Kirsten Bell’s One Potato Two Potato Winter Hash

When my good friend and talented assistant, Emily Bell, sent me a photo of a beautiful Yukon Gold and sweet potato hash with red bell peppers, onions, and baby spinach, I knew I wanted to make it, so quickly asked for the recipe. Emily’s daughter, Kirsten Bell, created the dish as a side to scrambled eggs and bacon for a Christmas brunch, but I wanted to serve it as a light main course for a post-holiday supper or lunch.

As its name implies this hash includes two types of potatoes–Yukon Golds as well as sweet potatoes The latter along with bits of red bell pepper and baby spinach leaves form a striking mosaic of colors in the finished dish. For seasonings, cumin and smoked paprika provide warming spicy accents.

Served on a platter or in individual gratin dishes, this vegetable mélange can be presented unadorned, but it’s even better when garnished. I opted for a sprinkle of crumbled goat cheese, but a fried or poached egg, grilled or sautéed cod or other fish fillets, or pan-seared chicken breasts would also pair well with this hash.

Except for the spinach you can cook all the vegetables a day ahead. At serving time you’ll only need to reheat them and stir in the baby spinach leaves. Serve the hash on a large platter or in individual gratins, offer it as a main course as a side. Either way it’s a winner!

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Kirsten Bell’s One Potato, Two Potato Winter Hash

1 pd Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch dice or 1 pd small (1/1/2 to 2 -inch diameter) Yukon Golds, unpeeled but scrubbed, quartered
2 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, plus 1 tbsp extra if needed
2 tbsp canola oil, plus 1 tbsp extra if needed
1 pd sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
1 small red bell pepper cut into 1/2 inch dice to yield 3/4  cup
3/4 cup chopped onion
5 oz baby spinach leaves
1 tsp Kosher salt plus more if needed
Several grinds black pepper plus more if needed
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 cup crumbled creamy goat cheese for garnish

Equipment needed 4 to 5 individual gratin dishes or crème brûlée dishes or one large platter

1.Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a medium saucepan set over medium high heat. Add diced Yukons or quartered baby Yukons and cook until just slightly tender when pierced with a knife, about 8 minutes. Do not overcook or potatoes will become mushy when you sauté them.

2.Heat butter and oil together in a large (10-to 11-inch) heavy skillet set over medium heat. When hot, add the diced sweet potatoes and the diced red peppers. Cook, stirring, 5 minutes, and then add onions. If mixture seems dry, add a tablespoon each of extra butter and oil. Cook until peppers and onions are softened and sweet potatoes are tender, about 3 minutes.

3.Stir in diced, cooked Yukon Gold potatoes and sprinkle mixture with cumin, smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper and cook, stirring, 2 minutes more. (Vegetables can be cooked a day ahead; cool, transfer, to a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature and reheat in a large skillet over medium heat.)

4.Lower heat to medium and stir in spinach, a handful at a time, until it is wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes or more. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.

5.To serve divide the vegetable mixture evenly among the gratin dishes and sprinkle each serving with some crumbled goat cheese or mound on a large platter and sprinkle with goat cheese.

As a main course you should get 4 to 5 servings depending on the size of your gratin dishes. As a side it serves 6.
Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2024

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