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Potato Hash Hashcapades Cookbook

How to Build Your PDX Breakfast Cred

Let’s say you were on a mission to uncover the best places in Portland for breakfast. Would you a) Google it; b) head to The Pearl; or c) hire a brunch sherpa? While Google may result in an array of choices and The Pearl may suffice, the correct answer is C. Why? Because hiring a brunch sherpa […]
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Bacon-Wrapped Ham Loaf Hash with Horseradish Sauce Recipe

I have fond memories of our family’s dear friend, Helen Samp, and her amazing ham loaf. On holidays and special occasions, our family gathered around to devour her amazing rolls and taste-defying ham loaf. So, when a co-worker mentioned her ham loaf recipe, I clearly had a line of site to my next hashcapade.

Starting out, I didn’t realize that I would needa  special house and kitchen in which to make this hash, but I did – a bacon-log cabin! If that’s the protype for a bacon log cabin, then here’s my version of a bacon hangar for Porco Rosso. Yes, this is the pre and post view of the bacon-wrapped ham loaf, pork-vana, with ham, pork and bacon – oink!

Ham loaf with glaze and bacon wrapping before cooking.

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Pulled Pork Hash at Wild Abandon in Portland

How could your curiosity not get the best of you – Wild Abandon? Hashcapade? I will say it involved naked people and famous people, but not naked famous people! Wild Abandon on SE Belmont is actually the setting for this morning’s hashcapade with my son below, flanked on either side by arborvitae sentinels. Even from the outside, you can tell this is an eclectic, funky place. I fully expected to see Rick James inside…

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Sous Vide Short Rib Hash with Chipotle Sauce

Not content to merely experience hashcapades at Portland area restaurants, I thought I would share my potato hash escapades at Chez Clark – that’s right, my own personal Kitchen Stadium sans Alton Brown.

To set the stage, I need to explain the genesis of this dish: MIX Magazine’s March 2010 article, “Sous vide smack-down.” In the article, Hank Sawtelle and Louisa Newman have a Shakespeare moment…To sous vide or not to sous vide, that is the question; whether ’tis nobler in the mind of chefs to cook in plastic, or to take up culinary arms & old-fashioned pots; and by opposing, end sous vide. Needless to say, I took Hank’s side and created it with my trusty SousVide Supreme machine.

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Hashcapade at Fuller’s Coffee Shop

What time is it? Time for a hashcapade, of course. It’s also time to impart some wisdom on potato hash outings, which is: have a back-up plan. I had originally planned on Screen Door with the girls, but by the time Noon rolled around and the girls still asleep (teen comas), off I went. So, 20 minutes later, there is a huge line at Screen Door, which sent me into a panic – where to go next? Fortunately, I have a handy-dandy hash list on Google Docs (shameless product placement) and chose Fuller’s Coffee Shop on 9th and Davis. Conveniently located on the way home, I had a hunch that the efficient 50s style urban diner would be just the ticket for a quick, old-school meal. 

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Hash Trivia

Oldest Hash Recipe: A college student in Portugal discovered a recipe dating back to the 15th century for a  Picadinho de Carne de Vaca or Beef Hash. Can you imagine Portuguese ships sailing to Brazil laden with Picadinho? Somehow, I know it’s related to Carnival, which is why Carne is in the name, obviously!
Regional Differences in the US: Southeast tends to like crab, Southwest tends to like rice, everywhere else seems to favor potatoes and just about any meat. Maine is unique in that it likes lobster and they pronounce it funny, like a cross between Bostonians pronouncing “Hah-vahd” and Simon Cowell saying “Dreadful”. See what I mean?

Hash Around the World: In Sweden, hash is called Pytt I Panna and consists of potatoes, bacon or pork or ham, and onion and is served with eggs and pickled beets . In Latin America, it’s called Picadillo and contains rice, beef, peppers and is served with eggs or tortillas. In North America and the British Isles – Hash is usually corned beef, potatoes and onion, with regional difference in the US noted above. It should be intuitively obvious the ubiquity of hash means it ascendency to prominence in your cooking repertoire is pre-ordained and is truly a result of globalization that started just after the last dinosaurs disappeared, but before gun powder was invented!

Amount of Corned Beef Hash Produced By Hormel per Year: 5 bazillion cans, which, if stretched end to end, would circle the earth enough times to consititute a red hash bracelet visible from that former planet known as Pluto.

Google Results with “Hash” in the Results:57,300,000 (as of January, 2011). Interestingly enough, hash as used in security yields ~53,100,000 hits, hash food yields ~8,360,000 and hash drug yields ~3,160,000 and hash running yields ~15,700,000. And to tweeps using hashtag(s), ~1,870,000.  I’m from Oregon, so here’s a shout out to the Oregon Hash House Harriers! And to security geeks, eat more hash! Go on, try it yourself!

Hashing the Sport: Sort of a secret society like The Free Masons meets fraternity/sorority row for runners, hashers describe themselves as drinkers with a running problem. Groups throughout the US set up hashes where “rabbits” hide booze along a running path and “chasers” find them, drink them and engage in generally unruly and bawdy behavior. Hashers like hash, beer and running. Oh, and they have itneresting nicknames derived from their bawdy behavior or quintessential character traits.

Hashing in Security: Security technology includes lots of important sounding words like encryption, authentication, identification, repudiation, nonces, etc. It turns out that hashing in security parlance refers to a one-way scrambling function (hash) that renders whatever it transforms – data, passwords or keys – into meaningless garble that cannot be figured out by reverse engineering or other mathematical contrivances.This does not mean that the hash you make is meaningless garble nor it is secure, but it is truly delicious and easy to make, naturally!

Hash Tools: Sharp knives and an innate ability to tell the difference between a 1/4 inch dice and 1/2 inch cubes, duh! If in doubt, have a caliper, ruler or micrometer handy! A particularly stellar mandoline with the ability to dice is the crème de la crème – made by de Buyer.  

Hash Tags: A recent convert to twitter, hash tags are defined by twitter as, “The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.” Please use the #hashcapade hashtag whenever you tweet about hash!

Hash Key: If you’re like I am, the sound of a female operator with a British accent suggesting that you “please press the hash or square key” is fabulous. It makes me secretly yearn to put that voice on my iPod or wistfully search on facebook for Bridget Hashkey, at least I think that’s her name.

Happy Haspcapades,
Clark

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