Potato-Sausage Hash with Scrambled Eggs

Everyone always seems to have creative, interesting, different ideas for lunch and dinner and even dessert, but it seems like breakfast is often thought of with very little care, or just cast off and forgotten entirely. As evidenced by past posts like my Apple Cinnamon Pancakes and 4 Simple Breakfast Ideas, I’m determined to give breakfast the credit it’s due!

This dish is great for mornings when you’ve got some time for a hearty breakfast to share, but you’re tired of the sweetness of pancakes, waffles, or french toast. This one will keep you full for hours and is really easy to prepare!

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Start by dicing a large red potato and coating a medium skillet in olive oil over medium-low heat. Add your potatoes to the heated pan, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Keep tossing them every minute or so. Meanwhile you can dice up about 8 inches of a smoked sausage.

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Once your potatoes have started to brown, add your sausage and season with some additional salt and about 1/2 tsp of thyme and 1/4 tsp of garlic powder. Toss to combine and continue to let this simmer for another 3-5 minutes, tossing every minute or so. Meanwhile, dice up 1/4 of an onion and 1/4 of a green pepper.

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Once the sausage is beginning to brown, add your diced onion and pepper into the pan and season with 1/4 tsp of cumin and 1/4 tsp of cayenne. (If you don’t like your breakfast to have much spiciness, leave the cayenne out.) Toss to combine, cover, and let simmer for another 3-5 minutes.

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While this is simmering, prepare your eggs. There is a real art to getting scrambled eggs perfectly light and fluffy without being overdone, and I’m here to reveal that secret to you!

Start by cracking three eggs into a small bowl and adding only 3 tbsp of milk (or less!) along with a few dashes of salt and then whisking this together with a fork.

MAKE OR BREAK TIP: You don’t need any more than 1 tbsp of milk per egg that you’re scrambling, and you don’t need to whisk them to death. Just get the eggs so the yolks are nice and broken up and it’s fairly well combined, but don’t try to beat out every last trace of the whites of the eggs.

Heat a small skillet over low heat and melt about 1/2 tbsp of butter in it. Then, add your eggs and LEAVE THEM ALONE!

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Let this cook nice and slowly (about 1-2 minutes) over that low heat until you see that the egg is starting to cook through (the clear portions will be turning white). The top layer will still be pretty much uncooked at this point.

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Once this happens, crank your heat up to high and quickly move the eggs around the pan with a spatula until they are almost all the way cooked. They should still be a little wet when you turn off the heat!

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MAKE OR BREAK TIP: Leaving the eggs just slightly wet when you remove them from the heat prevents them from getting overdone. The residual heat within the eggs themselves and the still-hot pan will finish the cooking process for you in the time it takes to get them from the pan to the plate!

By now, your hash should be perfectly done. Take the lid off the skillet and give it a final toss to get it ready for the eggs.

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Remove your eggs from the pan and then top the hash with the scrambled eggs. Of course, if you’re splitting this dish, you’ll want to plate this separately. 😉

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Full Recipe:

Potato-Sausage Breakfast Hash with Scrambled Eggs

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

1 large red potato, diced
8 inches (about) of smoked sausage, diced
1/4 green pepper, diced
1/4 onion, diced
1 tbsp olive oil

Salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne

3 eggs
3 tbsp milk
1/2 tbsp butter

Process:

1) Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, then add potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and let simmer for about 5 minutes, tossing occasionally.

2) After 5 minutes once the potatoes have begun to brown, add diced sausage and then season with thyme and garlic powder. Toss to coat and let simmer for another 3-5 minutes, tossing occasionally.

3) After 3-5 minutes once the sausage has begun to brown, add diced onion and pepper and then season with cumin and cayenne. Toss to combine and then cover and let simmer for another 3-5 minutes.

4) While this is simmering, crack 3 eggs into a small bowl and beat together with 3 tbsp milk and a few dashes of salt. Melt butter in a small skillet over low heat, then add eggs and allow to slowly cook for about 1-2 minutes.

5) Once you see the eggs beginning to cook through, turn the heat up to high and move them quickly around the pan with a spatula until they are almost cooked through, but still a little wet.

6) Remove the lid from your hash and give a final toss before plating on two dishes. Divide the eggs between the two dishes and then serve immediately.

