As students, it’s tough for us to make breakfast special. Whether we’re rushing to our internship, full-time job or daily 8 a.m. lecture, mornings are reserved for copious amounts of coffee, a smoothie or maybe an energy bar. Let’s bring the heartiness and love back to breakfast with this veggie hash fry-up.
This recipe is my interpretation of my favorite dish from one of my favorite breakfast spots, Half & Half, in my hometown, St. Louis, Missouri. They served a vegetable hash in a searing hot cast iron skillet and topped it with two sunny side up fried eggs. I have so many happy memories sitting at their communal tables with my sister munching on crispy Brussels sprouts and oozing, golden egg yolk.
I hope that this warming and delicious breakfast brings good memories and fun times to your kitchen as it has mine.
What you’ll need:
This recipe is for one but can easily be expanded to make several servings.
1/4 cup white onion, roughly chopped into 1/2 inch sized pieces
1/3 cup potato, chopped into 1/2 sized cubes
7 to 8 Brussels sprouts, halved
1 or 2 eggs, depending on how hungry you are
1 garlic clove, minced
3 sprigs of thyme, stripped and roughly chopped just to release the oils
smoked paprika or chili flakes (or both)
splash of lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
What you’ll do:
- Prepare the potato, onion, Brussels sprouts, garlic and thyme.
- Splash some olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan over medium heat. It’s important that your pan doesn’t get too hot so you don’t burn the garlic and the potatoes cook through. I have a very strong preference for really nice Greek, cold-pressed, Kalamata extra virgin olive oil. I think it can be easy as college students to scrimp in certain areas to avoid spending money. In the case of oil, spending the extra few dollars on really lovely oil makes such a huge difference. We use oil every day in almost everything we cook. I would encourage every college student to think about how they treat their bodies and invest in a big bottle of nice olive oil that will last months and improve all the food you make. Some of the oldest people in the world say that a shot of pure olive oil every day helped them live longer (not saying it’s true, but it’s a nice thought).
- When the oil is hot, throw in your potatoes. Season the potatoes to taste with salt, pepper and chili flakes or paprika. We’re going to season at every step in this recipe, which is a great habit to develop as you learn your personal preferences in seasoning. Don’t add too much at each step — look at how much food you have in the pan and make a mental calculation about how much salt and pepper you need. If you have 1/3 cup of small, cubed potatoes in the pan, there’s a lot of surface area on the potatoes to absorb flavor, so you’ll need around two or three pinches of salt and a few turns of freshly ground pepper.
- Let the potatoes fry, tossing occasionally, for around 5 to 6 minutes while they brown and become slightly tender.
- After 5 to 6 minutes, add the onions, garlic and thyme then toss everything together. Season again with salt and pepper and a splash of lemon juice, which will sizzle and leave a lovely, lemony hint in the oil. Because you only added onion and garlic, you’ll need probably one small pinch of salt and a couple turns of freshly ground pepper.
- Let the potatoes and onions fry, tossing occasionally, for another 3 to 4 minutes until the potatoes are almost cooked through and the onions smell sweet.
- Finally, after 3 to 4 minutes, add in the Brussels sprouts. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Let the hash fry, tossing occasionally, for 3 to 4 more minutes.
- Push the vegetables to one half of the pan. Add a splash more oil and crack your eggs into the empty half of the pan. Fry the eggs and veggies until your egg is perfectly cooked (however you like it) and transfer to a bowl. Season your egg with salt and pepper.
Note: You could easily add sausage to this for a non-vegetarian option. Also, you could prepare your eggs any way you like — poached, scrambled, etc. — and this recipe would still be delicious as ever.