The fab four

Sick of oatmeal? Four Pepper Hash makes a nice change of pace.

Today being 4/4, it seemed a propitious morning to whip up my world-famous Four Pepper Hash.

Also, I was sick unto death of oatmeal.

Anyway, this dish is a breeze, loosely based on a 1993 Betty Crocker (!) recipe from the early days of marriage and underpaid freelancing.

You start with a couple cups of coarsely chopped spuds (I favor the reds; go figure). Microwave those commie taters for five minutes to speed the process along.

While the taters are nuking, coarsely chop about a cup of whatever peppers you have on hand. For this one I used red, yellow, and orange bells, plus a jalapeño.

Likewise take the knife to a couple scallions (or a quarter cup of whatever onion is nearby); a couple tablespoons of parsley and/or cilantro; a clove or two of garlic; and mebbe a bit of already-cooked meat (I had a chunk of andouille sausage left over from a jambalaya I made a couple days back).

For spices I’ve gone as basic as salt and pepper, especially if I’m not adding meat or if there are sissies at the table. A bit of thyme is nice too.

Depending upon what protein I’m using I’ve been known to add a generous pinch of Mexican oregano and some smoked Spanish paprika or red chile powder, or p’raps a dash of Penzey’s Cajun spice.

When you’ve got everything ready to go, heat two tablespoons of butter (or the alternative fat of your choice) in a skillet over medium heat and dump the lot in. Fry, stirring occasionally, for eight minutes or so until the spuds are nicely browned and the vegetables tender.

Fill your plates, grate a little sharp Cheddar and/or Parmigiano-Reggiano on top, and th’ow an egg over medium onto the sumbitch. Warmed flour tortillas on the side. That’s it.


20 Responses to “The fab four”

  1. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Yum! We are also a little tired of oatmeal. So, this morning it’s b’fast burritos with eggs, potatoes, sweet yellow onion. red and green bell peppers, and a little chopped yellow squash left over from a pasta dish a few days ago. When it comes to food these days, I try to wast nothing, nada, 0%.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      That sounds good as well, Paddy me boyo.

      This recipe makes good breakfast burritos too, especially if I’m using any green chile in it and have some beans left over from some other deal. Just ladle it into a tortilla, add a little salsa and cheese, roll ’er up and you’re good to go. Saw one in half and it makes a nice midmorning snack for two.

    • SAO' Says:

      Then multiple by ten, wrap’em in foil, stuff in a zippety-lock, and freeze for the rest of the week.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I’ve tried that, but I always wind up eating them all over the course of the day. Urp.

        • SAO' Says:

          You take a bowl that’s twice as big as you could ever eat, and you wrap it in a warm tortilla, and somehow you can polish off three of them. Alfred Einstein and Stephen F Hawkins together ain’t got them fizzix figger’d out.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    Sounds great. Even senza carne.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I bet that nine times out of 10 I make this one without any meat. I eyeball the tater basket and think, “Hm, better use those suckers before they turn into vodka.”

      There’s almost always some class of bell pepper in the ’fridge — green, yellow, red, orange — and we likewise rarely lack for green chile. Plus I use flat-leaf parsley and cilantro in a ton of different dishes, so they’re always around, and I keep some dried in reserve just in case.

      With peppers and papas all things are possible.

      • khal spencer Says:

        We generally have all that stuff too. I’ll print out the recepie unless you have a copyright on it…

        • khal spencer Says:

          And one of these days I have to learn how to spell recipe.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Not to worry, Cooking is like jazz. Everyone steals and adds a riff to cover his/her tracks. As I mentioned, this one started life as a 1993 Betty Crocker recipe for corned beef hash. Din’t use no chile a-tall.

          Hash recipe

        • Pat O'Brien Says:

          Recipe? I don’t need no stinkin’ recipe. I cook like my mother. Do it from the recipe the first few times, then start ad libbing, and it finally gets on the set list and you can play it without the book. The only problem is it is real easy to get in a rut.

          • Shawn in the Gorge Says:

            Darn! I forgot the tortillas !

            I had a small amount of green enchilada sauce left over that I added to the pepper hash. It added a nice tang to the dish. I didn’t have a fresh jalapeno pepper to go along with the other peppers but I do have a spice cabinet that would make Penzey’s / Savory proud and used the appropriate spices to the dish. Ymm! I thought I would have left overs but my fine elder parent liked it so much that she had two plates.

