I am visiting my family in rural northern Wisconsin at a little place called Otter Creek. I haven’t been here in 23 years! I came frequently as a kid when I lived in northwest Indiana with my parents. My Aunt K-K (who also handed down my pizza crust recipe) and Uncle Mike have a beautiful homestead with a rustic log cabin, several workshops, multiple gardens, and are surrounded by rolling hills and tall pine trees. As a kid, it was an exotic and fun place to visit.
Since I have been here last, they have added some cool things to their house, one being, an early 1920’s Montgomery Ward wood burning cook stove. This majestic beauty is the centerpiece in their kitchen, with a hand-made iron pot rack hanging above it. Once I laid my eyes on it, I had to use it to make something amazing!
All week we kept brainstorming on what we could make on it. Finally, we came up with a sweet potato hash cooked in cast iron skillets. My uncle fired it up using little pieces of oak, cut specifically for the wood stove. My cousin Shelly calls the wood ‘toy wood,’ because it is so tiny! They have a little shoot next to the stove where they can drop in loads of wood into a bin next to the stove. He uses mini strips of waxed produce boxes and the oak to get the firing going fast and hot.
This was such a fun Saturday morning project where we all helped cook an amazing, healthy, farm-fresh breakfast on the cook stove. You can absolutely make this on a regular stove and it would be just as good. We decided to call this recipe Rainbow Veggie and Sweet Potato Hash because all the veggies and sweet potatoes looked like a beautiful rainbow.
Rainbow Veggie and Sweet Potato Hash (Serves 6, prep and cook time 45 minutes)
- 5 cups shredded sweet potatoes (we used a food processor, it took about 2 very large sweet potatoes)
- 3 cups of fresh rainbow chard, chopped stems and all (can use kale, spinach or any leafy green)
- 1 cup chopped red cabbage
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1 orange sweet pepper diced
- 1 red sweet pepper diced
- 1 jalapeno chopped, we used the whole thing, seeds and all
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 Tablespoon each of garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and dried rosemary. We also added a 1/2 tablespoon of dehydrated jalapeno powder from jalapeno’s that they grew and dehydrated. You could use red pepper flake or cayenne pepper.
- 1 cup shredded Colby cheese (can use any cheese of your choice)
First, chop all the veggies and put in a bowl. Next, shred the sweet potatoes (quickest way is to use a food processor, you can use a handheld shredder as well) and place in a separate bowl. Add all the spices to the shredded sweet potatoes and mix well.
You will need two skillets. We used cast iron on the wood stove and I do feel that cooking in the cast iron skillet would be the way to go on a regular stove as well, but if you don’t have one just use large regular saute skillets. Heat up 1 T of coconut oil in each skillet over medium-high heat.
Once the pan is nice and hot, add the chopped veggies in equal amounts to each skillet. Saute these until they are almost cooked through. Then, add half of the shredded potatoes to each skillet and stir everything together. You might need to add more of the coconut oil at this point as well. I added about another tablespoon to each pan.
You will continue to cook the potatoes and veggies until the potatoes are cooked through and the volume has reduced in size significantly. Taste it to make sure they are done to your liking. Remove the skillets from the heat and add the shredded cheese to each skillet.
We made eggs to go with it and topped with diced avocado, and the whole thing was absolutely delicious. You could also serve with bacon or sausage or just eat the hash all by itself because it could certainly stand on its own.
While we were eating the fruits of our labor, we just all hemmed and hawed over how amazingly delicious this recipe was. I’m sure the wood cook stove had something to do with it or the fact that all 4 of us participated in the cooking project and loved every second of it. I can’t wait to go back and cook with all of them again!
Thanks, Aunt K-K, Uncle Mike and Cousin Shelly, love you all to pieces!