Photo by Kat Kinsman

Learn from my failings

Kat Kinsman
August 20, 2018

Look, I screwed up the sweet potato hash. It still tasted great, but it was much more of a chunky mash than something that most people would recognize as a hash. Like, if you were served it in a bougie restaurant you might be all, hey, I actually ordered the sweet potato hash, not whatever this is. But I own my failure and will move on from it, but not before I tell you what happened so you may learn and grow along with me.

First of all, I peeled, cubed, and boiled the sweet potatoes like a dumbass. The cubing was fine, that’s a central tenet of hash. But why did I peel them? No idea! Sweet potato skin tastes great and has a crap-ton of fiber. Plus it may have helped keep everything more structurally sound instead of globbing all to hell. The boiling was fine, I guess, and I did put salt in the water for flavor because I am not a monster, but I let them go a little bit past just fork tender, and then I left them in the hot water because I got distracted by Instagram rather than looking for a colander. Steaming would have worked well, and roasting would have added extra flavor as preserved their shape a little better because of the cooked edges. Curses!

The thing I did have in my favor is that even though I was lollygagging over Instagram, I took the time to properly caramelize some sweet candy onions. I let those go long and low in a skillet with some olive oil, salt, pepper, dried oregano, and thyme. Full disclosure, the oregano was an accident, because I was distracted while I reached for the pepper and dumped that in instead. It was probably the best thing that happened to the hash, along with those onions that I cooked down to sloppy brown with crisp edges. So I had that going for me.

But then I added fresh tomatoes and some jarred pimentos because that’s what I had, and that’s what hash is for. You can stick just about anything short of doll head in hash and it still counts as hash, but I didn’t drain either of those thoroughly enough. I pressed down on them in the colander, which I did eventually find, but should have patted them dry, as I should have the sweet potatoes.

So like a boob, I dumped all of these wet vegetables in the skillet and then, to compound things, I stirred, rather than letting everything sit there and get all crisp. Rather, to make up for my lack of attentiveness earlier, I agitated the heck out of it all to be all look at meeeee, I am cooking. The sweet potatoes, of course, quite swiftly turned to mush, and then there we were. I tried to craft a sort of sweet potato fritter from there, but the vegetables and I knew I was just lying to everyone.

So I served it. It was actually hella delicious on account of the onions, thyme, and pimentos which are apparently boon companions to sweet potatoes, but not the hash I’d hyped to myself or my husband—hashtag #hashfail. I’d say something now about how I am glad to have hashed all this out with you, but I believe we can all agree that I’ve caused enough self humiliation for today.

 

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