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‘Cheeky Charlie-hash-Brown’

‘Cheeky Charlie-hash-Brown’

When I lived in New Zealand in my twenties, my good friend’s parents owned an awesome restaurant in Auckland’s West Haven called Headquarters. Sadly it’s no longer there, but it was renown as ‘the’ place to go for it’s extraordinary hash browns topped with poached eggs, not to mention the sizzling afternoon parties that always seemed to follow ( clearly pre-kids days ). We flocked there in hung-over droves every weekend. There were a few hash brown varieties on the menu, I recall the ‘Rollys’ ( a large plate sized hash with cheese & bacon bits ), the Bellini ( a slightly smaller hash with sour cream topped with caviar and a shot of vodka. Oh yes. ) and the ‘Dan’s’, named after the head chef ( similar to a Bellini but instead of caviar it was topped with smoked salmon ). I tried them all, many times over, and usually washed down with the ever famous Headquarters Bloody Mary made with a big spoonful of horseradish and Tom’s real tomato juice. So fond of those days, so carefree, I don’t miss the frequency of hangovers though ha!

I felt super nostalgic this week, I miss New Zealand, I miss the smell of these hash browns on a weekend, and most of all I miss our Headquarters master and commander Dennis ( my best buddy’s dad, and also my dad's long time friend ). So I decided to re-create a healthy version of the Dan’s hash brown. I've simply replaced the potatoes with low GI sweet potatoes and the sour cream with plain yogurt. My little extra twist is adding Turmeric to the poached eggs.

I call it a ‘Cheeky Charlie-hash-Brown’, after our first son of course.


Serves 4 large hash browns. Takes 25mins.

* The sweet potato requires attention 2 days before you are to make your hash browns.


8 x large sweet potatoes ( if in NZ, you could try the purple variety Kumera too. YUM! )
1 x large white onion
1 x tbps of real butter per hash brown
1 x 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder per egg
4-8 x medium or large eggs ( 1-2 poached eggs per person, so up to you )
1 x large packet of sliced smoked salmon
1-2 tbps of plain yogurt per hash brown ( or sour cream )
salt and pepper

You’ll need a large frying pan and a decent fish slice.

* 2 days before hash-brown making day:

Peel and par-boil your 8 large sweet potatoes in a large pot of water. Don’t cook them right through, just enough to be a little soft. Put into a large bowl, cover with cling film and put into the fridge overnight.

* 1 day before hash-brown making day:

Place kitchen roll onto plates you can easily store in the fridge. Grate the sweet potato carefully onto a kitchen towel. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight.

Day of hash-brown making day:

For the poached eggs, bring a medium size pot of water to the boil.

Heat a large frying pan on a medium heat. Finely chop the onion and fry in a little butter until transparent, set aside.

Prepare your poached eggs. I love the way Jamie Oliver does his eggs in cling film. The eggs come out absolutely perfect. Prepare a small bowl with a big square of cling film over the top, add a splash of olive oil and a sprinkle of Turmeric to pool in the cling film. Crack in an egg, close up the top of the cling film and twist the top tight to create a little egg parcel. Set these aside.

Find a plate you’d like to mould your hash-brown size. I used Charlie’s edged Tom the Tank Engine plate. ha! Sprinkle some cooked onions onto the plate first, grab handfuls of the grated sweet potato and gently create a pancake shape with your mixture, sprinkle more onions on top and lightly press down. Add a little more butter to the hot pan and slide the hash brown from the plate to the frying pan. I find it hard to keep the round shape perfect while cooking, so don't worry too much, I flipped over the hash in thirds as it browned underneath, and then later rearranged on the plate back into a circular pancake shape.

While the hash is cooking on the second side, put the eggs in cling film into the boiling water. Poach the eggs for 4-5mins depending on how big the eggs are and how runny you like them.

Slide the hash brown onto heated plate, arrange the hash brown into a circular pancake shape. Add 1-2 large tbps of plain yogurt to the middle and pile on a small heap of smoked salmon. Spoon out 1-2 poached eggs ( per serving ) into a bowl, break the cling film carefully and spoon out each egg onto of the salmon. If you like, carefully cut each egg for the yolk to pour down. Season, garnish with fresh herbs if you like, and serve. Yum yum yum. The flavours are subtle and light. The smoked salmon really brings it all together beautifully

What do you think of this healthy hash brown? Please comment below.


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