I prefer the American Diner classic Corned Beef Hash while the version in a can is simply a waste of money. The canned version is too salty with a overly mushy texture. With a little work any one can make this great tasting dish. First we need some great corned beef which we have three choices - make your own, cook a packaged corn beef or buy your favorite sandwich version and have the store slice it thick. If you have the time by all means do your own but if time is of the essence go to the deli counter and get a thick slice. The happy medium is buy a whole corned beef and braise it to make it falling apart tender, We could then do a quick deep fry similar to great carnitas to crisp up the meat. While we have the hot oil we could also deep fry the potatoes to make them crispy. Then we have crunchy bits surrounded by a soft hash, the best of both worlds. What ever you do make it your own.
1 1/2 pounds corned beef
1 1/2 medium onions
2 russet potatoes
1/2 sweet red pepper (optional)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
fresh parsley for garnish
4 oz. butter
3-6 Tbsp. oil
salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the corned beef and dice into 1/2 inch cubes. Dice the onion and pepper to the same size, Peel the potato and dice into 1/2 inch cubes and soak in cold water. Take 1/3 each of the corned beef, onion and potatoes and finely chop in a food processor until it is ground.
If you are using a braised corned beef that is very tender you may want to fry it first to crisp it. In a medium skillet melt one half of the butter and add the remaining corned beef, onions and peppers. Season with salt (remember the corned beef will be salty so go easy on the salt) and saute until the onions start to soften then add the garlic and onion powder and the thyme. Continue to cook to combine and reserve. You can drain and dry the potatoes then you can either deep fry or pan fry in the skillet until browned then reserve.
With the remaining oil and butter cook the ground mixture in a skillet until the potatoes are cooked then add the rest of the corned beef mixture and combine. Mix in the potatoes and press down and brown on both sides. I like to shape the hash in a egg mold and serve topped with a poached egg and fresh parsley.
One of my passions is to develop savory muffins; first was my version of a Stuffin Muffin based on traditional Thanksgiving stuffing. I have long wanted to come up with a recipe based on the classic Chicken Pot Pie, the perennial American comfort food. I have adjusted the recipe to make a moist savory muffin with just a touch of sweetness. If you desire you can sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese to make a crunchy top.
3 tbsp. butter
1 1/2 large sweet onions
4 or 5 stalks celery including leaves
6 oz. shelled peas
3 or 4 large precooked chicken breasts
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. thyme leaves
Salt and pepper for seasoning
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3-5 tbsp. sugar
2 Large Eggs
8 fluid oz. good chicken broth
½ cup milk
chicken gravy for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400° F.
Dice the onion, celery, carrots and the chicken breasts. Heat a skillet on medium heat and add butter. Sauté the onion, celery and carrot in the butter seasoning with salt until the onion is translucent. Add the poultry seasoning, thyme and pepper and sauté for two minutes more. Taste and correct the seasoning, take off the heat and allow to cool until warm. Blanch the peas in boiling water until bright green, the shock in ice water to cool. Combine the chicken and veggies.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in to a large bowl. Beat the eggs, sugar and the milk in another bowl and gently mix into the dry ingredients. Mix in the chicken stock making sure not to over-work the mixture. Mix in the chicken, onion, carrot, celery and pea mixture.
Grease some muffin tins and fill with the mixture to the top. Bake in a 400° F oven until done (about 20 minutes) or until the tops are brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Serve hot with optional chicken gravy or butter. Makes 10 large or 24 small muffins.
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How does a good chef think? What is the creative process a
chef uses to come up with new and exciting dishes? What do I need to know to enable that creative process? These are the questions I want to explore in this series of articles. As a chef and an avid cookbook collector I am drawn towards
ideas and techniques of cooking rather than just a collection of recipes. I believe to grow as a chef, I need to continually learn and hone new techniques along with perfecting each technique I use every day. Whenever I go to a restaurant, whether fine dining, neighborhood pub, avant garde, or even fast food, I continually ask myself how can I do this better, what works and more important, what doesn’t? Feel free to send me comments, ask questions. Together, we can explore and make creative cuisine.
Spending almost thirty years in the computing field, I was able to travel experiencing a wide variety of tremendous cuisine. First I became a foodie, and when the opportunity arose, I was able to attend culinary school following my passion. I work as a part-time private chef and volunteer time at the community café in North Bend Oregon providing affordable meals in a restaurant setting to my community.