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Often I have an idea for a new dish I want to try or a recipe I hope to recreate as I’m enjoying a meal in a restaurant. Other inspiration comes from blogs and online recipes. But sometimes I look inside my pantry and refrigerator to see what is on hand … and then I simply begin to cook.
The other morning in Belize I biked to my favorite yoga studio, Zen Arcade, and took a pretty intense “intermediate” yoga class for 75 minutes. After a 15 minute break and some fruit juice I stayed for a 45-minute Pilates class. My muscles felt like Jello and I wished I could click my heels and snap my fingers to be three miles North at our house. But no, I mounted my beach cruiser bike and pedaled back home. Along the way I stopped, as I do most days, to pick up fresh, hot, thick corn tortillas from a roadside stand – just 50 cents US for eight!. And for no reason in particular I started to dream of fish hash.
Fish hash? Kind of a crazy thought, I know, considering that I have never made or eaten fish hash. The term hash connotes a preparation of cooked meat or fish or poultry cut into small pieces and cooked again, often adding potatoes and other vegetables. For dinner the previous night I made fish on the grill and had extra left over… so perhaps I still had the delicious memory of charred fish in my head when I came up with this thought… Or maybe I was reminded of the conversation Wayne and I had recently – laughing about the amount of food in the house and using this and that; he said “I wonder how long we could survive with just the food here without going to the store?” Days? Weeks and weeks?
I got home and rolled up my sleeves…(well, not literally because I was still wearing a sleeveless yoga top.) But I pulled out red skinned potatoes and scrubbed them…then out came a carrot, some onion, garlic, tomato, red sweet pepper, chili powder, and a little sweet and sour sauce I had made. I cubed the leftover snapper fish, probably two cups worth.
This dish start to finish took about 20 minutes. In the middle of my cooking it on the stove, we had an air conditioner repairman come in to help fix the A/C and he said “Oh, somebody is cooking. It smells good!” Gotta love that.
We ate this hash for lunch with the fresh warm corn tortillas and a bowl of tropical fruit. Guess what? I had enough for lunch the following day as well. And I’m thinking that if I hadn’t had the fish this would be perfect with a poached egg on top, or with cubed cooked yams in place of new potatoes. Spices could be changed out as well…
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ red pepper, diced ½ inch
- 1 medium size brown skinned onion, diced ¼ inch
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into ⅛ inch rounds
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and slivered
- 4 red skinned potatoes, cooked (I did this in the microwave for 5 minutes) and cubed into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups total)
- 2 cups flaked cooked white fish, bones removed
- 2 Tbsp sweet and sour sauce or worcestershire or anything you have around
- 1 large tomato, diced ½ inch
Heat a 12-inch saute pan on medium high heat. Add the oil, then add the onion, garlic, carrot, and sweet pepper and saute for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. Carrots should be tender. Add the cubed cooked potatoes and continue sautéing for another five minutes until the potatoes are brown and the onions are crispy. Finally add the fish flakes, tomato and sauce of your choice. Stir together, cook another two minutes then remove from the heat. Taste to see if you need more salt, pepper or seasoning. Buen provecho!