Tuesday, June 19, 2007

local loca

This one is crazy local. Sourced primarily (by weight, somewhere past 90%) from our yard. It made me so very happy. AND, this is one of our family favorites, so I just had to share. I'll try and keep it brief after that long-ass, last post. In fact, maybe I should work a little conservation and sustainability into my own words. Anyway, this one is simple, rooty, roasted, tossed and salted. Sounds good eh? I'll even get to a recipe in a bit.

We had beets, green onions, garlic, and carrots this year that were intentional, and a few potatoes that came up in last year's compost pile area of the garden. As we were ripping out the last few beets this year, the two potato tops started dying and I got impatient. I yanked 'em and carried these inside, seeing a small pile of carrots on the counter from earlier in the day. It hit me. Combined with my local sourced salt and our herbs around the house, we have enough components of our favorite recent veggie hash to make one nearly all from our garden. I jumped for joy - three times, remembering that this would be the one and only time this would happen this year for this dish; it wouldn't be more than two cups worth; we would have to use spanish olive oil for the toss. Still. Almost super local. Local loca that is.

Last week, we re-created this dish after visiting the farmers' market. This time, we had much fatter and abundant veggies than our home growns, from some of my favorite folks there. Between this, having it for dinner and having ample leftovers for making it into hash for breakfast, I had to write this one down to document somewhere in my crazy life with kids that you actually can feed them delicious stuff that doesn't take forever to make. Well, forever for me that is, since I enjoy making things that take all day.

I gotta say, this was my favorite version to date, especially fried again the next day in a little bacon grease, served beside our staples of english muffins and fluffy eggs. At times like this, I revel in being a short order chef for my family and serving them such yummy grub.

For those still interested, a dish that feeds alot, doesn't take too long to prep, and requires strirring three times while baking for an hour. Here goes. An attempt at putting this down in recipe form.

Early June Local Hash

10-12 small potatoes (Yellow Finn or Yukon Gold work nice)
I bunch beets (3 nice beets)
1 small bunch carrots (1/2 pound)
1 large yellow onion
1 small red onion
6 cloves garlic
1 bell pepper
10 brown mushrooms
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon aged bay salt
1 small bunch parsley (1/4 cup)
A few sprigs of thyme (1 teaspoon)
2 twigs of oregano (1 teaspoon)
1 lemon

Cut potatoes into finger tip sized pieces. Peel and dice beets and carrots, especially if you have little people in the house who don't like things looking fuzzy or crinkled. Chop onions and garlic while no one is paying attention. Hunk up the bell pepper into small bite sizes depending on the aperture of the mouths in your house. Trim mushrooms to whatever size will trick your family into thinking they aren't in the dish. If you have herbs around the house, go out with your kid and encourage them to pick whatever they want for the dish. When you get inside, take out the ingredients harvested that you actually need and put the rest out of sight to dry for the future. Mince the herbs. Combine all the ingredients into a large bowl and douse with at least half of the oil. Sprinkle some salt over the top and toss together. Squeeze the lemon over this and hand the rest to your kid to taste and walk around the house with while making puckery faces. Place the whole mess into a large roasting pan and put into a pre-heated 450 degree onion. Oven. I don't have an editor and you know what I mean. Every 15 or 20 minutes open the oven and give it a stir. When the onions are getting carmelized, and the beets have stained absolutely everything, take it out of the oven and serve. The following morning, pour yourself a big cup o'joe and heat a pan with some piggy fat drippings and plop some on. Do it on a searing hot pan and it will get some blackened crispy bits that approximate burnt bacon bits. Serve it with eggs, toast, and lots of love. Enjoy seconds with more toast while dreaming of the dish washing fairie.


K & S said...

mmm, this sounds delicious! plus it is local :)

cookiecrumb said...

You just gave me a whole new way to think about vegetables. Hash!

Chilebrown said...

Everything came together when you used the bacon grease. I have been making something similar for years. I use leftover Corned Beef and call it Red Flannel Hash.
A friend brought me some "Dakota Maid" bread flour from North Dakota. It is some heavy stuff. I mixed it with some whole wheat flour(Full Belly) and made some jalapeno sourdough cheese bread. Yum.
I am going to Oregon this summer. You want me to bring you back some flour from "Bobs Red Mill" http://www.bobsredmill.com/
Peace, Paul

Monkey Wrangler said...

K&S: Indeed! Thanks!

Cookie: Hash is a great category for the leftovers of the fridge too. But having a specific combo of great flavors is worth capturing. For me, it was of course the freshness that tasted so damn good, but the bell pepper/mushroom combo seems to be what really made it all come together and hit the whole mouth. Can't wait to see what you toss together.

Chile: So does that make that an entirely whole wheat loaf? Or do you mean the Dakota is "heavy" because of how it tastes? Anyway, sounds killer, and sure, I'll talk to you more about the trip to Ory-gun.

Tommy said...

yum yum yummy yummy yum! can I have your english muffin recipe... or is it top secret... saw Alton Brown make 'em and thought of you bartering them at the market!! we want more pics of the babe...

Tommy said...

ok, my hubby was on the 'puter and i didn't realize i was bloggin under his name!! it was me, stacie

Monkey Wrangler said...

Stacie: First of all - HELLO TOMMY, what's up?

No, really, no secret here. My sis forwarded the recipe for Sourdough english muffins from what was then the bakingsheet blog, now baking bites. Anyway, here is the link for the recipe that I more or less use, only I double the starter, and use milk in place of water. Both of which equal hella more flavor.

Callipygia said...

I'd be jumping up and down too if I gathered up these goodies in my backyard. I'm a sucker for these red-flannel hashes. I love to stick a roasted poblano in it, then slide a runny egg on top! Great way of getting the bigger monkey involved too.

Stacie said...

thanks for the linkage! I am at war with gmail!!! the hub and a coworker use gmail, and when they are signed in, I end up bloggin under them... google trying to own the cyber world! can't wait to try the muffins!!!

Leena said...

This looks soooo good...and you said the magic words--bacon fat. My favorite ingredient in any vegetarian dish! I recently had a kick ass veggie hash at a local restaurant, and I think it had some beet greens and a little vinegar (maybe apple cider or balsamic, no clue!) that worked really well with the sweet veggies and the rich, salty sunnyside up egg. Could be a fun experiment for next time.
Question for you: as an experienced father, is it hard to get your kids to eat healthy?

Monkey Wrangler said...

I worked some beet grrens into an earlier version of this hash a few months ago. For me it was the best use of them so far, as I'm not a big fan of them, but hate to see them go to waste.

I'm not sure about the experienced part (thank you though!) but I find that the easiest way to get my kid to eat healthy is by making almost everything we eat from scratch and limiting her control of her food. No, maybe I should put it as building some empowerment and choice into her diet but with good options, albeit limited. Like, most of the year we leave fresh fruit on the counter for her to self administer (eating it at the table that is). Cherries, blueberries, pretty much any berry thing disappears rapidly. If she is having one of those days of being particularly finnicky about food, fresh or even dried fruit, maybe some frozen peas and she seems satisfied. Also, no extra "different dinner" for kids as a general rule in our house. She doesn't have to eat everything on her plate, but that's all there is for dinner. On dessert nights, it is fresh and homemeade generally. Let me tell you, it is SOOOO satisfying to have witnessed her eating some hydrogenated cookie from Costco or other establishment and having her face contort a bit and saying "daddy, I want one of our cookies at home."

Damn, did I just write all that?
Hope it helps answer the question.