Manifest Hashcapade at Yolk

For the hash obsessed, it doesn’t get much better than this: Don Kotler, owner of Toast, launched a food cart, Yolk. Wait. It gets better…they serve hash every day – HUZZAH! My faithful tweep, Lyndsey McBride, invited me to the pre-opening festivities and, like MacArthur, I vowed “I shall return.”

A few weeks later, @Toast_PDX let me know that Bacon Hash was on the menu. Since I had already experienced a lovely hashcapade at Toast, I knew this was fate calling me to honor my vow. “Clark. Manifest Destiny. It’s time to return to Yolk,” thundered fate. (It wasn’t loud nor in stereo because my left ear was plugged, but that’s another story.)

Yolk - located at SE Woodstock and SE 48th

And so, I drove from Bethany on the northwest side to Woodstock on the southeast side. Technically, this is reverse manifest destiny, but I didn’t care. I was totally stoked to sample as many hashes as Yolk offered! When I arrived, the cool Yolk Breakfast logo greeted me like an old friend: “Morning, Clark! I’m glad to see you! You’re buying, right?”

Toby Hash and Mary Had a Little Lamb Hash for today.

Anyway, I checked out the menu and was delighted to see Toby and Mary Had A Little Lamb. In case the writing is too small, let me break it down for you. Toby Hash has summer corn, roasted potatoes, spinach, heirloom tomatoes topped with a sunny side up egg with 3 pepper cream. Don mentioned that one of his old roommates, Toby Jones, would whip up all kinds of hash, thus the name. Mary does indeed have ground lamb, roasted potatoes, braised greens (chard that day), zucchini, tossed with mint & herbs and a sunny side up duck egg. Yes, duck egg!

Most people would choose one hash or the other, but not I. Nope. Hashcapades are serious adventures requiring stamina and conviction; the kind that Lewis and Clark embodied as they surveyed the Louisiana Purchase! So when I walked up to the counter, I ordered both – Manifest Hashcapade!

Ariel and Patrick made me feel like a king!

Ariel took my order like a pro, as if people would order double hash every day. Her cook, Patrick, fired up the grill in the background while I explained my terrible hash affliction and that I’d blog about Yolk. After taking some more pictures, I returned as the hash was being plated. “Make it pretty,” urged Ariel to Patrick. I had to smile. They made me feel like a king!

Toby Hash - this picture doesn't do it justice!

Patrick’s presentation of the Toby Hash was stunning. He used a food ring for the yummy bits, then topped the hash with two eggs (I pulled them back for the photo), and swirled saba and chipotle cream around it. The sweet corn, tomatoes and potatoes, when combined with the egg and spinach, were a pure mouthful of summer goodness – unbelievable!

Mary Had A Little Lamb Hash - No, I did!

I knew I would simply hoover the Toby Hash off the plate if I didn’t pace myself, so I stopped halfway through and moved on to the Mary Had A Little Lamb Hash. Can I just say what a brilliant combination of veggies, fresh mint and ground lamb Mary is? There were hints of yogurt sauce and perhaps a bit of curry that really hit the spot! Thank you Ariel and Patrick for a lovely hashcapade 🙂

Happily sated, it was time to make the trek back to the western reaches of Portlandia, to fulfill a different kind of destiny – a nap!

Happy Hashcapades,

Clark

A Hashcapade to Remember

“Sept 11th, 10AM at Accanto for a #hashcapade. In?” That’s how I sent out the invite to my tweeps, purposely avoiding “9/11”. Would that somehow make it less serious? Would we ignore the proverbial elephant in the room? I wasn’t sure, but I was thrilled to welcome new hashcapaders to the fold and check out Accanto.


Accanto on  the corner of SE Belmont and SE 29th
I arrived early, taking photos of Accanto from multiple perspectives. A brilliant sun was already hard at work, intending to flirt with the mid 90s later in the day – glorious! I waited for the hashcapade crew at the sidewalk table, soaking in the sun and appreciating the stillness of a sleepy Belmont avenue. Meanwhile, thousands of miles away, New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania were hours into solemn remembrance of 9/11.

