This time-honoured meal-in-a-pan is a wonderfully tasty way to show off your favourite potatoes any time of the day. Toss in some crisp bacon, crack in a few eggs and you’re ready to fill Half Your Plate with breakfast, lunch or dinner. Next level? For a full plate of flavour just top with a few handfuls of your favourite simple salad!
Yield: SERVES 4
1 pound or so of red or yellow potatoes, (about 2 to 3 large)
2 thick slices of bacon, thinly sliced crosswise
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2 or 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
a 5-ounce tote of baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) of salt
lots of freshly ground pepper
1 green onion, thinly sliced
Match a large non-stick sauté pan or heavy skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Cube the unpeeled potatoes into small bite-sized pieces and toss into the pan. Cover with water and simmer until just barely tender, 10 minutes or so. Drain well and reserve the cooked potatoes.
In the same skillet, brown the bacon until deliciously crisp. Toss in the onions and garlic and without browning, sauté until soft and aromatic, 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in the thyme. Add the potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking just long enough to heat the works through. Add the spinach and cover. In just a minute or two, the dark green leaves will wilt. Stir together the hash.
Make four little wells, pushing back the hash and exposing the pan bottom for each. Gently nestle a cracked egg into each nest and season lightly with a pinch of salt and pepper. Sprinkle in a few tablespoons of water. Cover and continue cooking until the eggs are as firm as you like, 5 to 10 minutes depending on doneness. Top with a flourish of green onions.
© Chef Michael Smith – halfyourplate.ca
How To Twist
Tex Mex? Drop the thyme and spinach. Add a red and green bell pepper to the onions and season the works with 1 tablespoon of chili powder instead of thyme. You can also drop the bacon and include a sliced chorizo sausage or two. Just slice raw and lightly brown it before you add the potatoes back. Finish with chopped fresh cilantro.
Italian? Drop the bacon and brown off an Italian sausage or two with a splash of olive oil instead. Replace the spinach with a pint of cherry tomatoes. Slice raw and lightly brown before you add the potatoes back. Finish with lots of fresh basil.
Healthier? Drop the bacon all together, add a splash of olive oil and don’t look back!
This is one of my favourite side dishes because bacon and lentils are perfect together. The rich meatiness of bacon easily complements the earthy hearty flavours of lentils. Try making this dish once and it will instantly become one of your favourites too!
In the Maritimes we don’t worry whether our chowders are authentic or not. We know a true clam chowder is just a bowl full of simple, hearty flavours. We often use canned clams and always stir in onions, potatoes and milk. We’re too busy asking for seconds to worry whether we got it right!