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Grilled Chicken Cilantro Lime Salad

This is a fabulous summery dish that you can have really any time of year if you want to remind yourself of the crisp and sweet tastes of the warmer months! (I really needed that reminder since Old Man Winter keeps dropping snow on us!)

It uses a great combination of different flavors to provide a really great flavor profile for a great dish that’s good for a hearty lunch or a light dinner!

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Start off by getting your spices together: in a small dish, combine the zest of 1 lime, and then 1/2 tsp each of salt, cilantro, and garlic powder, along with 1/4 tsp of black pepper and cayenne pepper.

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Coat a small frying pan in a couple teaspoons of olive oil and heat it over low heat. Take about 1/4 of your seasoning mix and rub it over one side of a chicken breast.

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Put this in your frying pan, seasoning side DOWN, and then add some more salt, pepper, and cilantro to the unseasoned side. Let this cook for about 5-8 minutes or until it’s started to brown, then turn the chicken over, cover, and cook for an additional 8 minutes or so, or until the chicken is cooked through.

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While the chicken is cooking you can prepare the salad. Roughly chop 1 romaine lettuce heart and add it to a medium-large bowl. Then, julienne 1 carrot, 1/2 an onion, and 1/2 an apple. (I used Gala to add some red color, but any crisp/tart variety would be fine!)

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Add these to your lettuce and toss them together. Then, to the dish of your remaining seasoning, add the juice of the lime you zested earlier, 2 tbsp of olive oil, and 1 tbsp of rice vinegar. Use a fork to whisk this together, then pour it over your salad and toss to combine. Dish the salad out into two bowls.

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Once your chicken is done and has cooled a bit, cut it into thin slices and then top each salad with equal amounts of chicken. Serve immediately!

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Full Recipe:

Grilled Chicken Cilantro Lime Salad

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

Zest & juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cilantro
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tsp olive oil
1 boneless skinless chicken breast

1 romaine lettuce heart, roughly chopped
1 carrot, julienned
1/2 onion, julienned
1/2 apple, julienned

Process:

1) In a small dish, combine lime zest, salt, cilantro, garlic powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.

2) Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a small skillet over low heat. Rub 1/4 of the seasoning mix onto one side of your chicken breast and place it seasoning side down into the skillet. Sprinkle unseasoned side with additional salt, pepper, and cilantro. Cook for 5-8 minutes, then turn and cover and cook for an additional 8 minutes or until cooked through. Set aside to cool.

3) Stir in 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, and juice of 1 lime to your seasoning mix.

4) Combine lettuce, carrots, onions, and apples in a large bowl and toss together. Add dressing and toss to combine.

5) Plate salad in two separate dishes. Cut your chicken into thin slices and divide evenly between the two salads. Serve immediately.

Chicken & Pepper Mexican Rice

The other day I had an intense craving for chicken fajitas. Over the last year I have developed a real love for Mexican food, and fajitas are probably my favorite Mexican creation to make at home. I tore through my kitchen for the necessary ingredients and was disappointed to find that I had everything I needed – EXCEPT tortillas. Which are sort of the most necessary part of a fajita. Otherwise it’s just a pile of delicious chicken and vegetables.

*Bing.* Light bulb. It’s just a pile of delicious chicken and vegetables … until you add ANOTHER starch to it. And thus, the idea for this dish was born. All the goodness of fajitas, but on top of a bed of cilantro lime wild rice instead! This recipe serves two.

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Wild rice takes a little longer to cook than regular white rice, so you’ll want to get the rice going first. In a small saucepan, add 1/2 cup wild rice and a 1 cup of water plus a couple more tablespoons. Put it over high heat and then add 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, the zest & juice of one lime, 1/2 tsp cilantro, and 1/2 tsp garlic powder. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover until all the water is absorbed. (Wild rice takes 20-25 minutes or so to cook.)

While you’re waiting for your rice to cook, dice 1/4 of an onion and 1/4 of a green pepper and set them aside. Then take one chicken breast and slice it into thin pieces.

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When your rice is nearly done, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat and then add your chicken to it. Spice the chicken by adding 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 tsp cilantro, 1/2 tsp cayenne, and 1/2 tsp garlic powder. Toss to coat, and continue to toss occasionally to ensure even cooking.

