Fall came roaring in today with highs only in the 40s and sideways rain. I love it! I realize the actual change of seasons came over a week ago, but this is the first real autumn-feeling day we’ve had so far, and I’m happy as can be.
Appropriately, apples arrived at the farmers’ market last month, and I’ve been incorporating them into salads, sandwiches and soups ever since. This morning they made their way into my breakfast in the form of a hash. A good breakfast hash is true comfort food, and there’s no better time for comfort food than a blustery, rainy day made pretty by a wind-blown palette of gold, crimson, orange, brown and green outside the kitchen window.
Chinese five spice powder can be found at Asian foods stores, co-ops, well-stocked grocery stores and online. The actual number of spices it contains often is actually more than five (China Bowl Select, the brand I used, has six), and the spices can vary too, but typically contains star anise, cloves, cinnamon, and fennel, all great compliments to apples! I didn’t peel the apples and potatoes, but if your preference is to do so, go for it.
The optional apple cider vinaigrette (recipe below) is from the newest addition to my collection, Edible Twin Cities: The Cookbook. It can be made ahead of time, and is so versatile–great on both side and main-dish salads, drizzled in fall-themed soups, and on sandwiches. Adding another layer of flavor, it’s a nice touch, however, if you don’t have time, just use the yogurt as-is, and the hash will still be delicious. Topped with perfectly poached or fried eggs alongside a slice of toasted good quality bread and jam, it’ll warm your insides and start your day off right. Enjoy!
Five-Spiced Apple Potato Hash
1 large russet or 2 medium gold potatoes, cooked and cut into ½ inch chunks
1 medium sweet apple (honey crisp, gala, fuji, sweet 16), cored, seeded, and chopped
½ cup diced celery
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped fennel (reserve some fennel fronds for garnish)
¼ cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon apple cider vinaigrette (optional – recipe follows)
1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
¼ teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
A handful of chopped, toasted walnuts
Heat butter or olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add apple, celery, and onion and cook about three minutes. Stir in fennel, sprinkle with salt, and cook another minute or two. Toss in the potatoes, sprinkle with a bit more salt, a few grinds of pepper and the 5-spice powder. Cook until potatoes get a little browned.
Mix yogurt with apple cider vinaigrette (if using) and stir into potato mixture. Add the shredded cheddar and stir until cheese melts. Stir in the walnuts. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve topped with poached or fried eggs, fennel fronds and a side of toast for a hearty breakfast. Serves 2-4.
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
From Edible Twin Cities: The Cookbook
1 cup apple cider
1 honeycrisp apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
½ cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
1 tablespoon honey
¼ cup canola or grapeseed oil
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a small saucepan, bring cider to a boil and cook at a low boil until it’s reduced by half.
Place the apple in a food processor. With the machine running, drizzle in the vinegar, mustard, honey, and reduced cider; puree until smooth. With the machine running, add the oils in a steady stream and process until the mixture emulsifies. Season with salt and pepper to taste.