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It never fails. The morning my wife wakes up a little early and says, "Should we have breakfast together today?" is always the morning that I have the least time to cook, with the least number of ready-to-eat ingredients in the fridge. I'm not a cereal eater by nature, nor am I a particularly big fan of carbs—pancakes and waffles only make appearance by special request. So what do we end up eating 90 percent of the time?
Hash, or as we like to call it around here, god's gift to leftovers. What other way do you know of to convert a few leftover brussels sprouts into a breakfast fit for royalty? Is there any sexier pose you can imagine your perfectly seasoned cast iron pan striking than cradling a brunch's-worth of charred vegetables topped with a perfectly soft-cooked egg?
Aside from having good leftovers to start with (potatoes are always welcome, like in my Spicy Potato, Bok Choy, and Shallot Hash), but basically any vegetable will do. In this case, I'm using a simple mix of shredded brussels sprouts and shallots, flavored with a bit of fried sage. The real key to great hash is making sure that everything is browned properly. Hash has to have color on it—to my mind, as dark as possible, just shy of being burnt is where to aim.
Once the vegetables are cooked, I like to make little wells in the hash to break my eggs into, cooking them gently over low heat until just barely soft-cooked—egg yolks are custom made to be broken and stirred into a good hash. Adding some grated cheese doesn't hurt either.
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About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.