Monday, February 2, 2009

Pytt i Panne

If you have been keeping up with my blog you know that I hate to waste and I like to make new, tastetastic things with the little odds and ends that are leftover from meals past. To be absolutely honest, 80% of the fun is in the challenge of creating a new recipe. Leftover risotto makes excellent risotto cakes or balls. Meat can get tossed into amped up salads. Bread is made into croutons, bread crumbs, even soup. Cooked pasta works beautifully in a fritatta. I'm the MASTER at making new dishes from the flotsam and jetsam in my refrigerator.

At the office cantine today, they had a dish called Pytt i Panne which is akin to the American hash. It is traditionally a dish made out of...drum roll please....leftovers! The one in the cantine had leftover side pork, diced pølse (hot dog), diced potatoes, and I think carrots. They had a tray of fried eggs that were meant to go on top. Sounds kind of pedestrian? Maybe even a little gross? Aren't all comforting and tasty things just a bit pedestrian and gross?

Lunch inspired dinner. I used chicken breast left from Chinese New Year, potatoes, carrots, onion, and a fried egg to make lunch #2. The trick is to get a nice crust on the hash for both texture and a nice caramelized flavor...kind of like the homeskillets you can find at any respectible diner.

Pytt i Panne
1 (or 2 or 1.5...whatever you have) chicken breast, cut into a 1/2 inch dice
3 cups of diced potatoes, about 1/2 inch
1 cup of medium dice onion, about half a large onion or one small onion
1 cup diced carrot, again 1/2 inch dice
4 tbs oil, divided
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
generous pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 Egg, fried

Heat one tbs of oil in a large skillet, at about medium high heat. To the hot oil, add the red pepper flakes, gently rubbing the flakes between your fingers before you drop it into the pan. Rubbing it releases the natural oils and flavor from the flakes. To the oil and flakes, add the onion and cook until they just start to brown. To the onions, add the diced chicken. Saute the chicken and onions until they brown. Once browned, remove it from the pan. To the hot pan, add the remaining 3 tbs of oil. I know it seems like a lot but it helps with making the potatoes crisp. To the oil add the carrots, potatoes, salt and pepper. Saute for about 3 minutes. Add about 3 tbs of water to the hot pan, stir and cover. Let it cook with the lid on until the potatoes and carrots are tender, adjusting the heat down to medium. When the potatoes are tender, add the chicken and onions back to the skillet. Let it brown until the potatoes and chicken are slightly crisp and browned. Top the Pytt i Panne Hash with a whole fried egg. I like the egg to be sunny side up so the yolk runs down into the hash. Check for seasoning.
If you find the hash to be a bit dry, you can always garnish the dish with a little dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt. Salsa makes for a zesty accompaniment for potatoes and meat. If you like it spicy, add some rooster sauce (Sriracha). Me? I like ketchup. It's a classic.

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