Anything Hash

Hello friends! As always, it is good to be back!

Well, the times continue to be interesting indeed. Today, I’d like to carry on in the same vein as our last post and show you my absolute favorite way to use leftovers.

I can’t honestly remember when I started doing this but I seem to have a vague recollection of my dad doing this when I was young. I’m talking about what I like to call “Anything Hash.”

What is anything hash, you ask? It’s really just crispy hash browns or home fries with whatever leftovers you have in the fridge added in! Because this recipe I’m about to show you will vary for everyone, I’d really like you to focus on the method for making the potatoes nice and crispy!

With that being said, let’s get started! I hope you’re hungry!

This is all you’ll need!

My ingredient list for today:

  • 3 yellow potatoes
  • olive oil
  • leftovers
  • salt
  • pepper

Pretty easy, huh? This one is all about the technique!

The first step is to chop up the potatoes as evenly as you can. You want the pieces to be bite size and as uniform as possible so they cook evenly.

Peeled or not peeled, that is the question.

I didn’t peel these potatoes because, well, I just didn’t feel like it. Honestly, they only time I really peel potatoes is if I’m, making something that I want to be perfectly white or if I’m making something like gnocchi. But I’m not the boss of you, so if you want peeled potatoes, then peel away!

Next, go ahead and toss those little chunks into a pot and cover with cold water. Toss in a bit of salt (don’t worry about putting in too much salt, potatoes can soak up a TON of salt before you overdo it), and get them to a simmer on the stovetop.

Bloop, bloop

If you’re short on time you can put your potatoes in a microwave safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap and cook for 5 to 7 minutes (depending on the strength of your microwave). Why are we cooking the potatoes before we fry them up? Great question!

Once these babies get tossed in a pan coated with olive oil, the outside of the potatoes will cook much faster than the inside. If we were to just throw the pieces into the pan without pre-cooking them, you’d have a beautiful, crispy and browned exterior and a hard, uncooked and unpleasant interior. Gross.

So, cook your potatoes until they are just about cooked all the way through. Once mine started to simmer, I set a timer for 10 minutes. Once my timer went off, I strained them out and spread them on to a paper towel to dry them off the best I could.

Out of the wash and on to the dry!

Next up, cover the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil. Don’t skimp out on this! you want a good even layer of oil to help your potatoes brown.

I could have used even more oil…

Get your heat to medium high and toss in your chopped up potatoes. Cook them however long it takes to develop a nice, golden brown crust. I like to let them sit for a few minutes without moving them and then give them a stir. Patience is key here. As long as you dried them off sufficiently and used enough oil, they will brown.


Now that your potatoes are basically done, first you need to check your seasoning. Do they need salt and pepper? Probably! Go ahead and season them up before you dump in your leftovers, which is our next step!

The leftovers I had were and egg roll filling mix consisting of onions, carrots, cabbage and ground turkey with a bunch of other seasonings.

Now we’re talking!

You can literally use ANY leftovers you want for this. Fish? Sure! Spaghetti? I won’t judge you! Chili? Yes please! This is why I call this dish Anything Hash. Add anything from your fridge or pantry that you want!

Once your leftovers are added the goal is to get them heated through so they aren’t cold. Once that’s done, you’re ready to serve!

Some chopped, fresh parsley makes it look fancy!

I really hope that you give this a try. It is so easy to do and a really great way to freshen up leftovers and make yourself some tasty for breakfast, lunch or dinner!


We will see you again soon with more tips, tricks and money saving recipes. Stay safe out there!!

Pantry Pasta

Hello friends! I hope that you are all safe and healthy! Over the next few posts, we really wanted to focus on things you can easily cook with ingredients you already have on hand. It can be pretty crazy out at the stores these days so putting together a meal is way easier if you just use what you already have in the house.

That’s why I’m calling this recipe Pantry Pasta. Basically, I looked in the pantry, picked out a type of pasta, added a protein from the freezer and, viola! A yummy and easy pasta meal for you and your family.

After I show you beautiful people how I put this meal together, I’ll go over a BUNCH of substitutes that hopefully will give you some ideas for your own meal if your pantry doesn’t match ours!

Today’s cast of characters…

OK. Here’s what I found in the house…

  • 1 pound of ground turkey (I used 1/2 pound)
  • 1 28 ounce can of whole, peeled tomatoes
  • A half used tube of tomato paste (maybe 2 TBS)
  • Some hard white cheese (I think it was Romano)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • Butter (1 TBS)
  • Olive oil (maybe 2 TBS or so)
  • Fresh basil from the herb garden!
  • Dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

So now you know what I’m working with, let’s get to cooking! As with any recipe, the first step is to get all of your chopping and prepping done before you cook! Not much chopping to do here, a smallish dice on the onion and a mince of the garlic!