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It should only take a few minutes to cook the chicken. Once it’s cooked through, add your diced onion and pepper, reduce heat to low, and cover.

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Allow this to simmer for a few more minutes to soften the onion and pepper, then uncover and add 1/2 cup of your preferred salsa. Stir this in, and then serve by plating the rice first between 2 plates and then dividing the chicken evenly between them on top of the rice. Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese and enjoy!

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Of course, you could always modify this by julienning the onions and peppers instead of dicing them and serving this all on nice flour tortillas with sour cream to make fajitas!

Full Recipe:

Chicken & Pepper Mexican Rice

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

Rice:
1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
1 cup plus 2 tbsp water
Zest & juice of 1 lime
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cilantro
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Chicken:
1 large chicken breast, cut into thin slices
1 tbsp oil
1/4 onion, diced
1/4 green pepper, diced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp cilantro
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish.

Process:

1) In a small sauce pan, combine all ingredients for rice over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 20-25 minutes or until water is cooked through.

2) In a medium frying pan over medium-high heat, add the oil and chicken. Season with spices listed and toss to coat, continuing to toss occasionally to ensure even cooking.

3) After about 3 minutes, once chicken is cooked through, add diced onion and pepper and cover. Let simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes.

4) Once onion and pepper have softened, uncover and stir in 1/2 cup salsa. Allow this to heat through for about a minute and then remove from heat. Plate the rice first and then add the chicken on top, and garnish with cheddar cheese. Serve immediately.

*Super Bowl Week* Bacon Cheeseburger Sliders

Burgers are one of the best “having people over for a casual get-together” foods, but let’s face it, on Game Day, people want a little of everything, and a big burger is just too much with everything else you have to eat!

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That’s where sliders come in – little miniature burgers, PACKED with flavor, but not too heavy to eat! These sliders really deliver on flavor and they pack a little heat, too, so they are sure to be a crowd pleaser!

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Start off by cooking 6 pieces of bacon (crispy) in a large skillet. (Cook more if you can’t resist the temptation to eat some!) A few minutes per side on a medium low heat should be enough. Set these aside on a paper towel to drain off the excess oil.

In a mixing bowl, put 1 pound of ground beef and add to it 1 tsp each of salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano, and a 1/2 tsp of cayenne. Use your hands to combine this all together and then form the meat into 12 patties, about 3 inches wide.

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MAKE OR BREAK TIP: Don’t over-knead the meat! Get it just combined so all the spices are evenly distributed, and then STOP! Over-working the beef causes it to be tough, and nobody likes a tough burger! Use your palms to lightly squeeze each ball of meat so it becomes a flat patty – no extra pressure is needed!

Heat up the same pan you used for the bacon (don’t wipe out the grease!) over a medium heat and add the burger patties to it. It’s important that you don’t overcrowd the pan, so if they don’t all fit with an inch of space between them, do it in two batches. Cook on one side for 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. (This much time should mean they are medium well to well-done.)

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Just before they have finished cooking, add a slice of pepper jack cheese to each one. (If you buy the single-serving sliced kind, one of those slices should divide nicely into 4 squares that fit perfectly on these burgers.)

If you want raw onion on your sliders (I personally can’t imagine a burger without onion!) then while the burgers are cooking you can cut up about half a large onion. (Cut the half into quarters and then slice up each quarter.) You can also prep the buns by taking 3 large kaiser rolls and cutting them into quarters. Open up each mini-bun and add the onion (if desired) to each one and top with a drizzle of your favorite barbecue sauce. Put a burger on top of each, and then break each slice of bacon into quarters and put two pieces on each burger.

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Put the caps on each burger, put them on a serving dish, and you’re done!

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You might find yourself making these a lot more than just when you’re entertaining!

Full Recipe:

Bacon Cheeseburger Sliders

Yield: 12 sliders

Ingredients:

6 pieces bacon
1 pound ground beef
1 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne
3 slices pre-packaged pepper jack cheese
3 large Kaiser rolls, cut into quarters
1/2 large onion, cut into quarters and sliced
Barbecue sauce, for topping

Process:

1) In a large skillet over medium low heat, cook bacon for 2-3 minutes per side or until crispy. Set aside on a paper towel.

