Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Flood Gates and Food: Sweet Potato and Poblano Pepper Hash

Last week wore me out.  Emotionally.  Physically.  Spiritually. 

And on Friday night, I needed comfort food.  Hearty, spicy, fill me up, comfort food.

Several weeks ago, Brett and I went on this "elimination diet" that required us to bid farewell to the good things in life.  It's a long list, but includes things like eggs, butter, corn, and sugar.  All things I would marry, if I wasn't already.

I'm good with rules...if I can't eat something because it's the "rule," I simply won't eat it.  No cheating.  No nibble off of a corner.  No real longing, even.  It's why being allergic to wheat, really hasn't been too bad. 

Oh sure, there have been days when I've writhed around on the floor as Brett sunk his teeth into a donut or craved a piece of cake so bad, that I ended up eating three pounds of unsatisfying chocolate and peanut butter in an attempt to satiate.  But for the most part, the rules don't bother me.

So eliminating foods, hasn't been the issue. 

Adding them back in...is where I've run into troubles.  The theory is, you eliminate all the foods that are "known allergens" (i.e. dairy, corn, wheat, soy, peanuts, sugar, and eggs) and then, after a three week "cleansing" period, you add one food back, each week, and measure how you feel. 

Well, now the rules have been loosened.  And it's like Niagara Falls over here. Flood gates. Open.  Everywhere.

"Oh, I can eat eggs...well then, that means I can make cake and omelets and pancakes and scrambled eggs and......"

So it's why, having never made a "hash" in my life, I decided to do so....because I could. (And admittedly, I was heavily influenced by the contestants on Chopped...they always seems to be making a hash, of some sort.)

You will not be disappointed.  It's spicy and rich and whole and delightful.

I present to you, the keeper of the gate: Sweet Potato and Poblano Pepper Hash.

What you'll need:

2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 Large sweet potato (scrubbed up real nice, like it's about to meet the in-laws for the first time.)
2 Poblano peppers (sliced)
1/2 Red onion (diced)
1/2 White onion (diced)
1 Teaspoon red pepper flakes (I like it spicy, so do this "to taste" but remember that the addition of eggs and later, avocado, will temper the heat a bit.)
2 Garlic cloves (minced, or in my case, squeezed out of a convenient bottle.)
Dash or two of paprika, cumin (go light on this), salt, pepper
2 Large eggs
1 Avocado (diced)
4 Tablespoon cilantro (chopped)

What to do:

Heat coconut oil in your skillet over a medium heat. Add the diced sweet 'tater (I leave the skin on) but be aware that coconut oil seems to have a serious splatter factor, so take caution. Let that cook up a bit, adding the pepper flakes, garlic, and other spices while you're waiting around.  Then add the onion and poblano pepper. 

Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for about 5 minutes, until the potatoes begin to soften (that lid lets you "steam" the 'taters, getting them soft and fluffy). Now stir before they start to really stick to the bottom and continue to do so, until you've reached the desired softness (I like my sweet potatoes to have a bit of a bite...so I don't cook them as long as some folks.)

Crack two eggs on top of the hash. Seriously, don't be shy here.  Just put the eggs right there on top of the potato/pepper mixture, making sure that you don't break the yolk (the yolk will add a sweetness to the dish, that you wouldn't expect...so yummy).  Cover with that tight fitting lid again and allow the eggs to cook another 4ish minutes until the whites are set. Serve immediately topped with the fresh cilantro and diced avocado.

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