We love the weekends! We are all busy, busy, busy and it’s so nice to sleep in a couple extra hours on the weekend and start the day a little slower. Breakfast is huge on the weekend in our home. It’s a time for Steve and I to cook together without feeling the pressure to get the dinner quickly on the table. With everyone’s schedule, dinner time sometimes doesn’t happen till 8pm on some days! We have though as a family always valued “table time” whether it is actually at the table or on TV trays in our living room. There’s an old saying, “A family that eats together stays together.”
We believe in that wholeheartedly 🙂
We woke up this past Saturday and realized we didn’t pick up bacon earlier in the week, bummer! We opened the freezer and saw our favorite back-up breakfast meat: Polska Kielbasa. Perfect! We knew then we would have our Cowboy Potatoes and Cheesy Scrambled Eggs for breakfast. Yummy!!!! Steve’s parents, both caterers, has taught us many different tricks and recipes. The Cowboy Potatoes recipe comes from them. It is one of my favorite ways to cook potatoes! So I will break up this post into two recipes sections. I am guessing most folks know how to cook scrambled eggs but our Cheesy Scrambled Eggs recipe may come in handy for someone new to cooking. We all started somewhere, so I will start with our Cheesy Scrambled Eggs.
************************** RECIPE I ****************************
There are some “tricks” to making fluffy pieces of scrambled eggs. First off, thoroughly whisk up your egg mix! Make sure the yolks and whites are thoroughly combined and no longer appear separated. There are some folks who mix their eggs with a mixer or in a blender…not my thing. I want the eggs well-combined but I don’t want it to look or taste like the egg mix in a carton that is served at most fast-food chains. Cook your egg mix, slow and low, meaning at a low temperature (nothing higher than medium heat) and don’t rush the cooking process. Use a wide spatula to gently push your eggs into what will become fluffy pieces. Don’t turn or mix your eggs a bunch of times or you will end up with tiny crumbled hard pieces of rubber eggs. It only take 5 or 6 times turning the eggs to cook them right. You need to also make sure that you add just a little bit of oil or butter (or in our case, our GFS brand of butter-flavored oil) to your pan and if possible, cook the eggs in the same pan you cooked your breakfast meat. A little bit of meat drippings really enhances the flavor of your eggs. Now if you cooked a pound of bacon, drain off the majority of the bacon grease. You only need just a little bit of the meat drippings, like a teaspoon or two. Lastly, add the cheese at the right time…the cheese doesn’t need to be “cooked” into the eggs! The cheese only needs to melt over your eggs! I’ve seen a lot of folks through the years add the cheese directly to their egg mix or too early into the frying pan. When cheese begins to melt, it does produce small amounts of liquid that almost looks like your egg mix. So folks think their eggs are still “runny” and end up cooking their scrambled eggs “hard” by cooking it longer than they should. So the cheese really should be added after the eggs are cooked. Lastly, you can reheat cooked eggs in the microwave without them turning into rubber. Drench a paper towel and wring it out. Place the damp paper towel over your plate and reheat your eggs in 30 second increments until it is as warm as you like it. The paper towel helps in steam-heating the eggs!
Ok so here goes the rest of the recipe for our Cheesy Scrambled Eggs…
8 eggs (for our family of four, it is two eggs per person)
1/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 tablespoon of butter/margarine/butter-flavored oil
1/2 cup of shredded colby-jack cheese (or more to your taste)
In a medium size bowl, crack your eggs. Watch out for the little pieces of shell! Make sure none of them make it into your bowl. Add the milk, onion powder, salt and pepper. Make your eggs your own. You could certainly add a dash of hot sauce or garlic powder.
With a whisk, thoroughly combine your egg mix. If possible, use the same pan you used to cook your breakfast meat making sure you have 1-2 teaspoons worth of meat drippings in the pan. Since we used the remainder of the Polska Kielbasa link to cut into large chunks, we did have some meat drippings to use. The wonderful thing about using the drippings from the Polska is that the drippings somewhat caramelized when they were pan-fried, extra yummy goodness! Plus, we have a slice of bacon, err, Polska to go with our breakfast meal! Add the butter, margarine or in our case, butter-flavored oil. Heat up the pan. Right before adding the eggs, be sure to whisk the egg mix one more time in case it settled again. Pour egg mix into pan. After a couple of minutes, take your wide spatula and gently scrape the bottom of the pan.
You should see large chunks of semi-cooked eggs appear. Using your spatula, gently turn the large chunks of eggs over. Repeat this process another 4-5 times. After a few minutes (approximately 5-7 minutes) your eggs will be cooked and this is evident when there isn’t any free-standing liquid in the pan.
Sprinkle the shredded cheese over your eggs. Allow the cheese to melt fully (approximately 1-2 minutes).
