Winter Squash Hash
One of my favorite breakfasts or brunch dishes regardless of how many beers I’ve had the night before is some sort of hash.
I’m a starch fiend. What can I say?
While I’m normally happy enough with just a potato kind of hash, sometimes I like to change it up based on the season. If I posted every hash version I made, this site would be dedicated to nothing but hash brown recipes which, for the record, is not a bad idea at all.
Sometimes though I land on a version that’s just too tasty not to post.
That is this and this is that.
1) Use a large chef's knife to peel the winter squash. I find it easiest to cut off the top and bottom and then carefully slice down the side of the squash. Once it's peeled, quarter the squash and scoop out the seeds. Then grate the squash.
2) Peel and grate potato as well and mix potato with squash. It should be about even parts potato and squash.
3) Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Add hash in an even layer. Cook for 5 minutes and flip.
4) Cook for an additional 5 minutes on the second side. If at any point the hash looks very dry, add another drizzle of olive oil.
5) Cook hash browns until they are browned nicely, then turn the heat down to low and keep them warm until the eggs are done.
6) For eggs, melt butter in a small nonstick pan or on a griddle over medium heat. Crack eggs and cook for about 2 minutes until the whites are mostly firm. Flip the eggs and cook for just 15-20 seconds on side two.
7) Serve hash with two eggs on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sprinkle on some fresh thyme.
The Squash Options
Normally, this time of year there will be a large bin of random gourds and squashes in most grocery stores across the country. While these squash all have slightly different tastes and colors, I don’t feel too bad about lumping them all together and calling them “winter squash.”
This includes things like butternut squash, acorn squash, or pumpkin all of which you could use for this recipe.
The particular gourd I picked out on this day resembled a small pumpkin but it wasn’t a pumpkin.
While it wasn’t labelled, I’m pretty sure the squash I picked out on this day was an ambercup squash. (Check out the winter squash wikipedia page for more info.)
I decided to do a half and half mix of squash and potato just to keep some of the classic hash texture.
Prepping the Squash
Most winter squash that you’ll find will be very hard to peel. This is unfortunate, but worth the work.
What you can’t do is peel them with a veggie peeler. Their skin is just too thick for that to work.
What I do instead is use a large chef’s knife to chop of the top and bottom of the squash so it will sit flat and then carve off the skin from top to bottom with my knife.
You’ll lose some squash in this process, but it’s the easiest way that I know to peel a squash like this.
Once you get it peeled, cut it into quarters. Your squash will most likely have some sort of seed and guts situation going on which you can scoop out with a spoon.
Then just grate up each quarter of squash with a box grater!
It’ll look like cheddar cheese, but it’s much much healthier for you.
Mix the grated squash with some grated potato and you’re ready to cook!
I recommend a mix of about half potato and half squash. Honestly, I kind of just eyeballed it.
Cooking the Hash
You can cook this awesome mix either in a large skillet or on a griddle. I used a large nonstick skillet that I have. It works great for stuff like this.
Just add a good drizzle of olive oil to your pan over medium-high heat and then add your hash in a nice even layer in the pan.
Let this cook for 4-5 minutes on the first side and then give it a flip.
If you’re feeling confident, you can try to flip it all at once or you can chop it up into servings with a spatula and flip them individually.
I was able to pull off the full-pan flip on this day.
If you’re hash browns are ever looking really dry, drizzle on a bit more oil.
When the hash browns are browned on both sides, turn your heat down to low to keep them warm while you work on…
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of a good fried egg. For a dish like this I consider the over-easy egg to be an essential component.
I like to fry my eggs in butter. You just need about a teaspoon in a good pan. Melt the butter over medium heat and once it’s melted, crack in the eggs!
Let these cook for about 2 minutes on the first side until the whites are almost completely set, then flip and cook for just 10-15 seconds on the second side.
If you want your yolks set completely, just keep cooking them into submission I guess.
Serving the Hash
Serve the hash browns with one or two fried eggs on top. Give the whole thing a good sprinkle of salt and pepper and a pinch of fresh thyme leaves.
The thyme is a small detail but it actually works well with winter squashes so give it a shot.
As you can see, these were crispy and delicious!
This is pretty much the perfect breakfast in my opinion.
If you wanted to amp it up, you could serve it with some bacon on the side also. Betsy and I went the fruit route on this day though.
This would be a great quick breakfast for family members during the upcoming holiday weekend. It’s pretty easy to make, has some great winter flavors, and people are always impressed by homemade hash browns.