Potato & Red Pepper Hash

Yesterday was my first day.  First day stepping foot inside of a restaurant to see about a job in the kitchen.  The first day stepping foot on campus for culinary school classes.  It was the first day that I've been completely confident doing what I'm doing.  And it was great.  It was a great feeling to be pleasantly nervous. 

I was a bundle of nerves stepping foot into Jack Fry's.  It was thanks to a good friend of ours, Terry, that I even got this opportunity.  While our meeting was a quick one, I appreciated the fact that the chef took time out of his busy day to meet with me and give me this chance.  I have to call back Friday to see when he can fit me in, but it would be at least a 12-week internship-type deal.  I'm truly grateful for the chance to gain some restaurant experience. 

Walking into the classroom for the first time, was much of the same.  A bundle of nervousness.  It was a Basic Nutrition class, so there were a mixture of upper-level students.  And turns out, I was the only first quarter culinary student in there.  The only person not wearing a uniform.  So I kind of felt a little out of place - but after Saturday (my culinary lab), I'll have my uniform, and I won't feel like such an outcast.  Besides my initial fear, the nutrition class is pretty much a science class, so I felt comfortable with most of the material, being a former Biology major.  There's some fun projects coming up - including a recipe book (which I'm most excited about), so I'm excited to learn.  Friday and Saturday are the classes I'm most looking forward to though - Basic Culinary Theory and the Lab to go with it.  So I'll be sure to do a full report next week on those two!

Anyway, you came here for the food right?  We've been eating a lot of breakfast-for-dinner type meals lately.  I don't know why, but I don't see any complaints from Andy - seeing as he'll usually have two platefuls when I decide to do this! 

I love making hashes or potato-type dishes for breakfast.  They're easy, filling, and so versatile.  I had some sweet peppers from our CSA that needed to be used up, and so I thought this was a perfect fit!

Adapted from Seasaltwithfood's Recipe 

about 5 Idaho potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 sweet red pepper, seeded and chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add potatoes and cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until almost fork tender.  You want them to disintegrate when you touch them!  Drain.

Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat until hot.  Add the onion and peppers. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until starting to soften. Add garlic and stir for another minute or so, until fragrant.  Transfer the onion mixture to small bowl and set aside.

Add butter to the skilled with the remaining oil and heat over medium-high heat until butter foams. Add potatoes and make sure they are in an even layer on the skillet.  Cook without stirring until potatoes are golden brown on bottom, about 4 to 5 minutes.  Carefully turn the potatoes and repeat until browning until all sides are golden brown and crisp.

Stir in the onion-pepper mixture and carefully toss until all is combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with some sausage and eggs for a complete breakfast!