Can we just have brunch every day and not dinner? ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

15 February 2008

Can we just have brunch every day and not dinner?

Ah, springtime in California, when a person's mind turns lightly to thoughts of copious, staggering brunch.

How can you tell if it's springtime in California, you ask?
1. It's February.
2. The jasmine is out.
3. The blinding, soul-killing sun is also out.

Cheerful things! Jasmine and lemons! Homefries!


purple potatoes/regular boilers
hot pepper
butter/olive oil
salt, pepper, paprika, mustard powder


Chop potatoes into little cubes, dump into a pot of boiling water, and boil. You want these cooked through before you attempt any sort of frying. I think I used four potatoes for this batch.

While potatoes are boiling, chop up maybe half an onion. Soften it slowly in a sauté pan with butter or olive oil or a mix. The mix is actually pretty good because the oil will keep the butter from burning, but you still get the conditioned morning breakfast butter taste in the end product.

Finely mince a hot pepper and add it to the onion. I had a green jalapeƱo instead of a red one for once. Those red ones aren't even really jalapeƱos. I have no idea what they're called, though. So. You can also do this with nearly any other pepper, including bell pepper, or no pepper at all.

You can also add minced garlic to the onion if you feel like it.

When the potatoes have been boiling for maybe fifteen minutes, drain them and add them to the softened onion business. Season with salt, pepper, paprika or cayenne, and a little mustard powder. Mix everything together, maybe slide a little more butter under everything, and turn up the heat.

Good homefries should have a crust. This is easiest to do in a nonstick or seasoned cast iron pan (not that I have one of those). This time I was a big genius and used a regular stainless steel pan, resulting in a lot of tasty crust stuck to the pan as opposed to my potatoes. They were still pretty good, but would have been much better with crust.

Anyway. Assuming you have a good pan, you can attain crust. Turn the heat up to medium-high. After a minute, you should hear the potatoes and onions sizzling happily. Give them maybe three or four minutes, then lift up a section with a spatula and check to see is the underside is browned. If it looks good to you, start flipping over spatulasful. Brown similarly on the other side, or on all sides of each tiny cube if you want to be that assiduous about perfect browning. I think it's perfectly fine if these turn into large cakey masses as opposed to individual cubes, but whatever.

While the last bits are browning, make toast. Cut up an avocado if you have/want one.

Now plate it all. You are ready.

Eating homefries: clearly a fork and a bunch of ketchup can be acceptable, but this time I wanted something different, especially since we weren't having any eggs on the side. So I spread a bunch of potatoes on a piece of toast and added avocado slices.

This was an excellent plan. I recommend it highly.

There, isn't everything better?

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