Monday, February 27, 2012

A Fine Mess


I would have put the name of this recipe in the title, but it's probably too verbose: bubble-and-squeak-toad-in-the-hole-succotash. Or alternatively titled: 'what do with leftovers'.

A fine mess indeed. That pic may not look appetizing to all people, but I'm willing to bet there is a not-too-small segment of the population that loves a bunch of seemingly unrelated food stuffs, fried together in bacon fat with a fried egg jauntily settled atop it. Whatever side of the fence you find yourself, trust me when I say this 'fine mess' hit the spot tonight. Here’s what I did:

Take three large potatoes, I had some russets, peel and slice them into a large-ish dice. Then poach them in some boiling, salted water for about 10 minutes. Drain, and spread out on a tray to steam off and dry a bit. In the mean time, get a few rashers of bacon going in pan. Let them get nice and crispy and then remove. Crank the heat up, and top up the bacon fat with a bit of neutral oil so that you have a good quarter-inch depth in the pan.  When that bacon fat is nice and hot, drop in your potatoes (mind the splashing hot fat), and coat them in the fat. Then drop in a half an onion (or so) finely chopped, some salt and pepper, and then let it start to take some colour. Once some colour has formed on the bottom, give everything a good mix up, then, leave it alone for a few minutes for more colour to form. Mix up again, and go through this procedure a few times until there is lots of caramelization happening throughout the potatoes. When you are relatively happy with the spuds, drop in half a cup of sweet corn (frozen will do) and let it warm through. Follow up with some sliced scallions. Mix everything up, and then form it into a kind of cake in the middle of the pan and hollow out the middle a little bit and then crack in an egg. Let the whites set, and then (this is the tricky bit), you have to try to get it out of the pan and on to a plate without completely making a dog's breakfast of it. (I mean, it's technically a 'hash' but we can at least try to be refined about it!) I used a spatula in combination with a fish slice and a lucky tilt with gravity and got it on to the plate in an almost complete state. Only a little bit of minor repair was required to make it presentable. Garnish with fresh dill, Tabasco and Lea & Perrins.

Greasy, but in a good way.Talk about slumming it.

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