Turn your eggs with your spatula one last time and use your spatula to gently cut up large but bite-size pieces of eggs. Remove eggs from the pan onto a serving platter. Tadah! Your fluffy, cheesy scrambled eggs are done!
************************** RECIPE II ****************************
Now let’s talk about the Cowboy Potatoes. They are reminiscent of potatoes you would cook over the open flame of a small bonfire, hence the name, Cowboy Potatoes. I unfortunately couldn’t find my potato scrubber Saturday morning, darn teenage son, who after moving into our current home 10 years ago he still doesn’t know where to put the dishes and silverware back to after he washes them! I don’t really complain though because well, he IS washing them, lol. It’s just always a scavenger hunt when you are looking for something in the kitchen, lol. Heck, our dishwasher went out years ago, it was an Amana even…so now our dishwasher is a “Stevie,” lol. Normally, I would scrub the potatoes and leave the skins on but today had to go with peeling them. They still turned out fantastic but I highly recommend leaving the skins on. What potatoes did I use? Good ol’ Idaho potatoes. I will be honest though, this meal is even better when small red potatoes are used but I’m all about using what I have on hand in my pantry at the moment. Fresh onions and green peppers are a must! When we go grocery shopping, I always pick up one large onion and one large green pepper. These are staples in many recipes we use. I take the time to clean and dice the onion and green pepper and then separate them into snack-size Ziploc baggies in the freezer (approximately 1/4 cup in each baggie). I toss the baggies in the freezer and then they are ready to go whenever I need them for our meatloaf, chili or any other recipe that needs a little extra flavor. It’s so nice to have veggies already diced and ready to go at a moment’s notice so it’s well worth the time to dice them up when you first return home from the grocery store. Seriously, one large onion will give you at the very least 4 baggies full when diced. Same with the green peppers! I don’t ever bother to unthaw the onions or green peppers, I just throw them in frozen into our recipes. All you have to do is smack the baggie on the counter and drop in a chunk or two of the diced veggie depending on how much of the veggies you want to add to a recipe. The best part is that they cook up like they were tossed in fresh not frozen! The onions still caramelize and become transparent and the peppers wilt to just the right amount when cooked while still having a little crunch to them. They melt slowly, separate into their little diced pieces and turn out perfect every time!
Our family prefers Polksa Kielbasa. It is a smoother blend of meat that doesn’t have the unsightly and untasty chunks of white mystery pieces in it found in most other sausage links. Plus, you can always find Polska Kielbasa on sale for around $2.50 for a huge link of it!
So here goes the remainder of the Cowboy Potatoes recipe:
1 cup of sliced Polksa Kielbasa
5 medium-sized potatoes (general rule when cooking with fresh potatoes, 1 potato for each person and 1 extra potato for the pot)
2 tablespoons of butter/margarine/butter-flavored oil
1 heaping tablespoon of diced onion
1 heaping tablespoon of diced green peppers
1.5 teaspoons of Lowry’s Seasoned Salt
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of pepper
If you haven’t already, slice the Polska Kielbasa into thin medallions (1 cup worth). For us, we took the remainder of the Polksa Kielbasa link, sliced it in 1/2 length-wise and then cut large chunks up to fry on the side (we used the meat drippings from this to cook our scrambled eggs in).
Set sliced Polksa Kielbasa off to the side. Scrub your potatoes well (if using skins, which again, I strongly recommend) or peel your potatoes. Cut your potatoes into long, bite-size chunks (like a thick, Julienne style). Set potatoes aside. In a large frying pan, add the butter, margarine or butter-flavored oil and heat over medium heat. Once butter, margarine or oil is heated up, add the potatoes, diced onion, diced green peppers and sliced Polksa Kielbasa to the frying pan (see, my onions & green peppers were still frozen).
Give it a good stir to combine the ingredients. Sprinkle the Lowry’s Seasoned salt, garlic powder and pepper over the potato mix. Stir again until well combined. Place a lid over the potatoes; this allows the potato to cook all the way through by means of “steaming”. Continue cooking with the lid on for approximately 10 minutes stirring every couple of minutes or so.
Locate a large piece of potato in the pan and give it the “fork-test”. If the fork slides easily into the potato chunk, then the potatoes are cooked through (if not, place lid back on and cook a couple more minutes until fork slides easily into a potato chunk). Remove the lid and pan fry the potatoes to give then a golden brown color and a little crunch. Tadah- your Cowboy Potatoes are done! We baked up some Grands biscuits to make our breakfast complete!
I wonder if I am spelling “tadah” right? Oh well, you know what I mean, lol! If Emeril can use “Bam” as his catch phrase then I most certainly can have one too…
…so TADAH !