Chop chop!

Next, heat up your olive oil (or oil of choice) and your butter over medium heat in a heavy bottomed saucepan or dutch oven. Once your oil is shimmering, add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until it is starting to get soft and translucent.

One tip I learned working at a restaurant is to season as you go! So, once you drop your onions in the pot, throw in a pinch of salt and pepper. This helps to deepen the flavor of the end product. Once your onions are looking tasty, make some room for the garlic!. Cook your garlic until it is nice and fragrant, about 1 minute.

Butter makes it better!

Next up, the raw protein! I just chucked that turkey in there and cooked it until it was slightly browned. Again, I seasoned the turkey with some salt and pepper as well.

I wish you could smell this!

Now, let’s really build the sauce. Toss your tomato paste in and stir it up. You should let that paste turn a nice, deep red color. If you think the paste has cooked long enough, let it go for another minute. We want DEEP, dark red here.

Once you hit that point, dump in the tomatoes, including the juice from the can. Then fill that can about 3/4 full of tap water and dump that in too!

I say tomayto, you say toMAto!

If you have a frozen rind of old Parmesan cheese in freezer (which I luckily did) throw it in now. If you don’t have one, well next time to buy Parmesan don’t throw the rind away! Freeze it! Next up, sprinkle a pinch of dried oregano (not too much, it’s strong!) and just toss the basil in.

No need to chop or de-stem the basil. Now just bring the sauce to boil, reduce to a bare simmer and partially cover with a lid. Give it a good stir every 15 minutes or so to prevent any burning.

Cook my pretty…

I let this sauce cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes was up, I started the water to cook my pasta. I found buccatini in the pantry so that’s what I used! Of course you can use whatever pasta shape you have on hand. I let the sauce continue to cook while the pasta water came to a boil.

Once the pasta was in the pot, I grabbed a big, non-stick skillet and ladled in about 1 and 1/2 – 2 cups of sauce and put it back on a low heat.

Preparing the pasta bath.

I reserved the rest of the sauce in a container that is now living in my freezer for up to 3 months, just waiting for the next time I want some yummy sauce for pasta!

Once the pasta is cooked to just about al dente, I reserved about 1 cup of pasta water then I strained the pasta and threw in the skillet.

Splish splash, pasta’s taking a bath…

If your sauce is on the thick side and needs to be thinned out a little, use the pasta water that you have reserved. Give that pasta a good toss and then grate some cheese over the top!

Finished product! Are you hungry yet?

This was really, really good. Is this a quick sauce? Eh, faster than some, longer than others. But, we’re stuck at home with not much to do, so why not try it?

There are an endless number of substitutions you can make to this sauce. Don’t eat meat? Get rid of the turkey and throw in some olives for a nice putanessca. No fresh basil? Use dried! Or, just use that jar of “Italian Seasoning” you know everyone has had in their pantry for years.

Asking yourself “where’s the beef?” Throw some beef in there! Got some pepperoni hiding out in the back of the fridge? Throw it in!

Almost any veggies would work too! Green peppers, red peppers, zucchini. The list goes on and on.

The combinations are literally endless. All you have to do is ask yourself, “What do I feel like eating tonight with my pasta? What tastes good to me and my family?” You do you, this is a judgment free zone.

Let us know what kind of pantry pasta you made! We will see you again soon!

Chef & Pauper is Back!

Hello friends! It sure has been awhile and we have missed you greatly! Jillian and I started this blog as a way to spend more time together and as an experiment in money saving meals that are just as delicious, if not more delicious, than the recipes you see out there that you know deep down are way too expensive.

We are going to continue our dinner party challenges as well as provide simple and affordable recipes that anyone can make. We also want to provide tips and tricks you can use to make life in the kitchen just a little bit easier.

Another feature that we are going to launch is a “Cheep Vs. Steep” recipe section. We really want to show you how little difference there is between spending a little bit of money instead of a lot of money can still be beneficial, and most importantly, delicious! Of course, this will also be an opportunity for us all to learn when it might be a good idea to spend a little more if necessary.

So, stay tuned everyone! We we really hope that you enjoy the content that we have planned for you in the coming days. It is so great to be back!

Hello friends!

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