Sunday, October 7, 2012

Campstove Breakfast Hash

We live in Vermont.  It's GORGEOUS.  In the summer, it's lush and verdant; in the winter, a blanket of snow (usually) blankets the ground, making the world seem so much quieter.  And I'm pretty sure God's just showing off in the fall.  Then there's spring, a.k.a. mud season.  Let's not talk about mud season.

In any case, my husband and I were inspired by a collection of events and people to start making those most of what we have at our fingertips.  I've always enjoyed the culinary bounty that Vermont has to offer - bread, cheese, beer, the freshest eggs I've ever laid eyes on, cheese, pastured meats, did I mention cheese? - but we realized that it was time to expand our horizons.  We began kayaking (in a tandem inflatable, which fits quite nicely in our apartment), and camping; and culminated in spending a long weekend at Green River Reservoir, where campsites are reached solely by boat and amenities include a fire ring, and not much else.  It was perfect.

It did take a considerable amount of planning, so we've subsequently gone on easier trips where sites can be accessed by land, and we can enjoy our campsite in comfort, with neighboring sites much closer by.  A few weeks ago we were planning to camp on a rather damp and dreary weekend, and decided a hearty breakfast would be the perfect thing to keep us going.

A breakfast hash seemed perfect, and was a great way to use up a few odds and ends around the kitchen... a partial red and green pepper, the last quarter of a sweet onion, potatoes, sausage, and a couple of eggs to round it all out.  I don't think this is a traditional recipe of any sort; just one of those off the cuff creations.  And since it can be made just as easily in a home kitchen, we can whip up another batch anytime we want to reminisce about summer during the chillier months.

Campstove Breakfast Hash
Serves 2, heartily
Click here for a printable recipe

2 medium potatoes, scrubbed clean
1/4 large sweet onion
1/4 of a green pepper
1/4 of a red pepper
3 oz. spicy breakfast sausage
1/4 c. water
2 eggs
Salt & Pepper

On a large grater, grate the potatoes.  (If you are camping, this step can be done at home, and the potatoes can be stored in water with a splash of lemon juice in an airtight container.)  Dice the onion, green pepper, and red pepper - this can also be done a day or two in advance.

In a 10 inch skillet over medium heat, crumble the sausage and cook until done.  Transfer the sausage to a plate and pour off all but 1 teaspoon of the grease.  Add the potatoes (drained of the lemon water, if used), and add 1/4 c. fresh water and a pinch each of salt and pepper.  Cover loosely and let cook until the water has almost evaporated.  Add the onion and red and green pepper, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until the potatoes have begun to brown.

Once slightly browned, add the sausage back into the mixture.  Press the hash into the skillet and make two 2.5-inch diameter wells.  Crack an egg into each well, and sprinkle each egg with a small pinch of salt and pepper.  Cook eggs to desired consistency, using a spatula or large spoon to flip the eggs once if you do not want sunny side up - on my camp stove on a breezy morning, I reached over medium in a little over a minute for each side.

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