If you aren't up for back-yard barbecues and picnics in the park this Memorial Day, you just might want to try this colorful, homey brunch as a way to do your celebrating. Though it is a corned-beef hash, it is no ordinary version.

The hash, bound with a horseradish cream sauce, is spooned into hollowed-out baked potato skins and baked only until the top has a light crust. Just before serving time, the hash is topped with poached eggs, then flecked with finely chopped chives or parsley.

It is bound to become a favorite summertime brunch standby since, if you are organized, you can make all of it on the evening before the meal when temperatures are cooler and you may feel like cooking. The horseradish-flavored hash can be reheated just before you slip it into the potato skins. Even the eggs can be poached and held in cold water in the refrigerator overnight. Just before it is time to eat, simply slip the eggs back into simmering water for a minute to heat them through and serve them on top of the hash-filled potato.

You certainly don't have to do any advance preparation to enjoy this meal. It is also a menu for last-minute parties -- the recipe is easily doubled and it calls for ingredients the grocery store seems to always have on hand. Serve the potato boats alongside cantaloupe wedges, or other freshly cut fruit that looks good that day. Fruit adds color contrast and a slight chill to the meal.

Provided you have butter, flour, salt and pepper on hand all you'll need from the express lane is:

EXPRESS LANE LIST: Whipping cream, horseradish, eggs, potatoes, corned beef, onion, chives or parsley, cantaloupe. CORNED BEEF HASH WITH HORSERADISH SAUCE IN POTATO SKINS (6 servings)


6 medium potatoes

1 1/2 pounds ground cooked or canned corned beef, about 3 cups

1 medium onion, chopped

1 bunch fresh chives or parsley, finely chopped

2 tablespoons butter

6 large eggs


2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup horseradish, drained and squeezed dry if watery

Salt and pepper, to taste


1 whole cantaloupe, seeded and cut in six wedges

Bake potatoes at 400 degrees until done.

Make the horseradish sauce by melting butter in a saucepan. Add flour and cook, stirring, 2 minutes over medium heat without letting flour brown. Gradually add whipping cream, horseradish and season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until sauce is thick and coats the back of a spoon. Keep warm over a boiling water bath. Mixture will become very thick as you finish the recipe.

Remove the tops from the potatoes and discard. Scoop potatoes from their skins, leaving 1/4-inch thickness of potatoes on the skins. Coarsely chop potatoes. Use half the mixture for the hash and reserve the remainder for potato patties later in the week. Grind corned beef in a food processor or chop finely. Add chopped onion, potato and 3 tablespoons parsley or chives to corned beef. Melt butter in a large saucepan. Stir in corned beef mixture and cook, stirring, until heated through. Mix in horseradish sauce and salt and pepper to taste and continue cooking until the mixture is again heated through. Spoon corned beef mixture back into potato skins and put in a 350-degree oven while you poach the eggs.

Poach the eggs in simmering water, just until the white is set and the yolk is runny (about 2 to 3 minutes). Put one egg on top of each potato, sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon fresh parsley or chives, salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately with cantaloupe wedges.