Do you know what drilling down is? Oh, c’mon. Minds out of the gutter. I’m serious.
In web development, what we hope to accomplish is a lot of drilling down. It’s the hook that keeps a visitor diving deeper and deeper in to the site. It results in the mesmerizing moment when that person comes back to themselves and wonders how they got to the page they’re because it’s so far from where they started.
As a web designer, one of the things we try to help clients get is a good drill down. The first page of the site should be short and sweet, with lots of catchy little paragraphs that just beg the reader to click and continue. On the next page, there should be something else that gives the ‘oooooh’ factor and evokes another click and continue. Drilling down at its best.
My husband is a master at it, especially when he’s on a site like ESPN or Sports Illustrated. Somehow he has a way of starting with highlights from the last preseason NFL game and through following a series of links or ideas, ends up reading about the discovery of a new species of sea cucumber in the Mariana Trench.
I’m not good at it. I try, but I tend to not stray far from where I started when I’m web browsing. In fact, this recipe is a perfect example of my pitiful attempt. It was a result of some ‘drilling down’ that I happened upon a recipe for Zucchini with Potatoes and Thyme from Bon Appetit.
It all started with facebook. Don’t many things? I was minding my own business; dropping in briefly to check on some status updates when a recent post by the magazine caught my eye. It simply said:
“12 delicious ways to use up all that zucchini your neighbor just left on your front porch. What’s your favorite summer squash recipe?”
I have zucchini. I have summer squash. I could use 12 delicious ways to use it up. So, I clicked. Then I saw the words, ‘Make a Hash’ and clicked again.
No, I’m not a pro driller-down type. I tend to stay on the site upon which I landed and wander around in there a while. It’s a bit like that six degrees of separation if you keep track of it. I’ll have to keep track of my meanderings today. You should too.
Bon Appetit’s recipe calls for potatoes, garlic and zucchini to be sautéed, seasoned and served. I thought that was a good start, but I wanted more from the dish. I love the idea of the squash and spuds together, but neither are real flavor junkies. To put all that pressure on the garlic seemed to be a little much.
Enter idea one; caramelized onions. I didn’t brown them a huge amount because I didn’t want that to be the dominant flavor. I wanted an occasional bite of sweet along with the creamy potato and the semi-firm zucchini.
Since it was still morning and I hadn’t eaten yet, I threw aside Bon Appetit’s suggestion that this would be a good side dish with roasted meat or seafood and decided that my hash would be fantastic covered with a perfectly cooked egg.
And so, my dish was born.
Once again, it is with mixed emotions that I consider the fact that Hubby and Dudette don’t like zucchini. With a dish like this, it’s good to not have to share. I’m already looking forward to breakfast tomorrow because this creates about six servings and I have five to go. It’s delicious, even if I say so myself.
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1½ pounds waxy potatoes (such as Yukon Gold), peeled, cut into ¾” cubes
- 3 garlic cloves, quartered
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1½ pounds zucchini, cut into ½ ” cubes
- 6 eggs
- Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Mix the potatoes and garlic with the salt and pepper in a large bowl, then add the them to the hot skillet.
- Let the potatoes cook, without stirring them or moving the pan, until they are a light golden brown on one side, approximately 3–4 minutes. Turn the potatoes with a spatula and continue to cook them until they are light golden brown on all sides and cooked through, about 8–10 minutes more.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and add the thyme; toss. Transfer potatoes to a bowl and set aside.
- Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in same skillet and add the onion. Sauté it until it is translucent and just starting to brown. Add the zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook the mixture until the zucchini is light golden brown and tender but not mushy, another 5–6 minutes.
- Add the onion/zucchini mixture to the bowl with potatoes and mix them together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- While the zucchini and onions are cooking, crack six eggs into an oil-sprayed skillet and cook to preferred doneness. When ready to serve the meal, place a spoonful of the zucchini and potato mixture on a plate and top with an egg. Season with salt and pepper and a little chopped thyme if desired.