the months of february and march seem to have gotten mixed up a bit because while we were coat-fancy and free, enjoying our drinks outdoors last month, this month we seem to be doing quite the opposite. but i won't dwell and i won't let a little rain spoil my mood... it is officially spring! and that alone is reason to celebrate whether it be outdoors with a grapefruit cocktail (soon i hope) or indoors with a deliciously sweater and rain worthy breakfast.
ina garten once planned a dinner menu loosely based off of a black and white themed party thrown by truman capote. at the legendary party a chicken hash (the Plaza's recipe) was served from an abundant buffet and it has been big news ever since. now, chicken hash doesn't really get me that excited, but the idea of a sweet and savory breakfast hash, filled with bacon, maple syrup and thyme... well, that does. and since it is spring, and it is almost easter... what better than to try out a new brunch-worthy recipe and test Thomas Keller's perfectly (yes perfect) poached egg. it also seemed fitting to end the month of march with a really good breakfast, since it was such an exceptional month thanks to my boyfriend's 30th birthday, a trip to arizona for me and texas for him, and our five year anniversary.
but back to the breakfast... which i would happily eat every morning for the next month of april. my advice is this and i think it's kind of important; do not skip the poached egg. although the hash is beautiful and flavorful on its own, there is something entirely delightful and necessary about the silky egg yolk that runs into the hash and creates its own rich sauce. so thank you, truman capote, for breakfast at tiffanys, for in cold blood, and for your inspirational love of a good hash.
Sweet Potato & Bacon Hash
Adapted from Bon Appetit and Gourmet
1 pound thick cut bacon, cut into 1-inch strips
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, divided, plus more for garnish
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
Heat a large seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully add the bacon and saute until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and let drain then transfer to a large bowl and set aside. Pour out some of the liquid from the skillet, leaving about 1/4 cup.
Season the potatoes with salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon of the thyme leaves. Add to the same skillet and saute until browned, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the bowl with the bacon. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and onions to the skillet. Stir to coat the onions, then add red wine vinegar to deglaze the pan. Sauce over medium heat until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Return the potatoes and bacon and their juices to the pan. Add the maple syrup and stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Garnish with the remaining teaspoon of thyme leaves and poached eggs.
Thomas Keller's Perfect Poached Egg
1 cup distilled white vinegar
2 large eggs
Coarse sea salt (such as Maldon) and freshly ground black pepper
Pour 1/2 cup vinegar into each of 2 small bowls. Crack 1 egg into each bowl, taking care not to break yolk; let stand for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Using a whisk, vigorously swirl water until a vortex forms in the center. Slip 1 egg with vinegar into vortex and continue to swirl water with whisk around edges of pan until it returns to a boil. The egg white should wrap tightly around the yolk, forming an oval shape. As soon as water returns to a boil, reduce heat to medium and gently simmer egg, frequently swirling water, for 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, lift egg from water and use kitchen shears to trim any stray pieces of egg white. Place egg on paper towels and gently blot; transfer egg to a bowl or plate. Repeat with remaining egg. (If poaching more than 2 eggs, repeat using fresh water.) Season with salt and pepper.