Monday, January 9, 2012
brussels sprouts and sweet potato hash with smoked paprika and poached egg
Ah, the new year, inspiring all those resolutions to eat better, be healthier, make up for the excesses of the holidays.
The only trouble is, it's still the middle of winter. This is not the time to go about trying to exist on salads and consomme. We need something warming, something stick-to-the-proverbial-ribs.
Here is a recipe I came up with recently that I think strikes a nice balance: full of crucifers and beta-carotene, a little olive oil, a good egg or two for comfort. And you can't go wrong with smoked paprika. You really can't.
Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Hash with Smoked Paprika and Poached Egg
12 oz. Brussels sprouts (or half of a big stalk)
1 large sweet potato
2 large cloves garlic
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (or to taste)
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp white vinegar
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Wash the Brussels sprouts and trim off the outer leaves and the base of the stem. (Take care not to trim too much in order to minimize the number of loose leaves that will get browned and crispy in the oven. On the other hand, those browned and crispy leaves aren't really so bad, in the event that they do occur.) Cut the sprouts in quarters lengthwise.
Peel the sweet potato and cut it into half-inch cubes. Place the sweet potato and Brussels sprouts together in a large bowl. Peel the garlic and crush it through a garlic press into the bowl. Add a couple of pinches of sea salt, the smoked paprika, and some olive oil--about a tablespoon or so. Toss all the ingredients together so that the vegetables are coated with olive oil and the spices.
Place the vegetables on 2 baking sheets and bake for 25-30 minutes, switching the position the sheets halfway through, until the vegetables are tender.
Meanwhile, crack each egg into a small bowl. Fill a large, shallow skillet almost full of water. Add 1/2 tsp salt and the white vinegar (the latter lowers the pH of the water and helps the egg whites hold together a little better). Cover the skillet and turn the heat on high to bring the water to a boil. You'll want to start cooking the eggs just as the vegetables are coming out of the oven.
When the water for the eggs starts boiling, quickly slip the eggs from the bowls into the boiling water, immediately cover the pan, and remove from the heat. The residual heat from the water will cook the eggs.
While the eggs cook, divide the vegetables between two plates. After 3 minutes, use a slotted spoon to remove each egg from the water, let it drip-drain for a moment or two, and place it on top of the vegetables. Serve with a shaving of Parmesan cheese and another sprinkle of smoked paprika, if you like.
Serves 2. Feel free to make more if you are feeding more people, but the vegetables are really best the same day they are made.