Executive Chef & General Manager, David Anderson works his magic!
Meeting new tweeps is always exciting and this day was no exception – Lars, David, and Jenn joined hashcapade veterans, Matt, Ori, Vivian, Lisa and Paul. Our waiter, David Jaworski (no relation to Ron – of course we asked!) treated us like royalty as he ushered us to our table. “We have the Polenta Hash on the menu and a special, Polenta Hash with Smoked Salmon,” he informed us. Are you kidding?!?! How awesome is that – Accanto added a special hash for my posse!!!

Da Posse: Paul, Vivian, David, Jenn, Ori, Clark, Lars, Lisa and Matt
I made it clear that a hashcapade is about 1) having fun, 2) ordering what you want, and 3) see rule 1! But, in a hashcapade first, everybody at the table, except the “Rebel in the Mist” ordered hash – huzzah! While we waited for our hash, we ordered Mimosas, Bloody Marys and The Cure – all excellent. Our conversation was energetic and buzz-worthy – football, work, wine, travel, twitter, blogs (OMG – we talked about PHP and HTML!) – but nothing about 9/11.

Polenta Hash w/ Pancetta, Caramelized Onion, Roasted Carrot, Fennel & Poached Eggs
Our hashes (two different types of hash are properly called hashes!) arrived and the chatter stopped as we tucked into the hash. The pancetta was chunky and tasty and the polenta “tots” were exquisite with a crunchy exterior yielding to creamy goodness! The caramelized onions were divine, helping impart a sweetness and texture that blended perfectly with the polenta and pancetta. And the poached eggs – can I just say they were perfect?

Completely sated, I marveled at the camaraderie of the table. Once strangers, twitter brought us together over hash. Thinking about 9/11, it had brought strangers around the USA together in solidarity. And today, the world was coming together to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Why shouldn’t we?

“Where were you when you heard about 9/11?” I asked the table. Since all of us were living on the west coast at the time, the most common answer was that family or friends had woken them up to relay the horribly devastating news. Others had been watching the morning news, mesmerized by the unthinkably evil and cowardly act. Each account diverged from there with personal details, spinning individual threads of vivid memories. 

I imagined similar threads being woven by millions, perhaps billions of people around the world today in answer to my simple question. These unforgettable memories, these threads, have produced a rich tapestry, a testament to human courage and resilience. And our table, in its right and proper way, was a part of it!

This was a hashcapade to remember.

Happy Hashcapades,
Clark

Bobby Flay’s Sweet Potato-Chicken Hash

Portlandia, we have a problem…it’s too bloody hot!!! Running? Forget it, already did Leg 12 of Hood to Coast in 90-degree heat – color me toast. Cooking? Forget it, my kitchen is *not* slated to become the inner circle of hell, thank you very much. Hashcapade? See prior comment.

Wait a minute. Begin free association: Hot? Grill. Heat? Spicy. Chef? Bobby Flay. Yusss! (Imagine spirited cavorting and general silliness, which is a form of constant self-amusement for me.) Now all I need to do is pick one of Bobby’s hash recipes from my List of Celebrity Chef Hashes…ah, Sweet Potato-Chicken Hash!

Sweet Potato-Chicken Hash with Green Chile Hollandaise at Chez Clark

As you can see from the finished product in Chez Clark‘s special studio, I used a food-ring to amp up the presentation. I simply copied the version I ate at Mesa Grill in New York. For the skilled hollandaise sauce mavens, I salute you! This was my very first attempt and I barely succeeded with my cheap-o blender, but it worked by following Bobby’s directions.

Now, back to the inside scoop on grilling. I diced the sweet potatoes, drizzled olive oil on them, added a little salt and pepper, placed them on a rimmed baking sheet and into the grill at 425 for about 15 minutes. Watch out for hot spots that could crispen the taters too quickly – I mixed them around every 3 minutes or so.

Sweet potatoes on the baking sheet – ready for the grill!

Another use of the grill was pretty straight forward – place the poblano pepper in its own zone on the grill, crank it up to high and let it roast. I simply turned it every time I tended to the sweet potatoes. Once it was nicely blistered and scorched, I placed it in a paper bag, sealed it and let it sit for 10 minutes or so. This little trick makes peeling the skin a piece of cake!

Grilling the poblano chili is super easy.

