Beast Hashcapade

The voice on the phone was excited, yet teasing, “Guess who has hash on their brunch menu!” Before I could utter a word, Lisa exclaimed, “Beast!” Thinking this was the cruelest of all jokes, I pleaded, “Are you kidding me?” She quickly assured me that indeed Beast offered hash, explaining that her friend mentioned that it offered brunch. I quickly ran to my laptop while simultaneously executing cartwheels and hollering like a drunken cowboy winning at poker. And so it was with extreme anticipation and reverence, we set out for the superlative and amazing Beast for a hashcapade.

Beast – NE 30th and NE Killingsworth
Beast’s cozy kitchen. Be sure to sit where you can see the action!

As we entered the cozy and inviting restaurant, the amazing aromas of our soon-to-be 4-course brunch greeted us as we opted for seats that gave us a view of the action in the kitchen. For those of you unfamiliar with Beast, there are 2 large communal tables you share with other foodies as we quickly fell into a friendly conversation with Meg and Thompson. They share our enthusiasm for athletic endeavors and belief that it represents a license to eat well – great company! We didn’t meet the other group at our table, 4 hipsters who I thought were continuing the previous night’s bender – “Dude, you’re gonna be wasted. You’re on your second mimosa and your having the wine pairings?!?!” On with the first course!

Champagne-Poached Apricot Clafoutis with Candied Walnuts and Maple Glazed Bacon

And now to the hash itself: Beast Hash – Tails and Trotters Braised Pork Shoulder, Market Potatoes, Garnet Yams, Leeks, Brussel Sprouts, Poached Farm Egg & Truffled Hollandaise. Finished with an artistic swirl of sweet balsamic reduction, where do I begin to describe a complex, sumptuous, gorgeous celebration of my obsession that is hash? The combination of roasted brussel sprouts were balanced by the sweetness of the yam. The pork shoulder was succulent, especially with the yokey and silky goodness of the egg and hollandaise. All of these flavors, textures and aromas combined to create a symphonic culinary masterpiece!

Beast Hash  featuring Tails & Trotters Braised Pork Shoulder
Radicchio & Butter Lettuce with Champagne Vinaigrette & Cheese Bar Cheese
Chocolate Truffle Cake with Prune & Vanilla-Cognac Whipped Cream
The final two courses above were perfect companions to the hash. The Cheese Bar cheeses offered with the radicchio and butter lettuce salad were creamy. And the finale, a chocolate truffle cake sprinkled with gold leaf was divine. Lisa and I were completely satisfied, complete in the knowledge that we had just experienced the *perfect* hashcapade! 
Happy Hashcapades,

Dirty Rice with Chipotle BBQ Flat Iron Steak

I’ve often wondered how hash differs around the country, imagining that the prevailing favorite staples would create new, iconic hashes: Texas – BBQ, Maine – Lobster, Louisiana – Crawfish. Well, it is true that regions differ, but what’s even more interesting is that potatoes aren’t the only anchor veggie. Say hello to Dirty Rice. I mean low-down-get-on-your-spurs-we’re-going-for-a-ride kind of dirty! This creation is really a combination of rice and picadillo, which comes from spanish and is the equivalent of hash in English.

Basic Building Blocks

One of the things you’ll notice with this hash is how easy it is to throw together. Besides the above ingredients, you’ll need rice (I used basmati because it it super simple and fast to make) and Trader Joe’s Chipotle BBQ Flat Iron Steak. The steak is already marinated in a lovely chipotle BBQ sauce and is so tender and tasty, I couldn’t stop eating the hashed morsels of divine goodness. 

Grilling Chipotle BBQ Flat Iron Steaks from Trader Joes
Dirty Rice with Chipotle Pepper BBQ Flat Iron Steak 

With the thick BBQ sauce and chili powder, you can understand why they call it Dirty Rice. This is something that works for lunch/dinner/4th meal (I did not say that.) and will alter your perception of what constitutes hash!

