When I move away from places I’ve lived, one of the things I always miss the most is my favorite restaurants. When I moved away from the Bay Area earlier this year, I knew there were going to be countless places that Aimee and I were going to miss. One of those places is one of the first restaurants we ever ate at while living with Russ up in the hills above UC Berkeley: Rick and Ann’s.
Perched just below the majestic Claremont Hotel off of Ashby Ave., Rick and Ann’s is a Berkeley institution. Aimee and I would always really want to go there on weekend morning for breakfast, but were normally turned away by the typical hour waits and lines out the door. Here and there though we got lucky and got a spot.
Who doesn’t love hash? Chop a bunch of vegetables and meat, throw them into a pan, add a few eggs and presto, you got yourself an awesome breakfast (or dinner in this case). This ‘Yukon Gold Plate’ that I’ve tried to re-create here is a classic example of the combination of sweet and savory flavors. The apples and sweet potatoes married to the peppers, onions and fennel – combined with the poached egg yolk make this a truly luxurious breakfast.
At Rick and Ann’s, you’ll find this dish vegetarian, however I decided to add some sausage, but you can definitely omit that if you wish. I was also making this in the late fall/early winter months, so corn was completely out of the question. I instead added some mushrooms and fennel, but you can really go whatever direction you want with this. This dish makes a great breakfast, but also served us very well as dinner (who doesn’t love ‘breakfast for dinner’?).
Ingredients for the Hash:
First of all, prepare a pot of boiling water to blanch the potatoes in. Then go about chopping your vegetables. You can really make your veg as big or small as you want, but I like making them pretty small so that I can get as diverse a group as possible onto each fork full.
Over medium heat, add your butter and olive oil to a heavy bottomed skillet. Add in the onion and fennel and salt and cook slowly until they begin to caramelize – around 7-10 minutes (you can cook them while you prepare the rest of your vegetables). Once the pot of water is boiling, add both types of potato to the water and blanch until cook most of the way, but not completely (they will finish cooking in the pan with the rest of the ingredients).
Once the potatoes are done, drain them and then fill up the pot again with water an a good splash of white vinegar to poach the eggs in. You want to be sure that you’re using a heavy pot (dutch ovens are perfect) and only fill up the pot with about 3″ of water. Bring this pot of liquid to a boil and then turn the heat to the lowest setting on your stove.
Next, add the garlic, peppers, mushrooms, thyme and sage and a little more salt to the pan with the onions and fennel and continue to cook, mixing the ingredients together. Make a empty circle in the pan and put in the sausage (if using) and break it apart with your wooden spoon. Once the sausage is cooked, add in the apple and cook for another 2-3 minutes and then add the potatoes back to the party.
At this point, all of the ingredients should be in the pan cooking together. You want to mix them well and then let them sit over the heat for a few minutes to give them a little color. Add some pepper and adjust the salt if you need to here as well.
To poach the eggs, crack each individual egg one by one into a small bowl and gently plop it into the water/vinegar mixture you heated before. The egg should stay together and begin to poach. If it’s not poaching, you can increase the heat again. You want the water to be very hot, but not at a rolling boil. Once the egg is done (it will become fairly white but the yolk will still be runny) remove it very gently with a slotted spoon being careful not to break the yolks. Repeat until you have enough eggs to serve your party.
Plate 2 eggs on top of a pile of the hash, salt the eggs and top with you diced scallions. Serve with toast too if you want.
Here are some other awesome looking hash recipes you should try!
What We’re Eating: Sweet & Purple Peruvian Potato Hash (Beautiful!)
Eating Out Loud: Quick & Simple Sweet Potato Hash
Suite 101: Sweet Potato Hash with Fennel Salmon
Simply Recipes: Ham and Potato Hash
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