There’s a story that lives in this office about hash. It’s a family memory, but it’s not a pretty one, and when this column came up in conversation, the family memory came up too. It involves a grandpa, a daily ritual, two eggs over easy, toast with butter, and hash — otherwise known as crap-in-a-can, apparently. Not my words, mind you, but evocative all the same.

It got me thinking about how something that’s handmade or homemade can be so different from what is found in a can. It’s almost unfair to call them by the same name, as that is where the similarities remain.

Hash is a meal unto itself, although almost always following another, meaning it’s perfect for leftovers. I created this meal after making Grilled Pork Loin with Rosemary and Sage (on my blog, this weekend for some guests. It then became a brunch the following morning, but could easily have become a family dinner.


4 to 5 cups cubed red-skinned potatoes, about 3 large potatoes

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cups peeled, seeded and cubed butternut squash, 1/2 pound

1 1/2 cups diced onions, about 1 medium onion

1 1/2 pounds cooked pork loin, cubed

2 tablespoons fresh thyme, leaves removed from stem

Salt and pepper will vary depending on how the pork was seasoned

1 to 2 teaspoons Worcestershire to taste

8 eggs

Bring a medium stock pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or just until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the squash and salt and pepper. Saute for 8 to 10 minutes or until the squash begins to brown and become tender. Add the onions to the pan, and saute until the onions are translucent and the squash is tender. Add the potatoes, thyme, salt, pepper and Worcestershire.

Once the hash is done, set aside with a lid. If your poaching contraption only cooks 4 eggs at a time, fill a large, ceramic mixing bowl with hot water and set by the stove. This will hold the eggs at a warm temperature until they are all finished cooking.

To poach the eggs, use an egg poaching pan or silicone poaching pods. Bring a small amount of water to a simmer in the bottom of the pan and add the eggs in their poaching cups. Cover with a lid and poach for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the whites are firm and the yolk is still runny.

Remove the eggs from their cups by running a dull knife around the edge, and turn them out into the now-warm water. When all the eggs are done, plate the hash up individually and top with two eggs. Serve immediately.

Serves four.


To remove the pit from the avocado, score the avocado in half all the way though to the pit. Twist both halves and pull apart. One side should still have the seed lodged in the flesh. Holding the avocado (skin side in your palm and chef’s knife in your other hand), give the seed a sharp whack and while the knife is still embedded in the seed, twist and pull. Carefully remove the knife from the seed. To separate the skin from the flesh, run your thumb or a spoon between the two. Discard the skin.

1 1/2 cup pitted, peeled and finely diced avocado, about 1 avocado

1 cup minced red onion

1 cup cored and finely diced tomato, about 1 tomato

2 tablespoons minced cilantro

3 tablespoons lime juice

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and serve within 30 minutes.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups.


A fancy flourish to an already hearty meal, the spinach adds color and a little green. If heavy cream feels too heavy for your purposes, serving the hash on a bed of spinach tossed with lemon and olive oil will serve both the need for greens and the need for lighter fare.

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 cup heavy cream

3 ounces grated Monterey Jack cheese, about 11/2 cups lightly packed

4 ounces fresh spinach, about 4 cups lightly packed

Pinch of salt

Few grinds of white pepper

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the heavy cream and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add the cheese, and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Add the spinach, return to heat, and stir until the spinach has just wilted. Transfer to a bowl immediately.

Makes about 2 cups.

Anne Mahle of Rockland is the author of “At Home, At Sea,” a recipe book about her experiences cooking aboard the family’s windjammer. She can be reached at: [email protected]