I have no idea why it took me so long to commit to a CSA. Short for Community Supported Agriculture, I wrote a check to a local farmer named Pavel in April. In exchange, he promised to provide me with farm-fresh, chemical-free veggies raised with organic and biodynamic farming methods in mind. While the amount of the check felt a bit hefty in the moment, I knew after my first CSA basket that I had struck foodie-gold. Equating to a little over $20 per week for half of a year, my Saturday is no longer complete without a visit to the Douglas Loop Farmer’s Market. I head straight to Pavel’s farm stand where he proceeds to fill by bags to the brim with an unlimited assortment of fruits and veggies. Red potatoes, yukon gold potatoes, onions, garlic, summer squash, eggplant, fresh herbs, sweet corn, cantaloupe, watermelon, red peppers, green peppers, swiss chard, kale, fresh lettuce, arugula, beets, radishes, tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes and more tomatoes… and we are just hitting the fall season. I have never eaten better than this past summer nor have I had as much fun in the kitchen. It is extraordinarily rewarding to make a meal sourced entirely from local purveyors and I promise it tastes better too. This hash was inspired by my CSA bounty and is the perfect way to make use of nearly everything piled in your veggie drawer. A flexible meal, the only item truly required to call it a ‘hash’ is the potato. I had more than my fair share on hand from Pavel along with a variety of veggies and local bacon and eggs from Barr Farms. Sauteed until crisp at the edges, the hash it topped with a fried egg (one of my preferred methods of finishing any dish – see here, here and here), the yolk left runny, the multitude of flavors all coming together. I hope to see you at the Douglas Loop Farmer’s Market this weekend and promise to be there in spirit at whichever Farmer’s Market you’ve come to call your own. And make sure some potatoes end up in your basket. You’re going to want to make this hash as soon as you get home!
I find that cooking any meal becomes infinitely easier if I prep all of the ingredients beforehand. As such, begin by washing the potatoes and chopping them into one-inch cubes. You will need two and one half cups chopped.
Outside of the potatoes, the vegetables used in this dish are highly flexible. I am a big fan of onion, garlic and bell pepper and think the union of the three rarely disappoints. But feel free to mix and match – there are no rules! For this specific recipe you will want to prep the following: two tsp minced garlic, one half cup diced bell pepper, one half cup diced red onion, the kernels from two ears of fresh sweet corn, six stalks of swiss chard, stems removed and chopped (approximately four cups) and four slices of thick-cut bacon, chopped (approximately one quarter pound).
Add one tbs of olive oil to a large saute pan and warm over medium heat. Add the bacon and saute until crispy, stirring often, approximately 5-7 minutes. Place a paper towel on a plate and remove the bacon from the pan, allowing it to drain on the towel.
Turn the heat down slightly and add the potatoes, onion and bell peppers. Saute in the bacon fat, stirring frequently so that the potatoes don’t stick, for about five minutes. Turn the heat back to medium and add the garlic, one tsp of kosher salt, one quarter tsp freshly ground black pepper and one quarter tsp of dried pepper flakes*, one of my all-time favorite ingredients and a solid pantry standard. Saute for thirty seconds until the garlic is fragrant. At this point the pan is likely getting dry. Add one quarter cup chicken stock and scrape your spoon along the bottom of the pan, making sure that the potatoes don’t stick. Continue to saute over medium to medium-high heat, adding additional quarter cup-fulls of chicken stock to the pan as needed, only after the already added chicken stock has reduced and been absorbed by the potatoes and veggies. I used three quarters of a cup in total throughout the cooking process.
*A note on red pepper flakes – not all are created equal. Forget the bland, mass-produced variety found at the grocery store and treat yourself to the red pepper flakes made with lots of love and plenty of spice by Maggie at Foxhollow Farm. You will never look back!
When the potatoes are cooked through and beginning to crisp up add the chard to the pan, along with an additional half tsp of kosher salt. Turn the heat to medium and toss to combine. The chard will wilt and soften, integrating it’s way into the dish.
Add the corn during the last two minutes of cooking time, when the potatoes are tender and crisp at the edges and the chard has reduced dramatically in size. This sweet corn is so good, so fresh and naturally delicious that you don’t want to overcook it, just simply warm it through.
As the hash is finishing up, set a small saute pan over medium heat and add one tbs of unsalted butter. When the butter has melted crack two local farm eggs into the pan and sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper. Fry to your preference (I personally love a runny yolk) and remove from the heat.
Divide the hash between two plates and top with the fried egg. Serve immediately, giving thanks to our farmer-friends who work so hard to provide us with the simplest and most important of pleasures: food. Enjoy!
Serves Two as a Main Course
- one tbs olive oil
- four slices of thick-cut bacon, chopped (approximately one quarter pound)
- two and one half cups potatoes chopped
- one half cup diced bell pepper
- one half cup diced red onion
- two tsp minced garlic
- one quarter tsp dried red pepper flakes
- six stalks of swiss chard, stems removed and chopped (approximately four cups)
- the kernels from two ears of fresh sweet corn
- one cup chicken stock
- one and one half tsp kosher salt, divided
- one quarter tsp freshly ground black pepper
- one tbs unsalted butter
- two eggs