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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Smokey Butternut Hash with Poached Eggs and Gouda Grits

Have I mentioned that my mom is the queen of leftovers? I think I have. She's the master of scraps and often says that her best stuff comes from the bits and pieces from days past. Well, perhaps the apple didn't fall too far from the tree. This was dinner last night and was one of my favorite scrappy meals yet. The best part about it - you could have this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. And you could substitute just about any of the ingredients depending on what's in your fridge/freezer (see suggestions below). Paddy loved this. Last night he asked, "what's this called?" - I call it cleaning out the fridge.

4 eggs
1/2 cup grits
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups butternut squash, diced (small dice)
1 cup  shitake mushrooms, chopped
3 strips of cooked bacon, chopped
1 sausage link - either out of casing or chopped - I used leftover andouille, Italian or chorizo would be good!
3 sage leaves, chopped (any fresh herbs would be good)
1 tbsp thyme, chopped
1/2 cup shredded smoked gouda - could use any cheese
1 tbsp white vinegar
Salt

1. In a medium pan, cook the bacon and sausage with a little olive oil over medium high until a bit crispy and some of the fat is rendered. Add the shitakes and herbs and butternut squash. Stir occasionally so that the sausage doesn't burn and the squash and mushrooms get soft. Salt and pepper to taste.

2. In a large, wide bottomed pan, bring enough water to a boil for the poached eggs. Reduce heat to a simmer.

3. In a medium pot, add the broth and grits and bring to a boil. Turn down so the grits simmer and stir frequently for about 5 minutes.

4. Add the vinegar to the pot of water and using a small ramekin, add each of the eggs gently. They should only take 3 minutes. Carefully remove eggs when done and drain on a plate with a paper towel.

5. Add the shredded cheese to the grits and stir to melt.

6. Serve in a large bowl with grits on the bottom, eggs on top and hash around the sides.
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