Sweet Potato Chipotle Hash

My mom has always maintained that she’s not a great homemaker, she’s just a lazy one. So she’s perfected her own blend of simple, tasty, and efficient meals, as well as little tricks she consistently does around the home to reduce her housework load. My mom always “tut-tuts” at me and my inefficient messes, but some of her desire for simplicity has definitely rubbed off on me — sometimes I think this blog should be renamed “easy things Lin dreams up because she’s a lazy/tired/busy/poor grad student.” And fortunately for us, laziness does not mean un-deliciousness! (Let the internets learn that I’m definitely not an English grad student…)

I love having sweet potatoes around for baked fries, especially in the fall when they’re in season. Paired with a nice glass of red wine they make an excellent at-home-happy hour (here I have to confess that this duo often turns into my dinner). However, woman cannot live on fries alone, so I put on my thinking cap to make something a little interesting and part of a balanced meal (for me, that usually means (1) put an egg on it and (2) serve it with a side salad). This dish manages to be tasty, easy, and has a nice spicy kick, a good variation on the traditional white potato hash.

Chipotles are one of my secret weapons — buy them in a can and freeze the remainder for easy access to big flavor. The smoky-sweetness of this dish is magnified by a little drizzle of real maple syrup, one of my favorite pairings with chipotle. (On a side note, I made up this great chipotle summer veggie pasta that was lost in the great iPhone water debacle of summer 2012… A moment of silence for that poor, delicious recipe.)

One of the keys of this dish is giving it enough time on the stove to really cook and caramelize up. I actually cleaned up my kitchen from a previous mess as I put this meal together — for instance, I started up the onions and then washed up a few things (giving the pan a shake or two here and there, no need to take off the yellow dishwashing gloves!) — this sort of managed neglect works well. I can imagine making this as one dish in a brunch, and spend your waiting time preparing other dishes.

Am I really cleaning while I cook? Mom, you win again! 🙂

Chipotle Sweet Potato Hash
Serves one as a main, two as a side dish

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb sweet potato, scrubbed and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 chipotle pepper, finely diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
  • 2 eggs

Directions

  1. In a skillet over medium heat, warm oil until it moves easily in the pan. Add onion and begin caramelizing until just starting to brown.
  2. Add in sweet potatoes, making sure you have enough room for most of them to touch the bottom of the pan. Allow to cook undisturbed, until they start to brown on the bottom. Add more olive oil if necessary.
  3. Add in chopped chipotle pepper, drizzle with maple syrup, and flip sweet potatoes around until evenly mixed. Allow the other side of the sweet potatoes to brown.
  4. Check sweet potatoes for doneness. They likely won’t be, so add in 2-3 tablespoons of water to the pan and cover, allowing the water to steam the sweet potatoes until mostly evaporated and potatoes are cooked through.
  5. While sweet potatoes are steaming, fry two eggs in a separate pan, using a liberal amount of oil if you want them to be crispy around the edges but with a runny yolk — my favorite kind of fried egg.
  6. Salt and pepper potatoes to taste. Place on a plate and top with egg.
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