A standard hash usually consists of chopped meat, potatoes, and maybe other veggies, all browned together in a skillet. Top it all with a pastured fried egg, and you’re golden. See what I did there? A hash is a great way to use leftovers and play with flavor combinations. If you Google hash recipes, you can find the most basic “Hash Browned Potatoes” and also many gourmet versions using seafood, exotic ingredients, and other exciting things. A hash has evolved beyond the breakfast diner menu staple into a wonderful base for fine dining dishes. Did you know that the word hash is actually derived from the French verb, hacher, which means “to chop?” Thank you high school French. (Actually, thank you Wikipedia, but sometimes I like to pretend I retained at least un petite du Francais. Is that even correct?? Ugh, merde.)
…Quick thought: I remember not liking hash browns much when I was younger. It always grossed me out to be at the local Denny’s, or other fine breakfast establishment, and watch people drown their browned, shredded potato side dish with bottled ketchup and stir it all together until it turned pink. Blech. I would always request a different side like toast or biscuits, which I thought was the healthier option because it was helping me get my 6-11 servings of grains/bread a day that the USDA food pyramid told me I should be eating as a child. That’s a topic for another post. Excuse me while I go scream in my closet for a moment….
I woke up this morning thinking I wanted to make a hash and starting brainstorming with the ingredients I had on hand. Sometimes I get carried away and add too many ingredients, and too much of a good thing is still too much. I’ve been trying to simplify lately and it seems to be going well. I wanted to impart a unique flavor into this dish, without going overboard. Ah, Chinese Five Spice. This is a fairly new ingredient for my kitchen, and my husband and son both hate it. I like the warm, comforting flavor it imparts, but it has to utilized properly. I think it worked really well in this hash and complimented the salty bacon and tart apples while bringing out the sweetness of the carrots. I admit, I did not exercise portion control while consuming this dish (let’s be honest, when do I ever?), but I bet it could easily serve two people, maybe even three. Maybe.
Chinese Five Spice Carrot & Apple Hash
2 slices bacon, chopped
1 small white onion, chopped
4 large carrots, peeled and grated
1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated
1/2 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice powder
Sea salt, to taste
Add chopped bacon to a large, cool skillet. Heat over medium heat to render out fat, stirring occasionally.
Once bacon has begun to brown, stir in the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, until it becomes translucent.
Add carrots, apple, and Chinese Five Spice powder, and stir until combined. Cook an additional 5-7 minutes until lightly browned. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Serve warm as a side dish, or chilled as a salad.