I usually tend to buy most of my vegetables fresh, specially the ones on this list. I just love the taste and flavor of fresh produce, well, I can't help myself when I see their pretty colors in the store. And for the most part I enjoy the prep work too. Bringing out the big wooden cutting board, my dear santoku knife and going chop chop like a pro is soo much fun :) I have a small stock of canned beans in my pantry (note-to-self: start buying dried beans instead!) and the freezer usually has frozen corn, peas, lima beans, edamame and Indian vegetables which I don't usually get in their fresh form. The only ready to eat, processed item will be a pack of frozen parathas and a box of burger patties for a lazy day. Recently an intruder stepped in..... a bag of frozen hash brown potatoes, the grated kind.
I don't cook much with potatoes, but I love making hash browns. They are mighty easy to put together with fresh potatoes. I used to make them often during the last few months in school. Those were the days of 'no-routine', my roomie and I would come home late from the lab and watch some silly comedy show on TV. And ofcourse we would be attacked by those midnight snack monsters. This is how I made them - heat a pan with a spray of oil, grate and lightly squeeze the water out of the potatoes, toss in some salt, chilli powder and turmeric. Layer them on the pan and press together like a pancake. Leave it alone for 3-4 mins so they get crisp, spray oil on the other side and flip. Let that roast and crisp up too. Mean while get the plate ready with a huge dollop of ketchup and settle down with the warm hash's. So with the same intention I had a small bag of potatoes sitting in my pantry these past months. The hash cravings are so rare now though and potatoes grow eyes and ears and some times rot by the time I get to them! The smell of which is the worst ever, a good contestant for WMD's. And so... I sneaked in a bag of frozen hash browns on my last grocery trip. Here's how I used them,
I also toasted acouple of slices of bread, drizzled with a lil olive oil. When they are still hot rub them with a clove of garlic. I had some roasted red bell pepper chutney to spread over it and a bowl of grapes to join the party. Settled into my couch with this plate, I was ready for a movie marathon :) Its quick to put together and the veggie and spice combination is upto you. It could also serve as a perfect weekend breakfast/brunch.Potato and Bell pepper hashIngredients:
- 1 cup - frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
- 1/4 cup - green & red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1/4 tsp - Turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp - Red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp - Garlic, grated
- 1/4 tsp - Chaat masala (optional)
- 2 tsp - Olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Thaw the frozen potatoes, I usually microwave them for a minute or two. Heat a shallow pan, with the oil, on medium high heat. Add the diced bell peppers, garlic, and red pepper flakes and saute for a few minutes.
- Once they slightly soften, add the hash brown potatoes and salt. Cook undisturbed for 4 mins so the potatoes roast and get a crisp golden exterior, stir to toos/flip them around and cook for 3-4 more mins (or until you are satisfied with the texture, half the dish vanished at this point :D )
- Garnish with chopped cilantro, a pinch of chaat masala and a dollop of hot & sweet tomato ketchup on the side.
Whats your favorite movie night meal ?