Smashing Hash & A Lovely Set of Grits
by Susu and MaceVindaloo
Unfortunately for Wes, the woman in question was within earshot, and later that day she berated him for reducing her down to body parts. "Sweetie," begged Wes, "how you could think I'd say that! I never said that! Hobbie, tell her I didn't say that!"
"Oh no, he didn't say that," Hobbie was nodding so vigorously that one would think his head would snap right off his neck. "He's not that kind of guy! You're so wrong, you wanna know what he said? Oh, but since you think so badly of him" And of course, the woman demanded to be told.
Wes winked his thanks at Hobbie, but in a few seconds tried not actually snap the neck of his best and oldest friend. For Hobbie had explained, "What he really said was, 'I'm going to bring breakfast in bed to her, and I'm going to make her nothing but a smashing hash and a lovely set of grits.' He only does that for very few people, and not even for me! Yessir, you must be one special lady! He even did the shopping for it!"
So Wes spent all night figuring out how to make a hash and grits for a wonderful hot breakfast spread. The woman loved it, Wes learned his lesson about making sure the object of discussion was out of earshot before running off your mouth, and Hobbie wisely remained in hiding till after the relationship finally broke up!
Formula for a Smashing Hash
Wes is pretty good with leftovers as a life-long bachelor, he tended to eat whatever was around, and what was generally around was usually bits and bobs from takeout meals or whatever meal he'd tried to make in hours or days past. And when one wakes up, no matter what time it is, one does not necessarily want to get washed up, dressed, and go out for a meal. Often, one doesn't even want to be presentable enough to pay the delivery person or 'droid who brings food orders directly to your door. If Wes had spent a night with a young lady, he could often cajole her into getting dressed to pick up the order, in exchange for him paying for it. If it was just him and Hobbie, they might thumbwrestle for the honor of remaining unpresentable.
Having fought battles for most of his life, Wes abhored wasted resources of any sort, especially food. He remembered many a time when the next meal was not so certain, and so tried to use up all leftovers in the chiller. It was from this desire as well as when he was broke, or surly, or simply unpresentable that he came up with this general formula for a sort of bubble and squeak sort of hash. This is the general recipe, but feel free to substitute with what you have on hand. Served hot with or without eggs on top, it was simply smashing!
If you want to add a poached-type egg to the hash, press it down as flat and and thin as you can in the skillet. Break individual eggs over the top, evenly distributing them over the surface. Cover the skillet again and leave there until the eggs are as cooked as you like. Serve with toast and maybe a beer, if you like that sort of thing.
Also, if you increase the amount of starch to vegetable ratio, you have yourself a very nice leftover pilaf or fried rice! And without the eggs, it's a very nice "stuffing" sort of side dish.
A Lovely Set of Grits
Wes had originally thought he'd have to create a couple of grits recipes to comply with the idea of a "set of grits," but then he realized he can do a sort of "buffet," where the diner gets a plain bowl of cornmeal mush and can "mix-in" his or her own preferences from a selection of "mix-ins." To make it special, you should serve the bowl of grits with little cups (teacups will do if you don't have ramekins) of toppings that the diner can add to the grits as they like. It also works for a supper for many people, and if you prefer yellow cornmeal to white, call the "mush" polenta and be chic!
Serve immediately while hot with prepared dishes of condiments, so that things like cheese can be melted into the dish. You can use a sweet or savory theme, but traditional "mix-ins" include seafood and/or cheese. Some suggestions, based on what you have in the fridge. Serve some cold, and some warmed (in the microwave or oven or in a skillet). In fact, if you have a bunch to warm, try putting them in heatproof cups or ramekins, lining them up in a baking tray and putting them in a 300°F / 150°C oven while the grits / polenta is cooking, or for even longer, at a lower heat.
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