My final heat-reducing strategy was also a time-saver – buy a rotisserie chicken. The grocer gets to worry about the hot kitchen while I double-down on getting to the finish line! Oh, one more tip: to get the mixture to bind more easily, I added about 1/3 cup of creme fraiche. This also helps with the food ring (no grilling of hash patties occurred).

Getting ready to mix the hash together…
Another view of the Sweet Potato-Chicken Hash with Green Chile Hollandaise

The dish was sublimely delicious and flavorful. I wish I had added more chipotle to get a bigger heat index in my mouth, but that’s why they invented adobo sauce! I scooped some more out of the canned chipotles after I shot this photo to amp it up. The combo of the sweetness from the potato & the honey and the heat of the chipotle was brilliant, just what you’d expect from Mr. Flay!

Let me know if you try this at your casa and please, stay cool!

Happy Hashcapades,
Clark

HSI – Flash Hashcapade at Circa 33

The tip came in from the Hashcapade Scene Investigator (HSI) computer lab. The crew had uncovered a disturbing facebook post: a “flash hashcapade” was in the works – but where?. I cursed under my breath as I hung up the phone and wondered aloud, “How do I stop this madness?!” Just then, a text alerted me to breaking news: “Circa 33, hurry!!!”

When I arrived, I knew it was too late. The waitress led me to the back patio where I found the table in disarray, toast halves in the coffee cup, butter pats scattered around like a deck of cards, knocked over glasses and a receipt with SOS scrawled on it. For having witnessed the entire episode, she was oddly calm as she smiled and offered, “They paid their bill and tipped me.”

The hashcapade scene…disturbing…SOS receipt…what the hell?!?!

A million questions popped into my head. “Did you notice anything odd about them?’ I asked. Rosie, the waitress and chief witness, replied, “No, typical bunch. But, now that I think about it, yes! They all ordered different types of hash! I thought they were crazy, but then again, they had quite a few mimosas, if you catch my drift!” “Show me,” I barked. Startled, Rosie shoved a menu under my nose and pointed out Circa 33’s cornucopia of different hashes.

Circa 33 Brunch Menu – Holy frijoles – the permutations of hash are endless!

“Do you really expect me to believe that you have this many hashes?” I asked incredulously. Rosie looked at me sideways and sarcastically said, “Maybe you could use a cup of joe and a donut. I’m finished talking to you. Leave me out of this!” She cut me down a few sizes, but I knew she was right. I deserved it. “Sorry. It just busts me up knowing they did this to you,” I managed to stammer. “Please, just a few more questions,” I begged like a moron.

Reluctantly, Rosie sat down, arms folded and looking annoyed. She was wearing a white apron with a sun dress and cowboy boots. I noticed her necklace and tried to gain her confidence by asking, “What kind of stone is that?” “Tourmaline,” she answered, smiling slightly at my awkward question. “Nice! (long pause) So, did it seem like one of them was the ring leader?” I inquired. “Yep, there was this guy with a camera and he  asked me to take pictures,” replied Rosie. “And what did he order?” I asked. Just then, another waitress walked by with a plate of hash and Rosie immediately pointed to it and excitedly blurted out, “That! Our Mushroom & Potato Hash with Smoked Trout. OMG, it is soooo yummy!”

Circa 33’s Mushroom & Potato Hash with Smoked Trout

Of course, I had to sample the next best thing to evidence and was impressed with the richness of the brined  and roasted potatoes, crimini mushrooms, trout and poached egg – simply delicious! “Hey, mister! Are you going to pay for that?” an annoyed Rosie asked. I snapped out of a my brief food coma and quickly apologized and then asked, “Can you show me how you make this?” She stood up, rolled her eyes in disgust and quickly went inside. “Please?” I begged as she disappeared through the alleyway.

Circa 33’s Alleyway from the back deck

Dumbfounded for a second, I ran after her, but she had vanished. The main dining room was empty as all the patrons had opted to dine al fresco on the back deck. Looking for clues, I happened upon a framed kit of kitchen instruments and mused that these were pioneer tools for making hash!

Ancient hash instruments of vegetable and meat destruction!

Suddenly, a light in a back door switched on and I ran over, pushed the door open and found Rosie sitting on a desk holding a camera in her hand with a smug look on her face. “Um, maybe you should check this out. They left it at the table, super investigator,” she teased. Unbelievable! “Rosie, I owe you!!!” I gleefully shouted. I wanted to hug her, but opted to grab the camera instead. A flip of the power button, push play and…voila!!!

