The world is not a beautiful place.
When I left New York I thought I would find this so called “beautiful world”. The world where you don’t have to pretend to ignore the homeless and beggars just to maintain your own sanity- where you don’t have to numb yourself to the cruelties of the world around you. In New York City there are just so many people- you can’t pay attention to them all (in fact you can only pay attention to very few) and so I figured hey, less people, less need to ignore people.
As I have discovered, this is in fact true, however I have also discovered other things to be true.
The world is still not a beautiful place.
Instead of tragic people everyday I see animals. I see carcasses of animals that have struck tragedy and died alone at the side of the road in a world that has evolved past them. Every time I see one I want to pull over, stop, and give them a proper burial. But instead, I do as I did in New York – as most everyone else does too – and keep driving. There just isn’t time to stop and care of everyone and everything.
Life and death is all a part of the same circle- one where we try to find meaning.
In a world where we try to survive an keep moving forwards I like to think that at least acknowledging and thinking on what we see around us counts for something.
Maybe it’s silly, but for me, good cooking, where you use simple, but spectacular ingredients can make even the most standard foods amazing. One where you respect and acknowledge what you are making and eating. Respecting what you eat means that you are respecting the world around you and, I like to think, helps to make it a better place.
And with all that being said, long and lofty (if not philosophical) thinking aside, I bring you hash brows. A classic, rustic style dish that has unfortunately become synonymous with McDonalds breakfast meals. But truly great hash browns are just that- truly great.
I’ve tweaked it to adjust for the lack of bacon fat which usually gives it an extra level of savory, smoky taste and I hope you’ll enjoy.
Hash Browns – Serves 3-4
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Red Onion, chopped
2 Medium Yukon Gold Potatoes, chopped into 1/2 in cubes
2-3 Dashes of Liquid Smoke
1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
1/2 Medium Tomato, chopped
2 TBSP Cilantro, minced
Heat a large nonstick pan to medium heat and add oil and onions. Move around to coat onions with oil and cook until soft. Add potatoes, liquid smoke and paprika- toss to coat evenly. Cook for about 10 minutes before adding the tomato, salt and pepper. Cook for 10-20 minutes longer until potatoes are cooked through, moving constantly so that they don’t get burnt. In the last five minutes of cooking turn heat up to caramelize the edges a bit before serving. Garnish with minced cilantro and serve.