When I was 16 years old, I made up my mind one December that what I really wanted to do was host a new year’s eve party. But it wasn’t enough to have people round for dinner and some dancing – oh no, this party had to be different. The invitations requested the pleasure of my friends’ company for “dinner, bed and breakfast” (although there was never the faintest possibility that anybody would consider actually going to bed!). We dressed to kill. We dined on the patio by candlelight. We waltzed around the tables after dinner trying out the steps we had learnt for our Matric Dance (South Africa’s version of a high school prom). We went for a midnight swim. We played Trivial Pursuit. We went to the beach to watch the sunrise. And then we came home for a fry-up followed by strawberries and Bucks Fizz.
My 16-year old mind thought that entertaining people all through the night and providing a champagne breakfast was the coolest and most sophisticated thing ever – and somehow I have never quite got over my obsession with breakfast entertaining.
Thus it came to pass that we had some good friends round for Christmas lunch last year. Well, I say lunch… but it started at about 3pm and finished sometime around 8, after which we played games and drank port till midnight. Needless to say, by the time Boxing Day rolled around, there were some bleary-eyed guests and we were in need of a restorative breakfast that didn’t dirty much more than one pan (seeing that everything else was already dirty from the nght before!). This delicious one-pan fry up was just the dish. It is a great way to use up almost anything in your fridge too!
ONE-PAN BREAKFAST HASH (serves 2)
2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and diced
1 medium onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
250g bacon, diced (or used ready-diced bacon)
2 large tomatoes, diced (looking at the pics, I don’t think I had tomatoes on Boxing Day)
about 10 closed cup mushrooms, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, diced
about 50g soft goats cheese
salt and pepper
pinch of dried rosemary
toast to serve
Heat a little olive oil in a large non-stick pan. Add the potatoes, onions and garlic and fry over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Then add the bacon and bell pepper and continue to fry, stirring often, until the bacon is cooked and the potatoes are beginning to soften.
Add the tomatoes and mushrooms and simmer until the mushrooms are just soft and the tomato has been somewhat absorbed into the mix. Add the rosemary and salt & pepper to taste.
With the back of a spoon, make 4 small hollows in the mixture in the pan. Carefully crack an egg into each hollow. Scatter the cheese around the pan, cover the pan with a lid and leave to cook until the eggs are as runny or as hard as you like – I only cook it for a minute or two as I like runny egg yolks.
Serve with plenty of hot buttered toast and Bucks Fizz!