Tag Archives: potatoes

Corned Beef Hash Recipe, FTW!

Gentle Readers, one of the very best parts of corned beef is having leftovers. In fact, lean in close now, I actually prefer corned beef hash to the original corned beef. I know, I know, sandwiches are lovely and mustard is nice, but fried beef, onions, and potatoes? Winning.

Corned beef hash with eggs over medium and Irish soda bread.

Corned beef hash with eggs over medium and Irish soda bread.

For the record, this is as good as it looks, and was a huge hit with the whole crew.

Corned Beef Hash Recipe

1 Tablespoon of butter
3 Russet potatoes, peeled, diced, and boiled (I didn’t have cooked potatoes on hand, and if you don’t either, just boil them in water for 10-12 minutes–don’t salt it though), then drained and cooled
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 cups finely diced or cubed corned beef (not going to lie, I put the beef and the onion in the food processor for a few quick pulses, don’t judge)
milk, gravy, broth, etc.

1. Heat the butter in a cast iron skillet over a strong medium heat. Meanwhile, mix the potatoes, onion, and beef in a medium sized bowl. Add a liquid of some sort, just a bit, until the mixture holds together but isn’t soupy. (Don’t fret if it doesn’t form a patty, it is delicious no matter what.)

The corned beef mixture before the food processor.

The corned beef mixture before the food processor.

2. Put 3 or 4 generous mounds of corned beef mixture into the melted butter. Do not overcrowd the pan like I did. Cook for 10 minutes without messing with it, until it forms a nice crust.

Do not overcrowd the pan, it won't get crispy before you get hungry.

Do not overcrowd the pan, it won’t get crispy before you get hungry.

3. Now you can either flip it and repeat, or stick under the broiler (I chose this option because of the previous overcrowding issue).

Corned beef hash made healthy with spinach and ninjas.

Corned beef hash made healthy with spinach and ninjas.

4. When the corned beef hash reaches your desired amount of crispy, serve, preferably with runny eggs and hot sauce if you’re inviting me over.

That’s it. Very simple. Each time you make it, it will be different. That is part of the joy of cooking with leftovers. Are you a hash fan? What’s your method? Post a comment, send a tweet, or feel free to invite me over to dinner. 🙂

Email your leftovers, questions, and kitchen victories to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

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Coming up Friday, Life by a Kitchen Timer: A Discovery


Filed under Recipes

Weekly Menus: Week of 11/20/2011

Gentle Readers, this marks one of The Practical Cook’s favorite times of the year, the official kick-off for the season of eating, Thanksgiving. Beware the grocery stores too close to the actual day, as they will be overflowing with bright-eyed once-yearly cooks on a stampede for fresh sweet potatoes. Lists and plans are key for this time of year, to avoid last-minute trips, and to cook in waves so as not to be overwhelmed on the actual day.

If you need to stock up on baking supplies and seasonal items, the next couple of weeks are ideal times to catch the sales!

Here’s my plan, weekly menus for this week:

Weekly Menus: 11/20/2011

Weekly Menus: 11/20/2011

And the Four-Square grocery list:

Four-Square Shopping List: 11/20/2011

Four-Square Shopping List: 11/20/2011

Lastly, the translation into what we’ll be eating:

Sunday: Pasta and salad OR Veggie Burgers
Depends on whether it’s just us or if we have guests. Working on a two-fold research project, best commercial veggie burger and best homemade.

Monday: Indian Veggie Burgers on Naan
Serving this curried delight with raita and chutney. Perhaps some sweet potato fries with garam masala on the side.

Tuesday: Breakfast for Dinner
Eggs, grits, fruit, and crudite.

Wednesday: Soup and Sammies
Flavors TBD based on what is left in the house.

Thursday: Thanksgiving
Turkey, ham or beef, cranberry sauce, bread, twice-baked potatoes, greens, crudite, sweet potatoes, baked dressing, macaroni and cheese casserole, corn casserole, cherry pie, brownies, and pumpkin bars (to be created in the test kitchen soon). More may be added as the week progresses. We don’t play around at Thanksgiving.

Friday: Leftovers!
Please see above.

Saturday: Dine Out
I love Southern cooking for all its salt and pepper straightforwardness, but by Saturday, I’ll be craving something with zing from another cultural tradition. Think Chinese, Thai, or Korean.

What are you serving this Thanksgiving? Share your menu ideas in the comments section below! Or send me a tweet with #Thanksgivingmenu as the hashtag.

Send ideas, questions, and more to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Coming up next time, Twice-Baked Potatoes Recipe! The answer to the lumpy mashed potato.

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Filed under Kitchen Philosophy, Weekly Menus

Picky vs. Snobby: Where Do You Draw the Line?

Today’s topic comes from one of my most frequently asked questions: Do you like . . . ? This is often followed by “really?” Clearly, it’s time to throw open the doors of the Practical Cook confessional booth once more (this thing is more like a turnstile at this point). What follows is a list of things I will or won’t eat, with a follow-on discussion on whether that makes me picky or snobby.

