Keep Your Spleen and Stomach Balanced with this Simple Next Day Dish
By DAO Co-Founder and Chef Travis Metzger
As the New Year is here, resolutions are too. For some, our resolutions include going to the gym more, reducing our sugar intake or getting more sleep. But many of us, resolution or not, putting better food to our body should be a priority in 2019. Keeping your middle burner fired up keeps you balanced and how the food in his recipe not only heals the body, but tastes amazing as well.
Maintain Your Middle Burner at Breakfast
The ingredients used here will even help maintain your “middle burner fire” by keeping your spleen and stomach balanced. A key ingredient in this dish is honey, energetically, honey acts upon the stomach and spleen while having tonifying, soothing and nourishing properties. I like to use it as a sweetener instead of white sugar because it is sweeter, has a more complex flavor and is not as empty of nutrients as is sugar and therefore does not upset the bodies mineral balance as much as sugar. For centuries honey has been used as medicine as it works naturally to harmonize the liver, neutralize toxins and relieve pain.
The chicken in the recipe helps supplement the Qi and blood while warming you internally. It specifically affects the digestion by balancing the spleen-pancreas and stomach. Sweet potato fortifies the spleen, supplements Qi energy and removes toxins. Scallions, like garlic, have antifungal and antimicrobial effects but to a lesser degree. Cilantro can aid digestion and regulate energy.
We are using both roasted fresh green chiles and smoked chiles in this recipe. Capsaicin is a yang tonic and a fast acting vasodilator that widens the blood vessels and so enhances both blood and Qi circulation, the capsicum burn can be reduced by cooking. Warming to the internal organs, they can invigorate the stomach and stimulate digestion while having antioxidant properties.
This recipe is also great for using leftovers because you can substitute almost any protein, potato, grain or vegetable imaginable, of course the Chinese medicine aspects will change as the ingredients change but the dish largely remains the same. Examples of the many possible leftover substitutions could be shrimp, lobster, ham, turkey, smoked brisket, pastrami, pulled pork or even mock duck or tofu. Instead of sweet potatoes you could use roasted potatoes, hash browns, scalloped potato or au gratin, even mashed potatoes could work. Rice or other grains could be used as well and of course any vegetables that are available if you like. So as you can see, this will work well with whatever you happen to have in the refrigerator and as I always say, recipes are only guidelines and you should always feel free to use the ingredients you like or have available.
Sweet Potato Chicken Hash with Green Chile Hollandaise Topped w/ Poached Eggs
I love all types of hash style brunch dishes but especially this one because the different flavors go so well together. The sweetness of the sweet potato and honey plays nicely with the smokiness and heat of the chipotle, add in the lemony luxuriousness of the hollandaise with the green chile accent and you have yourself a very well balanced dish both from a flavor and textural perspective.
The scallion and cilantro garnish finishes with the perfect amount of freshness which will leave your guests thinking you worked all week putting this wonderful dish together, it will be our little secret that you used mostly leftovers.
Ingredients from a Chinese Medicine Perspective
Chicken – Sweet and warm, enters the spleen and stomach and kidney channels.
Sweet Potato – Sweet and neutral to cool, enters the spleen and stomach channel.
Chipotle and Green Chiles – Chiles treat the lungs, stomach, spleen and heart.
Honey – Sweet and glossy with a neutral thermal energy. Supplements the center, cooked honey moistens dryness and resolves toxins.
Scallions – Pungent, warm and bitter. Frees the flow of yang and resolves toxins.
Cilantro – Pungent and sweet. Supports the stomach, spleen, bladder and lung meridians.
Eggs – Sweet and neutral, chicken eggs nourish the blood, enrich yin and moistens dryness.
Butter – Salted butter is more warming and harder to digest while unsalted butter is more cooling and easier to digest.
White Pepper – A cooling pungent that can dry dampness
Serving size: 2
Prep Time / Cook Time: 15 minutes / 15 minutes
For the hollandaise, melt the butter on the stove top and set aside. I like using a blender for my hollandaise so simply add the six egg yolks and lemon juice to the blender, start the blender and very slowly add the warm melted butter in a steady stream. This should emulsify right away and you can adjust seasoning with the white pepper and a bit of salt.
Roast a poblano chile by placing it directly in the flame of a stove top burner or use a broiler until charred. Place in a small container and cover to allow the poblano to steam which will help release the charred skin and make it easier to remove. Remove the charred skin, stem and seeds. Cut into a small to medium dice and fold into the hollandaise.
To make the hash, dice your leftover chicken and sweet potato to a medium dice. Chop the cilantro and scallion using mostly the green part of the scallion. Place these ingredients into a medium sized bowl and add the honey and chipotle. For the chipotle I typically like to puree the contents of a small can of chipotle in adobo in a blender with just a couple ounces of water and use this puree in recipes as needed. Stir the hash mixture and add to a medium high saute pan until slightly browned and you start to get some caramelization on the sweet potato and chicken.
Poach your eggs by bringing about two quarts water with vinegar to a simmer. Open each egg into individual cups. Using a large spoon begin to stir the water in a circular motion and add the eggs one by one. Simmer for about four minutes and remove with a slotted spoon or spider type strainer. Season with salt and black pepper.
Begin plating by placing the slightly caramelized hash on the plate, add two poached eggs to each plate and spoon the hollandaise around the plate. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and scallions and enjoy.
M.Om., Dipl. Acu (NCCAOM) L.Ac.
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