The weather has finally fallen under 90° here in Austin, which means less that Fall is here, and more that Fall ingredients have finally started showing up in grocery stores. While it's still hard to get into the mood for a hearty stew this time of year, it would be a shame to let some of these seasonal ingredients go to waste.
To take advantage of these Fall ingredients, I've decided to turn to the humble potato hash. More often than not it simply functions as refrigerator velcro to suck up leftover ingredients at the end of the week, but it can easily be repurposed as an upscale showcase for seasonal harvests.
To start with, my boyfriend and I had plenty over pumpkin seeds leftover from his pumpkin coconut curry with crispy salmon [link TBD]. With that as the starting point, everything else quickly fell into place. Sweet potato fit the time of year, and works well with the seeds to bring a nice sweetness to the dish. Spanish chorizo was an obvious smokey counterbalance. Cured meats work well in potato hashes, this isn't the standard crumbly Mexican chorizo you're likely to see around town. Some sort of onion always helps bring a hash together, so I decided to stick with my typical yellow onion for this recipe. Finally, some sliced radish on top adds a nice light crunch to the finished product. Finally, all good hashes need an egg.
Because this is Austin, I served the hash as a taco. Call me a stereotype if you want, but breakfast tacos are amazing.
Hashes are pretty forgiving to experimentation and tweaking. If you want to make this recipe vegetarian, switch out the chorizo for a diced poblano. If you want to make the hash vegan, do the same and omit the eggs. Just make sure your tortillas weren't made with lard.
The secret to this recipe is J. Kenji López-Alt's parboiling technique. Boiling the potatoes a bit before adding them to the frying pan helps ensure that they're cooked all the way through, but it also tends to make the potatoes fall apart in the process. By adding a tablespoon of vinegar per quart of water, you slow the breakdown of the potatoes' pectin, and ensure that they hold together longer in the pan. Finally, by working in batches you can make sure that you don't overcrowd the pan, and that everything cooks through thoroughly.
Fall Breakfast Tacos with Chorizo, Pumpkin Seed, and Sweet Potato
Makes: 6-8 Tacos
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes
- 1 to 1 1/2 lb Sweet Potato, Diced into 1/4 inch cubes
- 8 oz Spanish Chorizo, Diced into 1/4 inch cubes
- 6 oz Pumpkin Seeds
- 2-3 Radishes, Thinly Sliced
- 1 Small Yellow Onion, Diced
- 4 Eggs
- 1 tbps Cilantro
- 1-2 tbps White Vinegar
- 2 tsp Cumin
- 2 tsp Chili Powder (Spice Blend)
- 2 tsp Chile Powder (Ground Chile Pepper)
- 4-8 of Your Preferred Tortillas. Flour, Corn, Wheat, Whatever. Anything works.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Peel and dice the sweet potato into 1/4 inch cubes. Dice the chorizo into 1/4 inch chunks. Medium dice the onion. Chop the tops and bottoms off the radishes and thinly dice. Remove 1 tbps of cilantro leaves from the stems and roughly chop.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and add 1 tbps of white vinegar. Add the sweet potatoes, wait for the water to come back to a boil, and cook for five minutes. Drain the potatoes with a strainer and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
- While the sweet potatoes boil, heat a large non-stick pan on medium heat. Toss the pumpkin seeds with olive oil, salt, pepper, 1tbs cumin, and 1tbs of the chili powder of your choice. Cook for 2-4 minutes, until the pumpkin seeds are brown and fragrant. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add the chorizo chunks to the medium heat skillet. Stir occasionally for 6-8 minutes, until the chorizo is crispy on all sides and the fat has rendered out. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chorizo and set aside with the pumpkin seeds, leaving the fat in the skillet.
- Once the sweet potato has drained, add it to the skillet with a few ounces of olive oil if necessary. Stir occasionally for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are crispy and brown on all sides. Season with salt, pepper, 1tbs cumin, and 1tbs chile powder. Stir for 30 seconds. Transfer the potatoes to the bowl with the pumpkin seeds and chorizo.
- Add additional olive oil and the diced onion to the skillet, stirring occasionally for 2-4 minutes until brown and soft. Transfer onions to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
- Add all but a pinch of the cilantro to the bowl of ingredients. Toss the contents of the bowl thoroughly and return to the skillet.
- Make four wells in the potato hash. Carefully crack the four eggs into each of the four wells, being careful not to lose any shell in the hash. Salt and pepper the eggs, drizzling with a dash of olive oil.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven. After 10 minutes at 375°F, the whites of the egg should be set while the yokes are still runny.
- While the hash bakes, heat the tortillas on a spare skillet, grill plate, or in the microwave. If using the stove top, heat each side of the tortilla for approximately a minute on each side. If using the microwave, wrap with paper towels and microwave for 30 seconds.
- Once the hash is done baking, assemble the tacos. Garnish with diced radish and chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.
This recipe can also be found on Project Nom.