The Flash Hashcapade Team?

I showed it to Rosie and asked, “Is this the flash mob? Are these the people?” I looked at Rosie. My heart sank as Rosie stared at the photo, confused. “These aren’t the people, I must have thought they left it. I’m soooo sorry,” she said dejectedly. “It’s okay,” I lied, trying to hide my disappointment. I turned and I left without saying a word. Damn – so close!

Happy Hashcapades,
Clark

Hashcapade with Bart Yasso at Bijou Cafe

How do you combine the three things you love the most – running, hash and epic relays? Simple – invite Bart Yasso to breakfast the day before Hood to Coast!

For the uninitiated, Bart is an icon in the running world. He’s the Chief Running Officer (CRO) of Runner’s World and an avid user of twitter, which is how we became acquainted. Next thing you know, we meet at the nationwide premier for Hood to Coast Movie in Portland where he signs my copy of his engaging book, My Life on the Run!

“Nice, Clark, but where’s this leading?” you ask. “Holy frijoles, I’m getting there!” I respond.

So, leading up to this year’s HTC Relay, I create a “HTC Pulled Pork Hash” and throw it out there on twitter, but Bart digs veggies, not meat – darn! No matter. He’s in town for HTC so I invite him to Bijou Cafe, which I know to have veggie hash *and* is one of his pre-HTC rituals. He graciously accepts my invite and voila – an epic hashcapade is born!

Bart flanked by his HTC peeps, Clark (moi) and Lisa.

I arrive early, opting for a table close to the coffee bar and counter. I’m a little nervous as I think about sharing a meal with Bart and wait for my girlfriend, Lisa, to arrive. Scanning the ever-present specials board, I realize there are no hash specials – aarrgh! But wait, a quick peek at the menu reveals Oyster Hash, Mushroom Hash and Roast Beef Hash – yussss! Lisa joins me at the table and we eagerly await our guest.

Located at the corner of  SW Pine and SW 3rd, Bijou is a local favorite.

When he appears, we quickly reacquaint ourselves and it’s like old friends as we chat about his book, HTC, marathons, training and travel. You see, runners enjoy a unique lexicon and a set of shared experiences that instantly build rapport. But Bart takes it up a notch – even though he’s a running legend, he is laid-back, affable, funny and simply COOL!! (OMG, did I just write that?!?! Well, it’s true!)

Roast Beef Hash – yum!

We finally order our dishes – I opt for the Roast Beef Hash while Bart and Lisa order the Tofu Scramble. When my hash arrives, I quickly tuck into the generous portion – tasty chunks of roast beef and perfectly roasted potatoes all topped with two eggs – simple in execution, but powerfully delicious!

While we’re eating, the HTC announcer for the past 20 years, John Hammerley, stops by to greet Bart. John doesn’t recognize me and Lisa, but after I tell him that we’re on the HTC team, Two Lingering Vans of WhoopAss, he starts laughing and says, “I know you guys – love that name!” And just like that, we’re back in the brotherhood of running and epic relays!!!

Happy Hashcapades,
Clark

Run Girl Run Hashcapade

My friend, Andrea, has spunk. In fact, she has moxie to the nth power, which is north of a googleplex and then some! Why? Because she is launching her very first running event for women, the Run Girl Run Half Marathon and 5k! So, in honor of her UberMoxie event, I volunteered to help *and* re-create my Portland Bacon Takedown Hash 🙂

Portland Bacon Takedown Hash

Unlike the throngs of hungry peeps at the Portland Bacon Takedown, I only had to worry about feeding 10 volunteers. Cake walk – the prep factor was substantially reduced. My plan was to roast the potatoes in advance and then dice and cook at Andrea’s casa. Unfortunately, spastic trolls bent on crushing my joie de vivre caused my oven to malfunction! Undaunted, I simply arrived earlier and got the show on the road: sweet and Russet potatoes, fresh kale, yummy bacon, sweet onion, green onion, creme fraiche, fig jam, eggs and dijon mustard. Bam!

The goods awaitin’ a good hashin’!