Dear Practical Cook, do you like:

Gummy Things?
No, quite nearly a hell no. Exceptions include the sugared orange slices, which are a favorite childhood thing because my grandpa adored them, and buttered-popcorn-flavored Jelly Belly jellybeans, just because.

Corn Dogs
Yes, I like almost anything on a stick. In Texas, I once saw fried chicken on a stick, which seemed excessive, but everything is bigger in Texas. I Punt! with the veggie corn dogs for the kids, and they actually prefer those. To borrow a phrase from a gentle reader, they serve as mustard/ketchup vectors.

Tater Tots
Yes, even if they’re not fried in duck fat (thank you KokyuBBQ for that innovation). There’s a local place (Southern Rail for the Chapel Hillians) that serves some of the most crispedy fried tots ever, and they rock. I didn’t love these as a kid, actually, but I do like them now, especially deep-fried and with beer.

Frozen Pizza
I love a wood-fired pizza. I love pizza with truffle oil. I like pizza with BBQ on it. And I like Totino’s after I’ve been sick. Seriously, it’s hard to find a pizza I don’t like. Exception, and I will name names here, when I worked at IBM briefly, their cafeteria served inedible pizza. Shame on them. I really, truly, deeply love pizza.

Potato Chips
Rarely eat them. I don’t love potato chips. Snobbery? Perhaps. But I’m yet to find the chip that’s worth the caloric/cholesterol spend for me. I make my own sweet potato chip, and I prefer them.

Hot Dogs
Love them, but rarely eat them. These are special occasion food for me, like at a ball park or a cookout. And when I eat them, it’s all the way, steamed bun and nice and messy. My current love is the Trader Joe’s All-Beef varietal. Snobby, perhaps, but they are really tasty.

Cheese Fries
Yes indeedy. Again, this is late-night bar food. I like them crisp with lots of cheese for maximum cling.

So what’s your take? Am I particular, picky, or snobby? I would argue that I am, like most people, a product of my roots. Food carries memories, powerful ones, and I like plenty of what I was raised on. For the foodies who disdain, I’m sure there’s something crunchy or salty or in cellophane lurking in your closet.

What are your closet cravings? Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me. And all the gentle readers. Post a comment or Tweet away.

Send queries and food photos to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading the Practical Cook gospel. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Coming up next, When a casserole is really a love letter, the secret meaning of food.


Filed under Kitchen Philosophy, On the Table

One Ingredient, Three Ways: Rosemary Edition

When the yard gives you herbs and spices, take some scissors with you and harvest them. Several years ago, the Practical Cook took out some yard aggression on those standard “builders’ bushes” and replaced them with rosemary and lavender. It was a good decision. Now, not only is the end of the walk more attractive, it smells better, too. Bonus, rosemary is a versatile ingredient.

Rosemary Flourishing

Rosemary Flourishing

Let it be known that there’s a reason I’m not called the Practical Gardener. I do not have the gift or the patience. (Visit my friends over at You Should Grow That! for all things gardening.) However, even I am capable of growing and not killing rosemary. Give it a whirl.

Quick rosemary tutorial video:

Here are three ways to use rosemary as an ingredient:

1. Baked goods. Don’t go hog wild here, rosemary is strong stuff. But add a pinch or two of finely chopped rosemary to your favorite biscuit or cornbread recipe and make the everyday gourmet. Also great in scones to balance the sweetness (try it with orange-cranberry scones in particular).

Hello, Hello, This Is Rosemary

Hello, Hello, This Is Rosemary

2. Vegetables. Just last week, I made a whole meal around rosemary, from the Skillet Potatoes to the Spring Carrots. It doesn’t take a lot to add punch, and the flavor profile changes with the vegetable, so you don’t just feel like you’re gnawing on a shrub the whole meal.

Layer Potatoes and Seasonings

Layer Potatoes and Seasonings

Spring Carrots with Orange and Rosemary

Spring Carrots with Orange and Rosemary

3. Fish. Nothing is simpler or easier to clean up than fish en papillote (unless it’s fish in foil, as shown here). For this dish, I used a pound of cod, spring onions, the juice of 1/2 lemon, slices from the other half of the lemon, olive oil and a dab of butter, salt and pepper, baby spinach leaves, and two good-sized sprigs of rosemary. Bake in foil in a 400 degree oven, on a baking sheet for support, for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish. Keep an eye on it.

Preparing the Fish in Foil

Preparing the Fish in Foil

Cod in Foil with Lemon, Rosemary, and Spinach

Cod in Foil with Lemon, Rosemary, and Spinach

How do you like your rosemary? Leave a comment here, or Tweet away.

What’s in your garden? Send photos to practical cook at gmail dot com. Or post a comment here, or connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Like, like, like! Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Stay tuned for the Summer Picnic Platter.


Filed under One Ingredient Three Ways