If sitting on a sunlit patio in early hours of the day, while sipping hot coffee, reading the paper and eating a sensible breakfast sounds appealing, then I’ve got the ideal meal to match the mood. Awaiting is a home-style breakfast spread that features a smoky Sausage, Onion and Potato Hash. The robust flavor of the sausage permeates potatoes that are peppered with hints of sweetness from sauteed red onion and bursts of spice from fresh jalapeno. This morning meal is tailored for cooks who want to be the one who “gets it while it’s hot,” and I’ve included some wonderful hints on how to assemble a hot cooked breakfast and join in on the fun around the table.
Norm’s Notes: Breakfast of Champions
My biggest issue with cooking breakfast is its à la carte nature. Pancakes, waffles, toast, eggs and many more often have to be made to order which often means the cook is the last to partake in the meal or the food quickly cools while guests wait for the cook to finish and to come to the table. In order for one to finally make it to the table and actually sip coffee sitting down, the number of hot cooked items has to be reduced. In this meal I made the hash the only hot cooked item, kind of; but it’s not complete on its own, the meal needed filler. So, I took a page from classic diner menus and added fresh tomato slices sprinkled with salt and pepper, fresh cut fruit and hard boiled eggs. Hard boiling eggs is a great way to include them in the meal without having to don the skills of a short order cook.
Begin by assembling a platter of sliced fruit, sliced tomatoes and shredded lettuce before starting the hash. Start boiling the eggs at the same time you begin cooking the hash so that they’ll be slightly warm when you’re ready to eat. Once the hash is finished and eggs are cooked, peel and cut the eggs and arrange them on the lettuce. Drizzle them and the tomatoes with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Don’t worry about transferring the hash to a platter. Just bring it to the table, place on a trivet and serve out of the skillet. It will help keep the hash warm throughout the meal, and reduces the amount of dishes you’ll have to clean later. Now all you need to do is serve the coffee and enjoy your wonderful breakfast.
In case you need a refresher, here is how I boil eggs.
Place 6 eggs in a large saucepan and cover with cold water until fully submerged. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat, cover with lid and let stand 7 to 10 minutes. (Less standing time means a more tender cooked yolk.) Drain. Rinse with cold running water until cool to the touch. Peel eggs and slice into quarters.
Sausage, Onion and Potato Hash
*Note: Keep in mind the potatoes need to be cooked and cooled before preparing the hash. They can be boiled, baked, or even microwaved a day or so ahead, but whatever method you choose, make sure they are cooled before you make the recipe to help keep the potato pieces intact.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1 cup sliced smoked sausage
1/2 medium-size red onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. dried oregano
4 large russet potatoes, cooked, cooled, peeled, and cut into ½-inch pieces*
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 Tbsp. thinly sliced fresh jalapeno (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Cook sausage and red onion in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, 7 to 8 minutes or until sausage is browned. Stir in oregano and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until fragrant. Remove sausage mixture from skillet and reserve. Reduce heat to medium.
2. Melt butter in skillet. Add potatoes in a single layer and cook, without stirring, 5 to 7 minutes or until potatoes are browned on one side. Stir in sausage mixture and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes or until warmed through.
3. Stir in green onions and jalapeno and season with salt and pepper to taste.