i dread the question, "where do you see yourself in 10 years?". i could answer it jokingly: "instead of being a cat lady, i’ll be a cake lady.” but that's not what people mean. aside from the next year-ish while i finish college, i have no idea about those other 9 years. maybe i'll be in california, maybe i'll be working in marketing, maybe i'll still be close to my current friends. or maybe not: what if an amazing opportunity comes up somewhere else? what if i never see some of my friends again? (a real possibility since some are international students who will probably go home post-grad, and our friendship isn’t strong enough to last solely in a virtual realm). i know i’m not the only one intolerant of this question; there’s a lot of not-quite-quarter life crises on college campuses right in front of your nose. we’re barely into our second decade (and some not even), merely babes in the wood. how are we supposed to of us know?! (if you’ve wanted to be a doctor since you were given a stethoscope at the age of 5 and haven't wavered and are still striving towards that, i’m jealous).
i'm assuming that i'll make my way to an office job, hopefully one that's somewhat interesting and personally fulfilling, at some point. and i'm definitely romanticizing the work grind, but i can imagine the chillest weekends, preferably with some brunch thrown in for the mix. i usually go out for it, though i'm not sure why: the wait time is usually ridiculous, and i feel gypped by how much they're charging me. so you can picture a semi-frugal 31 year old (probably everyone has done this but: WHAT 31 I'D BE LIKE THE CRYPT KEEPER) me with a serving of bacon mushroom saute with japanese sweet potato mash in a kitchen somewhere. i like that vision.
i was originally inspired by a smoked mushroom dish from 'aina, a nouveau hawaiian brunch place in sf. their version has smoked honshimeji & king oyster mushrooms, poached eggs, okinawan sweet potato purée, portuguese sweet bread and lap cheong. and this dish... doesn't. not quite. there's no portuguese sweet bread, the lap cheong became bacon, i didn't make the mushrooms smoky because the bacon was already smoked. so if you've had this dish from 'aina and you're like.... girl, this bacon and mushroom saute with japanese sweet potato mash isn't the same thing at all, you're right. there's loose inspiration but no direct translation. anyways.
i was leaning towards cubing the potatoes and pan-frying them into homefries, but there's something really cozy to me about mashes, so that's what i went with. in addition to the fact that the bacon already locked down the crispy element, so crackly, instagram-worthy golden brown potatoes weren't necessary. and then a side product of that aforementioned bacon, the fat, was used to saute off mushrooms, onion and garlic. mhmm.
all that nutty potato, with hearty, savory-because-of-the-onions-and-garlic-but-sweet-in-a-vegetal way mushrooms. topped with a fried egg (i know creamy, runny yolks are The Thing, but i'd much rather have my eggs over hard, thank you very much), salty bacon and a sprinkle of sharp green onion. if this bacon mushroom saute with japanese sweet potato mash doesn't make you pro-brunch, idk what will.
if you're like me and need dessert after your savory brunch, how about some coconut almond cluster granola or waffles with spiced pumpkin butter and walnut crumble?
- 4 Japanese sweet potatoes peeled and cubed (I used Murasaki here, but Okinawan would also be delicious)
- 4 strips bacon
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pounds cremini or button mushrooms sliced
- 4 large eggs
- 2 green onions chopped
Place the potatoes in a medium pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until fork-tender. Drain, then mash the potatoes with a potato masher or fork. I like my mashes pretty chunky, but you could add milk, cream, broth, etc and use a hand mixer if you want it smoother.
In a large pan, cook the bacon until crisp. Move the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, and remove most of the grease from the pan.
Place the same pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and saute until translucent. Add the mushrooms, and saute until they brown and shrink. Move the onions, mushrooms and garlic to a bowl.
Add a little bit more bacon fat to the pan, and cook the eggs however you like (I like fried).
Crumble the bacon with your fingers, or chop it up. Divide the sweet potatoes between 4 bowls or plates, then top with the mushrooms, eggs, green onions and bacon.
Japanese sweet potatoes (the ones here were white, but there are purple ones too) are super nutty tasting, like a chestnut, which is different from normal orange sweet potatoes. Don't make me pick which one is better; I'm going to plead the they're different I can't compare them card.