As I type this post, there are two men a few feet away from me making hash of my former kitchen!!! The renovation is under way! We will be in a state of mess and disruption for the foreseeable future, but it is my intention to use this as an opportunity to increase my level of culinary creativity. And thus, to continue blogging!
From now until the new kitchen is ready, I will have a hot plate, a toaster oven and a microwave. So if any of you, my beloved followers, have ideas or suggestions for me, please make a comment at the end of this post. I would LOVE to have your thoughts!
Anticipating this messy hash, I decided to make a pot of something to reheat for a few days; I knew I would not be up and running in my temporary “kitchen” in the basement for a bit and I hate to rely on take-out even for a single night. I wanted something hearty and warming, since the weather is still absolutely bitter. Hash! This would have gone seamlessly except for the incident in which the microwave got smashed to smithereens…. but my husband is a hero and saved the day! And with the ability to reheat, Bob and I have been able to have a hot meal after our long work days this week.
So Brussels Sprout, Sweet Potato and Pork Hash was the dish that saved us from starvation here in the demolition! It is hearty and soul-warming and I think you’ll love it even if your kitchen isn’t being destroyed in the background!
Brussels Sprout, Sweet Potato and Pork Hash
I apologize for the repeated food-porn affectation involving quail eggs in two consecutive posts! I just couldn’t resist them when I saw them at the store. And they are so good on top of both of these dishes. But chicken eggs are just as good and much less pretentious!
1 ½ lbs lean pork*
2 tbs. neutral, high heat cooking oil (I like organic peanut)
1 big sweet potato
2 containers of brussels sprouts, trimmed
2 scallions, cleaned and sliced
cayenne pepper to taste
½ tsp. fennel seeds
salt, to taste
Optional garnishes: poached or fried quail or chicken eggs, arugula leaves, chopped tomato, sour cream, grated chopped cheddar, scallion greens. I might have suggested avocado, but if I say avocado one more time, you are going to stop reading my blog!
*I used boneless pork loin chops because they were on sale, but you can use tenderloin or loin if you prefer. You could use preground pork, beef, turkey, or chicken. Or, if you are vegetarian or vegan, you can leave out the meat entirely.
Cut the pork into rough chunks and put them on a plate. Freeze for 15-20 minutes or until they just start to get firm and icy. Process them in a food processor (fitted with the steel blade) until fairly finely ground. Before you take the meat out of the freezer, add the cayenne, fennel seeds, salt, and the whites of the scallions (save the greens for garnish) to the processor and give it a whirl to combine.
Preheat the oven to 375°.
Take the meat out of the machine and put it in a bowl. Now, put the grater attachment into the processor. You don’t need to wash the processor bowl unless handling it with porky bits grosses you out.
Grate the sweet potato and start sautéing it in the oil over high heat in a big ovenproof pot. While that gets going, switch to the slicing blade on the machine and slice up all the brussels sprouts. I think this is so fun! While you are doing this, you can reflect on just how weird I am.
Add the sprouts to the pot, give a good sprinkle of salt and cayenne, and let the veggies cook a bit, stirring occasionally. Be careful not to let them burn on the bottom. When you feel everything has gotten some heat, maybe 5 minutes or so, adds the pork. Continue cooking, stirring every couple of minutes, until the pork is mostly cooked through.
Now pop the pot into the oven for 15-20 minutes to get everything fully cooked and let the dish come together and become a unified thing. Sort of.