Happy Hashcapades,

1  package of Trader Joe’s Chipotle BBQ Flat Iron Steak
> Grill steak for 6-8 min/side, cool and hash

1 Cup basmati rice
> Bring 6 cups of water to a boil
> Add rice to boiling water, keeping the boil going for about 8-10 minutes
> Drain rice and water in a colander and set aside 

1 red onion, hashed
1 red pepper, hashed
1 green pepper, hashed
> Saute onion and peppers in big frying pan with oil for about 5 minutes until tender

1 TB chili powder
1/4 Cup Trader Joes Kansas City BBQ Sauce
1/4 Cup tomato sauce
> Add meat, chili powder, BBQ sauce and tomatoe sauce, simmer for 5 minutes
> Add rice and heat through, then serve 

Red Star Tavern Hashcapade

Can you imagine NPR’s new radio show, Hash Talk? Click and Clack would trouble-shoot hashcapades gone bad. A distressed caller would complain about mysteriously lifeless potatoes as the brothers poke fun and then get down to business in their wicked accents: Click: “Did ya yooz Russet or Yookohn Gouhld puhtatoes?” Clack: “Did ya bake dem foist or were dey fuhrozen?” (Cue the guffaws and snorts that would ensue from Tom and Ray’s enthusiastic banter.) Such mere my musings as I drove home from the Red Star Tavern listening to Car Talk and a woman calling from Connecticut. She wanted to talk about her prototype snow plow that would use ironing boards strapped onto her Subaru to clear the driveway…great stuff! And so was my hashcapade…

Red Star Tavern on SW 5th and Alder

I’ve had my eye on Red Star Tavern for a while because its menu not only has a Hash section, but boasts a House-Made Chorizo Hash! Any establishment that seeks to showcase it’s house-made goodness in a hash is automatically my new best friend. Such artisanal dedication validates my core belief that hash is worthy of gastronomic inventiveness and time spent laboring on its ingredients. Welcome to my church!

Red Star Tavern Dining Room

A lovely, smokey, bacon and roasted coffee aroma greeted me as I entered the cavernous dining room. I loved the vibe instantly as the hostess escorted me to a booth and I expertly slid in with even greater expectations. Casting a quick glance about, I soaked in the leather upholstery with brass studs, huge windows with a view to 5th Ave, Heath ceramics, and the small pewter pitcher for the cream on my table. I confess that I obsessively touched the pewter vessel with its cold, grey metal assuring me that the cream was fresh! 

House-Made Chorizo Hash

When my order arrived – nicely arrayed on the square, Heath ceramic plate – the kale and chorizo had my full and complete attention. I couldn’t wait to dig in! Amazing flavors burst upon my palate as the chorizo’s complex and spicy flavors yielded to the slightly crunchy and earthy flavor of the kale and yukon gold potatoes. This hash needed no Hash Talk diagnosis or tweaking or overhaul, just a big appetite and an appreciation for the flavor-packed punch of the chorizo. As usual, I kept some extras for leftovers, but caught myself stealing tasty morsels under the egg – this is addictive stuff and worthy of your hash devotion!

Where should I dine next? Suggestions welcome!

Happy Hashcapades,

Hashcapade Delivers Hardware for Twitter Recipe Contest

A colleague of mine used to say, “Just remember, second place is the first loser!” In that case, I’m the second loser and couldn’t be more thrilled to have won 3rd place in the The Oregonian FoodDay contest. Dreamed up by Leslie Cole and dubbed the Twitter Recipe Contest, the rules were straightforward: tweet your recipe (only 140 characters or less) and provide a photo of you *and* the dish. Photo – check!

Posing with My Smoked Salmon Hash
Tweet – check!

@ Hash: 1ea sweet/yuk potatoes, saute 15min, 
add ¼ onion, 5min, 8oz salmon warm, remv. add 1Tb dill, 3 TB crème
 fraiche, egg. 
However, when I reviewed the photo, I was less than enthused. Besides my shiny forehead and awkward tilting of the plate (yes, hash rolled onto the floor), it didn’t scream – HASHCAPADE! It was more more akin to: have pity on me judges for I know not what I’m doing 😦  Time for some serious creativity, the kind that would redefine forevermore how foodies the world over would showcase their food, not their countenance!
Pretending to be hungry, I posed with my hands tightly clutching the cutlery and looking downward, thinking I would then enlarge the photo, print it out and place it behind the photo. Well, that wasn’t working. Then, giggling as maniacally as I look in the picture below, I cut out the photo, taped it on a plastic spoon and stuck it in the hash! 

