Sunday, December 23, 2012

my best breakfast yet

I used to love going out to breakfast, especially when I was presented with a meal that looked like a work of art. Eggs Florentine was a favorite, with all those spiffy garnishes and pools of delightful hollandaise. Those days are over for me, and I don't miss the pain one little bit. I do, however, miss pretty meals.

At home I'm sure I could make our table and plates look lovely, I just haven't gotten there. I'm still in the whining about preparing from scratch every single bite that goes into my mouth phase. It's been more than two years, so I hope I get over that soon.

I am over thinking of my meals as limited or limiting. I've mentioned one of my favorite things about this Paleo adventure is that I get to enjoy cooking and being a foodie again with no guilt, pain, or regrets. Yes, I'm still mourning the loss of really good cheeses but only slightly.

My mind started wandering down this path, the breakfasts out path, this morning as I ate my very ugly breakfast. This one did not even sort of look nice. I must have been REALLY hungry to serve myself a pile like that. (I did take the time to make GK's look pretty, partly to make up for forgetting to cook dinner last night.)

The thing is that lumpy bumpy pile of food was one of the best breakfasts I can remember eating. I sat there just savoring the flavors that almost took me by surprise. Not one thing on my plate was there for the first time: sweet potato hash browns cooked crisp in coconut oil, oven-baked and perfectly finished Beeler's bacon strips, two soy-free eggs cooked in bacon fat to just barely past over-easy. I don't think I've ever combined them all before. That's probably because sweet potato hash browns are fairly new to me and bacon, even safe humanely raised bacon, is not an everyday protein choice for me. Whatever the reason for the delightful flavor combo, I savored every bite.

I really should start working on the aesthetics, though. Flavorful and healthy may come first, but pretty meals are such fun.

If you've never made sweet potato hash browns, you're in for treat. With the use of a food processor, they are almost effortless. It certainly possible and not at all hard to make them without a food processor, though I can't make the effortless claim when a dish involves grating or shedding by hand.

Sweet potatoes vary in size, of course, and when shredded seem to grow in volume more than I ever expect. This is more of a method than it is recipe for that reason.

I usually peel one or two, since I keep them on hand for awhile. If your sweet potatoes are fresh and thin-skinned, you can certainly leave the peels on. Using the shredding disc or small julienne disc, shred potatoes. I use the pulse button, usually, as it give me more control. This takes approximately 45 seconds. To a preheated griddle or low, wide pan add an ounce or 2 of coconut oil and shredded sweet potatoes. I like to mound them in piles that touch but can be turned independently. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt. All that's left is to turn them occasionally, keeping a close eye as sweet potatoes can burn quickly.  As I turn them, I often add a little more oil to the pan around the edges. The result is crispy, slightly sweet and salty goodness.

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