sweet potato hash

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While I can be, shall we say, particular about preparation, I think keeping an open mind is so important when it comes to both ingredients and certain dishes.

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For example, stuffing. There’s nothing unpleasant about bread, seasonings, aromatics, and broth baked until the flavors are blended and the top is crispy. When people say they don’t like stuffing, I really think they just didn’t like the stuffing they had when they were young. They just need to try a different recipe (add bacon!) to enjoy it more.

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As far as ingredients that often inspire pickiness, sweet potatoes have a bad name. For a lot of people, one of the only ways they’ve seen sweet potatoes prepared is in that sugary, marshmallow-topped weirdness at Thanksgiving. Hey! Let’s take something already sweet, cook it in sugar, top it with more sugar, and serve it with dinner! Blech.

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Because I don’t like those sweet potatoes and wasn’t exposed to them prepared other ways, I always assumed I didn’t like sweet potatoes at all. But now I know better! I like them quite a bit in more savory preparations.

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Take this dish. Salty bacon, flavorful slightly caramelized vegetables, and browned sweet potatoes. What is there not to like, especially when the whole thing is topped with an egg? It goes to prove that I could miss out on some great meals if I don’t remember that just because I don’t like an ingredient prepared one way doesn’t mean I won’t like it in other dishes.

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One year ago: Peter Reinhart’s Pizza Dough

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Sweet-Potato Hash with Bacon (adapted from epicurious/Gourmet)

Serves 4

These are the same ingredients in the same proportions as the original recipe, but I’ve tweaked the preparation a bit because a number of reviewers complained that the original was too greasy. Adding eggs on top is also my addition, but Dave and I tried it with and without the eggs, and while it was good without, it was even better with.

½ pound sliced bacon, cut into ¼-inch strips
2 medium onions, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
salt and pepper
2 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
4 eggs (optional)

1. Cook the bacon in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until it renders some fat and begins to brown. Drain off all of the fat except for a thin coating on the pan, then add the onions, red pepper, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, 7-8 minutes.

2. Stir in the potatoes and ½ teaspoon salt. Cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender and starting to brown, 10 to 14 minutes. Stir in the thyme and season to taste.

3. If you’re adding the eggs, create four indentions in the hash and break an egg into each. Season the eggs and cover the pan. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook without removing the lid for at least 6 minutes, when you can start testing for doneness. I like my eggs without any runniness at all in the white but with gooey yolks, and it takes around 8 minutes.

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  1. Yum this looks so good! I have not eaten sweet potatoes for breakfast before, great idea to make a hash!

  2. Mmmm I bet those sweet potatoes add a lot of rich flavor. This looks perfect for dinner!

  3. Sharlotte says:

    Your hash is making me incredibly hungry! I made a butternut, bacon and apple hash last night that originally called for sweet potato. I LOVE sweet potatoes, but I had butternut, which was a wonderful substitute. I recommend the recipe I tried from Anne Burrell of the Food Network: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/anne-burrell/sweet-potato-bacon-and-apple-hash-recipe/index.html

  4. I have loved sweet potatoes in every form since I was a kid, but I haven’t tried as many savory preparations as I would like. This version looks delicious! I do love sweet potato casserole, although no self-respecting southerner puts marshmallows on top 🙂

  5. Now this is my kind of breakfast – YUM! We love sweet potatoes and always have them around, I’ll have to make this!

  6. I’m so glad I’ve never experienced the whole super sweet-sweet potato side dish thing. Sweet potatoes were something I discovered in my adult life and we only ever eat them savory. My hubby loves them sliced into wedges & roasted with oil & salt. I like them in lieu of normal potatoes for mashed potatoes. Yummy!

  7. We love sweet potatoes but I would never think to make this. Looks great! I might have to try this Sunday.

  8. Ooo! This looks SO good. I have also recently come to realize I don’t hate sweet potatoes. and have been on the hunt for recipes (I don’t like marshmallow-covered orange gook on my dinner plate either and that’s the only way I’d tried them!) This looks like a keeper. Great idea adding eggs! Thanks for sharing. Yum!

  9. You are spot-on about the assumption that sweet potatoes are gross based on icky Thanksgiving casseroles. I thought I hated sweet potatoes until last year! Now I love them — especially as fries sprinkled with chili powder and cumin. Yum.

    Breakfast hash is one of my husband’s and my favorite choices. If I used sweet potatoes I have to mix it half-and-half with regular potatoes to get him to eat it. Yours looks fantastic and may inspire our next “fancy breakfast.”

  10. Top everything with a fried egg and put bacon in it, and I’m sold. I love sweet potatoes, but then again, I never had that horrid sweet potato with marshmallows monstrosity during the holidays.

  11. Dang that looks delicious as I sit here on a hungry Saturday morning!

  12. I totally agree with the sweet sweet potatoes dish…okay, if you like it, for a special occasion, fine. But why don’t we have more savory recipes out there?