Tom Thumb’s Hashcapade Dream
Pleased that my brainstorm would make the difference, I submitted yet another photo and waited for the results, secretly hoping a consolation prize for desperate foodies would be mine. After all, PDX chefs were submitting their tweets and I quickly calculated my chances to be roughly equal to the odds of a rabid band of wombats overtaking City Hall! As you can see in the The Oregonian FoodDay results, staff wisely chose the shot that wouldn’t alienate their readers…and…I won third place, receiving a foodie book of my choice: Salted, by Mark Bitterman. Thanks, Leslie, FoodDay and the other fabulous contestants!

For the those interested in the unabridged version of my tweet, the photo and recipe are for you.

Happy Hashcapades,

Smoked Salmon Hash – The Money Shot
1 sweet potato – cubed no bigger than 1/2 inch
1 yukon gold potato – cubed no bigger than 1/2 inch
1/4 red onion – chopped finely
6-8 oz smoked salmon – cubed no bigger than 1/2 inch
1 Tb fresh dill – chopped – reserve sprigs for garnish
3 Tb crème fraîche
2 eggs – poached or fried

1) Toss potatoes in pan w/ a little oil, saute for 15 minutes
2) Add onions to potatoes and cook additional 5 minutes

3) Add smoked salmon to heat through, 1-2 minutes
4) Transfer to bowl, mix in the dill and crème fraîche

5) Fry or poach 2 eggs to your liking
6) Spoon hash onto plate, reserving a little bit for garnish.
7) Top hash with egg, garnish with a dollop of hash and a sprig of dill.
NOTE: Makes 2 servings, once egg each, or one monster plate!

Hashcapade at The Heathman Restaurant

As Yogi Berra once said, It’s déjà vu all over again.” We planned a hashcapade at Screen Door and by the time we were sufficiently caffeinated to brave the Sunday crush, we were an hour out from heaven on the waitlist. Not gonna happen. Here’s where it gets more interesting. Astute readers will remember my sage advice to always have a backup, which was Podnah’s Pit. After driving past where I thought it had been, I realized it had moved and proceeded to NE Killingsworth. Needless to say, it was still under construction and by this time my stomach was protesting loudly. So much so, that it’s angry rumblings almost made me drive to Denny’s, but my stronger mental faculties put down the gastro-coup. Here’s another bit of advice: have a native Portlander with you on your hashcapade, because Lisa immediately recommended The Heathman Restaurant.

The Iconic Entrance to the Heathman on Broadway

This hashcapade was definitely looking up as we hurried through the revolving doors and discovered they not only offered Smoked Salmon Hash, but had added a Duck Confit Hash. Decisions – esta un decision me molesta – are never easy, so I explained my dilemma to the waiter who quickly assured me the Duck Confit was superb.  I  relaxed and sipped my fresh-squeezed blood orange juice as Lisa warmed her hands on the coffee and inhaled the roasted goodness.

Duck Confit Hash

What a lovely presentation – hash, poached eggs, chives and a little signature hot sauce! The taste and flavor exploded in my mouth as I savored each bite. The duck confit itself was moist, the hash browns slightly crispy and tasty with little bits of onion. Combining the egg, hot sauce and chives was sublime. I offer the following photo of Lisa’s dish Oeufs Mollet Florentine with Short Ribs and Potatoes.

Short Ribs & Oeufs Mollet Florentine

Oeufs Mollet (soft boiled egg) Florentine with a bechamel sauce, spinach and gruyere cheese was absolute heaven. Why do I mention this dish? Because it has all the requisite ingredients for a future hashcapade at Chez Clark!

Happy Hashcapades,

Bacon-Wrapped Ham Loaf Hash with Horseradish Sauce Recipe

I have fond memories of our family’s dear friend, Helen Samp, and her amazing ham loaf. On holidays and special occasions, our family gathered around to devour her amazing rolls and taste-defying ham loaf. So, when a co-worker mentioned her ham loaf recipe, I clearly had a line of site to my next hashcapade.

Starting out, I didn’t realize that I would needa  special house and kitchen in which to make this hash, but I did – a bacon-log cabin! If that’s the protype for a bacon log cabin, then here’s my version of a bacon hangar for Porco Rosso. Yes, this is the pre and post view of the bacon-wrapped ham loaf, pork-vana, with ham, pork and bacon – oink!

Ham loaf with glaze and bacon wrapping before cooking.
Transformed ham loaf after cooking and glazing.