2) Combine beef, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, and cayenne together in a mixing bowl. Form the beef into 12 (three inch) patties.

3) In the same pan that you cooked the bacon, over medium heat, cook the 12 patties for 3-4 minutes on the first side and 2-3 minutes on the second side. If they don’t all fit comfortably in the pan, do 2 batches.

4) Add 1/4 of a slice of pepper jack cheese to each burger just before they are finished cooking, and then remove from heat.

5) Open each mini bun and top with onion, barbecue sauce, and then each burger.

6) Break each slice of bacon into quarters and then place 2 pieces onto each burger.

7) Cap the burgers and serve immediately.

Not Your Momma’s Coleslaw

I hate winter. Everything about it. The cold, the snow, the ice, the dry skin… About the only redeeming things of winter to me are the holidays (from Thanksgiving all the way through Valentine’s Day) and the extreme dip in the bug and spider population. (Especially this year, since at least around here, we’ve had far colder temps than normal!)

So, naturally, I spend every last frigid winter minute wishing for summer. And while I can’t replicate the hot, humid weather that demands the necessity for shorts and flip flops, I CAN still cook like it’s summer – even when it’s far too cold outside to even think about turning out the grill.

This post, and the two following it, are going to be a trifecta of summer lovin’. And by trifecta, I mean this one and the next one are going to be delicious, and the last one will be KNOCK your socks off AMAZING.

A summertime staple that seems to be an either-you-love-it-or-hate-it sort of dish is coleslaw. I grew up with an affinity to liking coleslaw, but I was always very picky about it. It was either REALLY GOOD, or not at all acceptable. Everyone’s opinion on what makes “really good” coleslaw seems to differ, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this coleslaw will change whatever your opinion is of how the stringy, cabbage-y dish should taste. Forever. If this slaw doesn’t at least sort of tickle your taste buds, well… Color me shocked.

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Any slaw is essentially comprised of a bunch of thinly cut or shredded vegetation, dressed in some sort of sauce. The choice of the vegetation and the base of the sauce are what really make a slaw into its final tasty creation. Personally, I’m a big fan of slaw with a crunch. If it feels mushy before I even chew it, well… To me that sort of sounds like baby food. Not particularly appetizing.

Most traditional coleslaw starts with cabbage. Though there are some variants that don’t use cabbage or lettuce at all, we’re staying traditional here (at least for now) and starting with cabbage. I used about 1/3 of a head and shredded it with a knife. This is fairly simple to do; just cut each wedge of the cabbage into thin strips with a large, sharp kitchen knife.

Next comes the crunchy bits! I used 2 carrots, half a large red onion, and a medium sized granny smith apple. (Yes, really, an apple. I swear, it makes it so delicious and makes all the difference in the world!) Each of these needs to be julienned to approximately equal sizes. A super easy way to do this is to use a mandolin to help you out:

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The onion should end up being able to be pulled apart into fine enough strings after being sliced on the mandolin. For the apples and carrots, use the mandolin to make thin slices, and then use a kitchen knife to cut these slices into thin strips.

Just for fun, I also added in about 8 gherkin pickles (diced).

Toss the cabbage, pickles, and julienned carrots, apples, and onions into a large bowl and mix it up gently.

Vegetables

Set this aside and then make your dressing. I’m still staying somewhat traditional here and using a mayonnaise based sauce… I used 3/4 cup mayo, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Put everything in a small bowl and stir until smooth.

Dressing

Pour this right overtop of your veggies and use tongs to toss it all together. Serve immediately, or keep refrigerated until it’s time to eat!

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This is fabulous all by itself, of course, but stay tuned for an even more delicious way to enjoy it… 🙂

Full Recipe:

Not Your Momma’s Coleslaw

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

Slaw:
1/3 head cabbage
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
1 granny smith apple, cored and julienned
1/2 large red onion, peeled and julienned
8 Gherkin pickles, diced

Dressing:
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Process:

1) Combine cabbage, carrots, apples, onions, and pickles in a large bowl.

2) In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, garlic powder, salt, and pepper until well blended.

3) Pour dressing over slaw and toss to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.