At this point in my underpaid but very fulfilling career as a home cook, I don’t need a lot of external validation to feel like I’m making good food. That’s not because I think I’m the best at anything; for all of my culinary abilities, I still can’t transfer a sunny-side up to a plate with its yolk intact (yup) and my history with active dry yeast is a contentious one.
I don’t need a lot of validation because the approval of my family and friends has been all of the approval I’ve needed. They are who I most often cook for, and they are like extensions of me. When they love what I cook, I love what I cook. The first dinner I ever made by myself – a baked macaroni and cheese, circa 2006 – is one that my mom still requests to this day. I’ve turned my brother the meat lover into an appreciator of whole wheat baked goods and spiralized vegetables. If I don’t beat Brian to the leftovers, they will often disappear before I get to them. And I have been making my version of buffalo chicken dip since I tested it on our friends Mike and Kim four years ago, and they still ask me about it. That approval – the approval of the people who are always in my life – gives me plenty of confidence to continue my messy kitchen experiments (with special thanks to Brian, who always cleans up after me).
That being said, it is awesome and inspiring to please or impress people I don’t usually cook for. And it’s especially awesome when those people are producers on a nationally broadcasted television show.
This week, my recipe for Baked Eggs in a Hash of Sweets and Sprouts was featured on ABC’s The Chew. What began as a happy experiment on an ordinary Friday night ended up on my television screen as well as in Michael Symon’s mouth. The recipe is now also part of The Chew’s online recipe collection, which you can view here. Pretty awesome.
I am especially proud of this recipe because it is a perfect representation of what I love to make – healthy, comforting, colorful food – and how I love to cook – curiously, joyfully, and often with cast iron. It is also incredibly visually appealing and incredibly easy to cook.
Here is the recipe, just as it appears on The Chew’s website! I’ve added some step-by-step photos and a few extra tips that aren’t included over there.
Brian and I loved this dish, and that was validation enough for me. But I am pretty jazzed that Michael Symon enjoyed it too.
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup bacon, chopped (~4 pieces; thick-cut is best)
1 small onion, finely chopped
10 ounces Brussels sprouts, quartered
1 large sweet potato, peeled and grated
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Hot sauce (to taste)
1/ Preheat the oven to 375° F. In a 12 inch cast iron skillet, add olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add bacon and onions and cook until onions soften and bacon begins to curl (about 5 minutes).
A 12 inch skillet allows plenty of room for your eggs to cook separately without running into one another. However, you could easily make this in a smaller skillet with no issue.
2/ Add the Brussels sprouts and season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until Brussels sprouts are softened but still bright green. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the shredded sweet potato. Stir to combine and cook until the sweet potato is warmed through.
You may notice that the sprouts will break apart and “shred” somewhat as you toss them with a wooden spoon or spatula. That’s perfect.
The starchy, shredded sweet potato is the magic glue here. It’s what turns an ordinary (but delicious) sauté of sprouts and bacon into a cohesive hash.
3/ Using the back of a wooden spoon, form six indents in the mixture. Crack an egg into each indent and season them with salt and pepper. Once they begin to set, transfer the skillet to the oven to finish cooking.
This will take about 6-7 minutes if you like a runnier yolk. Bake longer if you like your eggs well done.
Alternatively, you can use your broiler to cook the eggs. This is especially helpful if you’ve got an older or slower oven; sometimes, after 6-7 minutes, the eggs will still not be cooked through. Using the broiler is much quicker – perfectly cooked, oozy baked eggs take only about 2-4 minutes – and it also makes the top layer of hash delightfully hot and crispy. The added texture is extra special.
With six eggs, this makes a great breakfast for 2-3 people or a filling dinner for 2. Here I was able to fit 9 eggs into the skillet, which made a perfect amount for 3 people.
This is perfect with a generous dash of hot sauce on top. My favorite one for eggs is habañero Tabasco. Speecy spicy.
Maybe this was the boost I needed to finally have another tussle with a packet of yeast and a bread recipe…
If you made this recipe, put your own twist on it, or have a question, leave a comment here or tag me on Instagram or Twitter! I would love to see your beautiful baked hash.