            Thank you for your ongoing epicurean dish-making highlights. I believe your food photos get all of salivary glands fired up and we follow up with similar copy-cat dishes of our own.


          • Patrick O'Grady Says:

            Glad the recipe was a hit, Shawn. I like simple cooking. Sometimes it’s fun to get elaborate, but for the day-to-day stuff I like to stick to basics.

            Case in point: I must have a dozen posole recipes, but the one I go to most often is the first one I learned, a one-pot deal. I made that one day before yesterday. It relies heavily on items most everyone should have in the pantry even when there isn’t a plague going around.

            25-oz. can white hominy (I use Juanita’s)
            1.5 lbs. diced meat (I use chicken thighs, but pork is good too)
            3-4 dried red chile pods (a mix of hot and mild)
            2 cups onion, chopped
            3 cloves garlic, minced
            2 tsp. Mexican oregano
            1 tsp. cumin
            Salt to taste
            6 cups water

            Dump everything into a heavy pot, bring it to a boil, and simmer 2-3 hours, adding water as needed. Serve with a selection of garnishes like chopped scallions, minced jalapeños, and diced radishes to add a llittle heat/crunch to the dish.

            Pro tip: I use a small food processor to chop the onion and chile in one fell swoop.

  3. khal spencer Says:

    Santa Fe Century ride on indefinite hold.

    COVID-19 and the Santa Fe Century
    Greetings friends of the Santa Fe Century,

    For 35 years, the Santa Fe Century has signaled the start of summer and an end to cold winter rides. We had hoped that our 2020 event would continue that tradition for cyclists in the Southwest. Unfortunately, the reality of the COVID – 19 pandemic has become more grave and uncertain. As a result, the 2020 Santa Fe Century will not be held on May 17th.

    In the coming weeks we will be exploring whether to postpone or cancel this year’s Century. Our paramount concern is to provide a safe venue for the cyclists, our partners, the cadre of volunteers, and event organizers. We will be closing registration until further notice.

    If you have already registered for the 2020 event, your registration will be honored for either a later 2020 date (if we postpone) or the 2021 Santa Fe Century. It is the rider’s choice. If you purchased merchandise we will be mailing that to you. We will be contacting registered riders with instructions for deferred registration when we have finalized that process.

    By May 17th we will have either chosen a new date for the 2020 Santa Fe Century in the fall or canceled this years event. That should provide enough time to confer with our partners and have a better sense of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Thank you for your patience as we navigate this difficult time. Please stay safe and we hope to see you all on the roads again soon.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Yea, I just got the email. Bummer. I didn’t plan on riding it this year, but in the last few days I thought maybe I should get in some miles and get ready just in case Patrick talked us into it, or Herb decided to come too. I guess COVID-19 made up my mind for me.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Bummerama. That was a fun ride but I suspect most of the mass start rides will be cancelled for the near future or kicked own the road to the late summer. Somehow I doubt the idea of hundreds of riders at a start line or bunching up around the banana and PB&J tent would be considered social distancing.

        It should not be hard to cobble together a nice fifty miler near the house here but it ain’t the same.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Ayuh. I think we have to expect that most of this year’s cycling events will be canceled or at the very least postponed. There are only so many dates on the calendar. And what if we make it through summer OK and then this bug pulls a 180, comes roaring back through in the fall?

        The one thing we know is that we don’t know much.

        P.S.: Indian Market is a no-go for this year. If that ain’t happenin’, ain’t much else happenin’.

        • Pat O'Brien Says:

          That is a bummer. Artists, musicians, and other gig workers, especially those that depend on tourism, are going to have a tough year. That is who that rescue bill was designed for. The folks that wrote that piece of shit sent a lot of that money to the wrong people and companies. Gotta support wall street don’t you know. The beltway is full of grifters, bullshitters, and cons. They ain’t buying this vote. And I am spending or donating locally the money we get.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Yup. We got our income-tax refund the other day and divvied it up among the local food bank, NPR affiliate KUNM-FM, and the animal shelter. If we get any stimulus money, we’ll see that it goes where it can do the most good.

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