Current-production corned beef hash benefits from sprinkling a thin layer of flour in the skillet before adding the hash on top and carefully smoothing it out; there's enough grease* and water in the stuff that the flour naturally forms a nice, crunchy not-quite-piecrust.
I have been wondering how cornmeal might do for that, or cornmeal and a little flour, that being the usual thing. This morning, having found some actual cornmeal† on a shopping expedition, I resolved to try it.
It works! Cooks up just fine and goes very well with my hash, supercharged today with some snipped-up pickled cherry peppers and dehydrated minced onion.‡ An egg cooked on top and a little sprinkle of Italianate three-cheese mix before serving makes a nice treat!
Cornmeal -- or even cornstarch -- might help tame the Mary Kitchen Sausage Hash, too; it's good but the sausage spice has a bit of an edge that could use some moderation. Anyway, it's another kitchen trick that comes in handy.
* Even with the flour substrate, I find myself applying paper toweling on edge around the hash several times during cooking, to soak up the excess grease.
† Our not-too-far-away Meijer stocks it. Serving an interesting assortment of neighborhoods, they have four or five times as much shelf space devoted to flour as they do to cornmeal and cornmeal-containing mixes. The flour sections were stocked almost to the edge; cornmenal was down to the last two or three rows, way at the back of the shelf. That's what we call a "hint," Meijer; Indiana might be "up North" but an awful lot of our cookery isn't.
‡ Say what you will, dehydrated minced onion and celery are secret weapons in the kitchen, filling in flavor when fresh is unavailable or would require too much time or effort. Paprika will sub for sweet or slightly-hot peppers in a pinch and that's the "trinity" of Cajun soup, stew and sauce bases. Throw a little filé at it and you're halfway there.
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