POTATO AND HAM HASH (for two)
1-1/4 pounds unpeeled Yukon Gold or other yellow potatoes, cut into ½ inch dice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into ½ inch dice
1 small green bell pepper, cut into ½ inch dice
3 ounces thinly sliced country ham, or other good-quality ham, cut into ½ inch squares or slivers
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- Put the potatoes in a large saucepan with enough water to cover by 1 inch. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a rapid simmer, and cook until the potatoes are tender all the way through, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain well in a colander and let sit.
- Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. When the butter s melted and the pan is hot, add the onion and green pepper and saute, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft and the onions are well browned, about 8 minutes. Push the vegetables to one side and add the ham. Leave the ham alone in the pan for a few minutes. When it begins to turn crisp, add the garlic and stir all the ingredients together. Continue cooking until the garlic is fragrant and begins to soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add the drained potatoes, distributing them in 1 layer if possible. Let the potatoes sit, undisturbed, to brown, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, sprinkle ½ teaspoon salt over the potatoes. Return the onion and pepper mixture to the pan and mix it into the potatoes. Cook the hash for another 3 to 5 minutes. As it cooks, alternately fold the mixture over itself and press it down with a metal spatula, letting it sit for periods of about 30 seconds in the pan to brown. Mash the hash just enough so that it holds together but the potatoes are still in discernible pieces. Grind a generous amount of fresh black pepper (8 to 10 grinds) over the hash and fold it in. Remove the pan from the heat, add the parsley, and serve.
from Susie Middleton, Fine Cooking Magazine, issue 36