reheats

Fresh mushroom variation: Slice about 4 ounces of fresh mushrooms (about half of a box from the supermarket) into thick pieces (about the same thickness and size as you've sliced the potatoes). Put them in with the potatoes at the beginning of the cooking. Use dried mushrooms too, if you wish.

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