Make a hash of it on Black Friday

By Margi Lenga Kahn, Special to the Jewish Light

I think we can agree that you’ve got your Thanksgiving menu covered. Ah, the power and comfort of family tradition. And if you should feel the urge to add something novel to your festive meal, you can find plenty of ideas and recipes in magazines, newspapers, cookbooks and food blogs. For example, I’ve included below a recipe for one of my new favorites: Farro Risotto with Roasted Butternut Squash and Dried Cranberries.

So, instead, let’s talk about the day after. Though we go to bed on Thanksgiving night feeling so full that we can’t imagine eating again for days, by the time most of us wake up the next day, we’re ready for another meal. There are, of course, the usual ways to deal with your family’s hunger: setting out bagels, lox and cream cheese; opening boxes of cold cereal; or inviting everyone to scavenge through the plastic containers and foil packets of leftovers crammed into your fridge. Yawn.

But there is another option, what I like to call Black Friday Hash. It’s quick and easy to prepare and scrumptious enough to become a new family tradition.

Perhaps you have had the classic breakfast hash (eggs, potatoes and breakfast meat), the more traditional corned beef hash, or even red flannel hash (eggs, potatoes, corned beef and beets). Imagine, however, customizing a hash featuring some of your family’s favorite Thanksgiving dishes, now already cooked and waiting in your fridge.

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Yes, I’m talking about your leftovers. Depending upon your Thanksgiving dinner, your Black Friday Hash could include cubes of sweet potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, chopped turkey, diced green beans, chunks of stuffing or perhaps even all of them.

It’s that simple. Rest assured, you’ve already done most of the work.

To begin, you will need to build a flavor base, something that will help pull together the various components of your hash. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Chop and sauté a large onion, one carrot, and a celery stalk until soft ened. Additions or substitutions to this classic mirepoix could include minced garlic, chopped red or green bell peppers, or even a minced jalapeño pepper for added heat. Use what you like.

Next, fold in your leftovers, being sure to incorporate that bed of sautéed vegetables. 

If your mixture seems a bit dry, add some vegetable or chicken broth to moisten it. 

Then cover your skillet, reduce heat to low, and cook until everything is evenly warmed, usually eight to 10 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to heat until most of the liquid has evaporated. This hash is not meant to be soupy.

Meanwhile, in a second pan, fry up enough eggs for everyone to have at least one. 

When the eggs are ready, scoop some hash onto individual plates, top each serving with an egg, and garnish with a dollop of cranberry sauce. Yes, cranberry sauce. This sweet and tart sauce will add contrasting flavors and temperatures to your family hash.

To make a vegetarian version, in place of the turkey substitute cubed, extra-firm tofu, tempeh, or kidney or garbanzo beans. For a vegan hash, omit the eggs and top the hash with a tasty tahini sauce made by whisking together two tablespoons of tahini paste with a finely minced garlic clove, a tablespoon of olive oil, two teaspoons of fresh lemon juice, a half teaspoon of dried cumin powder, a teaspoon of agave syrup, salt and pepper to taste, and enough warm water to reach desired consistency.

That’s all there is to it. 

In just 20 minutes, you’ll have a gourmet feast that everyone will enjoy. If you have leftover rolls, pop them into a warm oven for three to four minutes, place them in a basket and serve alongside the hash. This Black Friday Hash is one spectacular breakfast, brunch, lunch or even a light dinner.

The following recipe for basic Black Friday Hash will serve four people. It can be doubled to serve eight. I have also included some of my favorite optional ingredients. Most importantly, let your hash reflect your family’s tastes.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Margi Lenga Kahn is the mother of five and grandmother of five. A cooking instructor at the Kitchen Conservatory, she is  working on a project to preserve the stories and recipes of heritage cooks. She welcomes your comments and suggestions at [email protected].