Saturday, October 1, 2011

Recipe: Sweet Potato Hash with Apple Cider Caramelized Onions

This dish stemmed from an intense craving for a bi-weekly brunch special at Friedman’s Lunch in Chelsea Market – short rib and sweet potato hash topped with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. Just typing it out has me drooling (not literally, ew), even though I just devoured the plateful you see above.

After much deliberation over what to replace the short rib with – Bacon? Pancetta? Shredded chicken? – I decided to abandon the protein component entirely. If you want a perfectly succulent meat-studded hash, go to Friedman’s. If you’re cool with a just as flavor packed vegetarian hash, get in the kitchen and make this.

The apple cider and vinegar absorbed by the caramelized onions isn’t overpowering, but instead imparts a subtly sweet tang. This and the fresh thyme pair wonderfully with the earthy sweet potatoes. Top it with two poached eggs, and oh hey, you’ve got breakfast for dinner. Or I guess you could go all conventional and enjoy it for a savory weekend breakfast.      

Tip: To poach an egg, bring a small pot of water + 1 tbsp vinegar (helps egg whites stay together) to a boil. When the water is at a rolling boil, turn it down so it barely simmers. Crack 1 egg into a small, shallow bowl. Swirl a spoon around the water in circles to create a whirlpool, and carefully slide the egg into the center of the water. The swirling ‘tornado’ effect of the water will help wrap the whites around the yolk. After about 3 minutes, use a slotted spoon to transfer egg to a paper towel to drain. This will give you set whites and a runny yolk. For a firmer yolk, increase cooking time.

Ingredients (Serves 2-3)
1 large white onion, cut in half then sliced lengthwise
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
3 tbsp apple cider
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1/3 cup sliced scallions
Poached eggs (optional)

Place a large, heavy bottomed skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium heat, and drizzle with enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When oil is shimmering, add onions, thyme, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of pepper. Use a wooden spoon to break up the slivers of onion and distribute the seasonings.

Cook the onions for about a half hour, stirring occasionally and keeping a close eye so they don’t burn. If they start to look dry, drizzle with a little more olive oil. After 30 minutes if the onions look like they’re getting too brown, turn the heat down to low. Cook for another 10 minutes.

Add the apple cider and vinegar, then turn the heat back up to medium and use the spoon to scrape up any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Cook until most of the moisture is absorbed, 1-2 minutes. Transfer the onions to a bowl and set aside.

Place the pan back over medium heat and drizzle with more olive oil. Add the potatoes, and season with ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally so all of the sides brown evenly.

Once a fork can be inserted into one of the cubes, turn the heat down to low. Add the caramelized onions and scallions to the pan, and toss to combine with the potatoes. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the hash is warmed through.

Serve the sweet potato hash warm, and top with poached eggs if you’d like.


  1. I was looking for a savory sweet potato recipe and found your blog. Love it! This looks fantastic- I get so tired of so many sweet potato recipes looking the same. And you didn't skimp on the onions- Mmmm... this is making me drool. Don't have any apple cider, do have ACV so I guess I'll just use the old apple juice with a touch of lemon trick.

    1. Thinking I MAY need to make this in the next few days now that you reminded me.. so glad you found it! That, or your potato skin bruschetta which looks pretty damn amazing/brilliant.

      Let me know if you get a chance to try out the recipe - would love to hear what you think! Have a great Monday :)


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