When you think of comfort food aren’t warm, cheesy potatoes at the top of the list? I’m thinking creamy scalloped potatoes, billowing clouds of mashed potatoes with melted butter, roasted wedges with rosemary, a rustic shepherd’s pie or steaming stew of nourishing root vegetables – this is what warms your body and soul and casts the chill from a winters night. Even in the summer, the humble potato graces our picnic tables and soothes our carb cravings with homey potato salads, grilled bakers, and hobo packets. And what leisurely weekend breakfast or brunch would be complete without a side of country hash or crispy hash browns?
This recipe has all the comfort and nutrition of potatoes, with little of the guilt that comes with the mega calories often associated with potatoes – not because of the poor potato, but because of what we load it with. Bursting with earthy flavor of mushrooms, a hint of heat, and a sprinkle of bacon goodness, I’m proud to have developed this heart healthy dish for the Idaho Potato Commission for Father’s Day. Using just one skillet, it’s an ideal meal for campfire cooking or a weekend breakfast for your man and, the ever versatile cast iron skillet, moves easily from stove to table and offers a rustic presentation for a family brunch gathering as well.
Campfire Red Potato Hash takes me back to Julys spent in the clear, cool air of the Adirondack mountains in upstate New York. Wiling away in the wilderness, no internet, no T.V., no cell phone reception – just hiking, swimming, canoeing, sitting on the dock, Bloody Mary’s, early dawn crackling fires, the ringing of the dinner bell beckoning us to the next meal. Every summer, Don looked forward to the two-week respite in the woods and spending time with his daughters in the rough-hewn, hand-built cabin called Longview – a tradition that spanned 20 plus years and survived the thousands of miles that separated them after his move to California.
Campfire Red Potato Hash
Part Tortilla Española, part Woodsman Hash, this recipe is reminiscent of lunches prepared by the camp staff in huge cast iron skillets over an open fire. After an invigorating hike in the cool mountain air, the aroma of potatoes and onions had us circling the fire, willing them to crisp, tender doneness.
• 5 medium-sized Idaho® Ruby (red-skin) potatoes, thinly sliced*
• 2 tablespoon butter, divided use
• 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided use
• 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
• 8 ounce package crimini or Baby Bella mushrooms
• 2 ounces chopped pancetta or bacon (2 slices)
• 1 jalapeño (optional)
• 1 red cherry pepper (optional)
• 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
• 1 cup half and half
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Melt one at tablespoon butter with one tablespoon olive oil in cast iron skillet by placing in the oven. Using a mandolin slice the potatoes into 1/8 inch slices. Toss the potatoes with the butter/olive oil mixture to coat. Return to oven. Bake ten minutes, then stir the potatoes and bake for ten more minutes. Remove from oven.
2. While the potatoes are baking, slice the onions using the mandolin, or a knife if you prefer.Heat one tablespoon olive oil and one tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook for two minutes until softened and translucent. Using a slotted spoon, remove from skillet and set aside.
3. Add pancetta to skillet and cook for about 3 minutes until nicely browned. Remove pancetta to the dish with the onions. Add the mushrooms to the skillet, sprinkle with paprika and cook with the rendered fat until the mushrooms are browned and moisture from the mushrooms has cooked off. About 5 minutes. Stir in the jalapeño and red cherry pepper (if using) and cook another minute. The paprika becomes fragrant and gives the mushrooms an appealing color.
4. Crack the eggs into a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Add half and half until the mixture measure equals 1- 1/2 cups.
5. Add the onions and pancetta to the mushrooms and mix together so ingredients are evenly distributed. Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes. Add the mushroom and onion mixture, distribute evenly on top. Return to oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and check for doneness – if eggs are still runny, return to oven and cook until eggs are set.
Yield: 4 servings
*Time Saving Tip: It’s not necessary to peel red potatoes – the skin is tender and adds color to the dish. Potatoes, with the skin, are very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. It is also a good source of Vitamin B6 and Potassium, and a very good source of fiber.
Enjoy! I’m excited to be part of the Idaho Potatoes Blog Squad where my Red Idaho® Potato Hash is the featured recipe for Father’s Day – take a minute to check out other delicious recipes using America’s favorite vegetable on the Idaho Potato website