After making the ham loaf, I wondered: What wine pairs best with ham loaf? I decided that a Merlot wouldn’t be the worst damage I could do. Besides, my collection was, um, running low and I thought a 2005 Prunotto Barbaresco would be too extravagant. Now, fast forward to lunch today and the hashcapade!

Bacon-Wrapped Ham Loaf Hash with Horseradish Sauce

The actual execution of the hash was simple compared to the making of the ham loaf.

Ham Loaf Hash

2 Yukon Gold potatoes – ½” dice
> Saute potatoes for 15-20 minutes till slightly firm, but tender enough to eat

1/3 cup diced red onion
1/4 of a red bell pepper, diced or sliced
> Add red onion and red pepper to the potatoes and continue to cook for 5 more minutes
Horseradish Sauce
> Mix 1/3 cup of whole milk yogurt & 1 Tbsp creamy horseradish sauce
1 slice ham loaf –  ½” dice
1 slice bacon from ham loaf, chopped
> When potato, onion etc.are cooked, add ham loaf and chopped bacon and heat until warmed through

> Top with Horseradish Sauce and garnish with parsley

After several attempts to find the source of the photo copied ham loaf recipe, I’ve given up and will beg forgiveness to the original author (please contact me!). Here it goes…
Baked Ham Loaf
While you get all the ingredients, adjust the oven rack to the middle and pre-heat to 350 degrees.
1/4 cup dijon mustard
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 medium onion diced
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, minced
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 pinch ground allspice
1 pinch ground cloves
1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce (I use Cholula Hot Sauce)
1/2 plain yogurt
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground ham, resembling bread crumbs
2 cups fresh bread crumbs
8 oz bacon, 8-12 slices (not thick slabs)
3/4 tsp black pepper (1/4 and 1/2 separate)
> For the glaze, mix the honey, 1/4 cup mustard and 1/4 tsp black pepper sauce in a small saucepan over low heat until combined, set aside.
> Heat a medium skillet to medium, then add oil. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlin, cook until fragrant, 30 seconds longer. Remove from heat.
> In a large bowl, mix the eggs, remaining 2 tsp mustard, 1/2 tsp black pepper, parsley, thyme, pepper sauce, cloves, allspice and yogurt.
> Add the ground pork, ground ham, bread crumbs and cooked onion and garlic and mix it all together until it no longer sticks to the bowl.
> Turn the mixture onto a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet and shape into a 5×9 inch rounded loaf. Brush the loaf with the glaze, then arrange the bacon, overlapping slightly cross-wise along the top to cover the surface. With a spatula, tuck the bacon ends underneath the loaf.
> Bake the loaf until the bacon is crisp and internal temp registers 160 degrees, about 1 hour. Remove the loaf from the oven, increase the temp to 450 degrees, coat the loaf with the rest of the glaze and cook until the glaze bubbles and turns golden, about 5-10 minutes.
> Remove and cool at least 20 minutes and serve.
Happy Hashcapades,

Wild Abandon Hashcapade

How could your curiosity not get the best of you – Wild Abandon? Hashcapade? I will say it involved naked people and famous people, but not naked famous people! Wild Abandon on SE Belmont is actually the setting for this morning’s hashcapade with my son below, flanked on either side by arborvitae sentinels. Even from the outside, you can tell this is an eclectic, funky place. I fully expected to see Rick James inside…

On to the naked people. In the book, Breakfast in Bridgetown, Paul Gerald aptly describes the mural below as  “either Greek bacchanalia or Druid ritual.” I actually believe it’s alarmingly similar to my dream the other night where I was the ancient version of the Old Spice Guy being chased my nymphs. In any case, the vibe was infectious as music from Stevie Wonder, Sir Duke, serenaded us as we waited expectantly for our breakfast.

Wild Abandon offers a spectacular Pulled Pork Hash, a gastronomic enigma that was high on my list to try. The picture below (darn grey skies!) doesn’t do justice to the dish – juicy pulled pork, fresh spinach, stone-ground mustard, caramelized onion, and baked potatoes avec skin in a creamy, gravy-like sauce.

All in all, my Pulled Pork Hash was very tasty and ample enough to require a box to take the rest of the deliciousness home. Sadly, my kitchen lacks the atmosphere of Wild Abandon, but the iconoclastic setting, Bacchnalia mural and friendly wait staff will be fondly remembered as I savor the spoils of yet another hashcapade!

Happy Hashcapades,