Suzi's Blog

Brian’s Breakfast Mash Up

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On a morning when I don’t have to rush off to work or a meeting, when I have some time, and when I have memories of childhood breakfasts, I open the refrigerator and begin.

There is nothing complicated here: bacon, potatoes and onions. Plus more if you want:

  • Peppers
  • Capers
  • Herbs
  • Mushrooms
  • Hot sauces in any of the varieties
  • Worcester sauce [distinctly different than the typical “hot” sauce]
  • Cheese at the end

I mention these other things only because you can add them, but I rarely do. I prefer the “pure” composition of just bacon, potatoes and onion. I do admit, with leftovers the next day, a dash of Worcester or hot sauce can provide some flavor revival.

This recipe is geared to the size of your cast iron pan. Cast iron. Not non-stick. This is a complete breakfast, needed a cap off of deep, dark coffee.

Brian’s Morning Hash

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • Bacon, enough strips to layer your cast iron pan
  • Potatoes, enough so when diced to form a layer 1” deep in the cast iron pan
  • White onions, enough when diced so that you have a 2-to-1 ratio of potatoes to onions
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Line the bottom of your cast iron pan with one layer of bacon. Cook on medium heat until the bacon is well cooked but not crispy. Remove the bacon. Leave the grease.

While the bacon is cooking, wash but do not peel the potatoes. Dice the potatoes in blocks about ¼-inch in size. Uniform size is prettier [my wife complains otherwise] but not necessary [I ignore her; I hope she does not read this].

Dice the onions at the same time. I prefer about twice the potatoes to onions in terms of volume. I often over-onion and the downside is not having that real “potato” feel that I treasure this dish for. The leftovers are better when the ratio is kept to about 2-to-1.

Add the potatoes and cook until barely tender. Stir occasionally. This can be 15-30 minutes depending on how high your heat is and how finely you have diced the potatoes. If you need to cook longer and pan begins to dry out, add some olive oil or butter.

When the potatoes are just tender, add the onions and continue to cook until the onions are no longer raw. Stir occasionally.

Break up the bacon into pieces and add to the pan to rewarm. Serve hot and aromatic.

Source: Brian O’Rourke

Photo Information [top picture]: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/2.8 for 1/100th second at ISO-3200

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Sincronizada: Ham and Cheese and …

Breakfast in Texas offers opportunities for diversity. First, find a good, really good Tex-Mex spot. Like Curra’s Grill in South Austin. Then peruse the menu, find something you’ve never heard of, and give it a fling. Like a sincronizada [yes, “synchronized”].

It looks like a quesadillas but only a Tex-Mex amateur would confuse the two. A sincronizada is a tortilla-based sandwich, using wheat tortillas that are layered sandwich style instead of being folded quesadilla style. The key ingredients in a sincronizada are one or two slices of ham and cheese. Ideally Oaxaca cheese.

To make this “sandwich,” just add the ingredients and  grill until the cheese melts. Consume at once.

Variations abound. The Tex-Mex versions this side of the border often have beans added and perhaps use a different cheese like Monterey Jack. The dish may be topped off with sour cream, salsa, or guacamole for richness.

At Curra’s a special ingredient is tiny chunks of already cooked potatoes. Melted cheese, ham, and soft potatoes. That was a perfect start to my day.

You can toss together you own sincronizada in moments. It’s a great alternative to that fast food breakfast you or your kids have been craving.