Monday, August 15, 2011

Eat Local Challenge, day 15

It all started with the tomatillos. I had a pound or so from Mudluscious Farms, and I was determined to find something other than (or at least in addition to) roasted salsa for their use. I perused a variety of recipes and came across one for tomatillo and lamb sausage hash. It was the most interesting and savory of the selection I found, even if it did sound more like a dish for later in the fall. And I did have some lamb sausage that I picked up from East Fork Farm at the market, but I had put it in the freezer for use when things cooled down a bit. So while some tomatillos were slated for roasting, I was still looking for that special something to do with the rest.

Divine intervention, in the form of a freezer that has decided it no longer wants to freeze. I came home to a nearly thawed pound of spicy lamb sausage, so some sort of hash was about to ensue. 

Tomatillo and Lamb Sausage Hash
Looking through the fridge and pantry and trying to recall what I could of the recipes I saw that would keep me on my Eat Local quest, I found I had one NC sweet potato, some onions, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, garlic, and banana peppers. And a summer squash. Oh, and the tomatillos! It would be just like me to make the entire recipe forgetting all about the original inspiration, but not this time!  A bit of a cool down in the weather further motivated my pre-fall inspired cooking.

I browned up some of the sausage in small balls, then browned and softened the onion, carrot, peppers, and garlic in that oil/fat. Then the phone rang, and at some point during the conversation, I added in the mushrooms, tomatillos and sweet potatoes. Tossed in a little salt. After what was probably just a few minutes, but long enough to shock me out of the conversation, I gave everything a stir and added back in the sausage balls and about half the pale ale I was drinking (it needed something, and it was handy). It simmered some more while I finished my call, then I added in the squash.  

Because of the phone call (which was delightful in catching up with a friend and preventing me from futzing too much over the pot), I forgot I had intended to put some brown rice on to serve under the hash and to use during the week. Since it already seemed fairly hearty, I knew it would be just fine without it, but I had a little piece of my baguette left, although it was pretty hard. No worries - I let it steam on top of the simmering hash, cut up the small end into chunks that I put in the bottom of my bowl as 'automatic sauce soppers' and spread some of the just-out-of-the-oven roasted garlic on the two slices I got out of the other end, along with a drizzle of the sauce out of the pan.

Yes, it's hearty. What I plated for the picture would serve two happily, with a LIGHT salad. It's got a nicely carmelized flavor from saute-ing the veggies in the sausage fat, the tomatillos sweetened up in cooking, and the beer added a very nice element. The hash will be great under a couple of over easy eggs tomorrow morning, and I'm sure I'll find other ways to use the rest of the leftovers. This is definitely something I'll play with more over the fall, but it's well suited for today's noticeably cooler weather too!

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