The recipes are in the above hyperlinks, so my real break-through moment was figuring out how to get 10 eggs ready at once. I consulted the oracle (a.k.a. Internet) and saw a few variations of baked eggs at about 325 degrees for 12ish minutes. I reasoned that buttering a muffin tin and simply cracking eggs into it would work well. To add a little flair, I chopped up green onion and fresh thyme from Andrea’s garden and sprinkled on top. Voila!

Egg matrix ready for baking!

Compared to the prototype and actual Portland Bacon Takedown efforts, this was easy! I didn’t have to worry about bacon matts covered with fig jam and dijon. I simply added dollops to the top of the egg, which was nestled snugly in the bacon hash. Show time – would my toughest critics send me packing?

Zane and Tate testing the hash…

Happily, the verdict was, “Yeaaahhh boooyyyy!” My hash redux hit the spot! And so ends another running-inspired hashcapade. Be sure to read about my Hood to Coast Hash too!

Happy Hashcapades,
Clark

Hood to Coast Hashcapade

12 runners, 36 legs, 2 vans, 200 miles, and a 6000-foot drop in elevation. Hood to Coast (HTC). What fuel could possibly sustain runners bent on conquering pain & sleep deprivation? From the lofty heights of Mount Hood to the sunny shores of Seaside, I proclaim, “This “Mother of All Hashcapades can!!!”

Hood to Coast Pulled Pork Hash

“Fabulous!” you exclaim to me, but then politely point out, “I saw the movie. Hood to Coast isn’t until the end of August. Are you messing with us?” Then I curtly bark, “Pour yourself a a tall glass of shut the hell up!” (I’ve always wanted to blog that! 🙂 )

Please forgive my rude fantasies and allow me to redeem myself by explaining: Our HTC team, Two Lingering Vans of WhoopAss, held a pre-Hood to Coast party. Besides talking about legs, tees, taped nipples and proper exchange etiquette, we dined on a smorgasbord of epic proportions. So much so, I just had to take the lovely pulled-pork that Mary made and transform it into a hashcapade!

HTC 2011 is the 30th Anniversary. All old tees are represented!

The very next morning, I channeled my energy and focused on the task at hand – dice the Russet potatoes, red bell pepper, jalapeño, onion and green onions. Whew – leg one complete! After a brief hydrating slurp of coffee, it was on to the next leg – fry up the potatoes in butter and olive oil, patiently wait then add onions, bell peppers, jalapeño and spices, wait, then add chopped pulled-pork. OMG – easier that I thought, time for a stretch and the stick for my quads.

The basic ingredients – simple!
HTC is like Christmas for me – show your colors!!!

The final leg. Summoning supreme effort, I plated my creation – hash, egg, and green onion – and sat down with my son. It was all I could do to lift my fork to eat the hash. One bite. Smoky essence and a melange of flavors. Another bite. Holy frijoles, the creamy yolk and hash are like a symphony! Another bite. Wait, is my son trying to pass me? Oh hell no, I won’t be roadkill!!! It was a ravenous race, but I finished my plate of hash first! I was spent, but complete in the knowledge that I had conquered my hunger in three culinary legs of all-out spirit and guts!

And that’s how it went down in the books. Another successful hashcapade at Chez Clark and a creation that any HTC team can easily make (see below). Fuel. Sustenance. Hash!

Happy Hashcapades,
Clark

Hood to Coast Pulled Pork Hash
2 medium Russet potatoes, hashed into 1/2″ pieces
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp EVOO
> In a large skillet on medium to medium high,  add the EVOO and melt the butter
> Add the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally

1 medium yellow onion, diced
> Add the onion in with the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes

1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 jalapeño, diced
1 Tbsp Essence from Emeril Lagasse hashcapade
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
2 green onions (reserve some for plating)
> Mix in the rest of the ingredients and stir, adjust seasoning as needed
> Cook until potato is al dente and peppers a little soft

2 cups pulled pork (Recipe forthcoming)
> Add pork to the skillet until meat is warmed through and remove to a bowl and cover

3-4 eggs
> Make 3-4 over-easy eggs (or poached) based on number of servings

Plating
1 tsp chopped green onion
1 fried, over-easy egg for each serving
> Spoon a generous amount of hash on the plate
> Top with egg and sprinkle green onions on top 

Makes 3 to 4 servings