Andouille Breakfast Potatoes
- ◾enough potatoes to feed your "crew" (enough to fill the bottom of a black iron skillet)
- ◾1/2 pound smoked andouille sausage (or good smoky pork sausage), cut into small chunks
- ◾1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
- ◾1sprig of fresh rosemary, stripped from the stems
- ◾1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- ◾Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning - to taste
Adapted from menumusings.blogspot.com
Prep - Cut up potatoes into half inch chunks. I like to use the small red potatoes. The point here is to par-boil them before adding them to the skillet. Raw potatoes would be burnt on the outside before the inside was cooked. Chop, cover with water, pop them into the microwave for about 10 minutes until they are fork tender but still firm (but not breaking apart). Drain the cooked potatoes. Chop up a small sweet onion. Use the smokiest pork or andouille sausage your grocer has to offer. It doesn't necessarily need to be spicy (that is entirely up to your palate), but you do want to go for SMOKY. Slice the sausage in whatever size you desire. I prefer "coins" because they stay a little softer when you render the fat and cook them. My kids prefer the coins cut into quarters because they get crunchier.
Cook - Add the sausage to a black iron skillet to start rendering the fat. This smoky fat will be an important factor in flavoring our potatoes! When the sausage is starting to crisp up, add the chopped onions to them. You may need to turn down the heat to medium and cook the onions a little lower to get them to a nice caramelization level without burning them. Once the onions are soft and brown, remove the sausage and onions to a bowl.... but keep as much of the sausage grease as you can in the pan. To the sausage grease, add maybe another tablespoon of canola or vegetable oil to the pan and then add the drained, cooked potatoes. You ideally want the potatoes to fit in a single layer covering the bottom of the skillet. Once you get them in there, DO NOT mess with them for a while!! You want to sort of sear them to create that crunchy crust. Also, if you stir them around too much, they will mush up.
Season with Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning....or your creole seasoning of choice. Remember, this can get pretty spicy. I think there may be a "lite" version of this in the seasoning isle of the grocery store if you are sensitive to heat. Alternatively, you could use salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders. Cook them on medium to medium-high heat until the bottom of the potatoes are golden brown. Then turn them with a metal spatula.
While the potatoes are putting on that golden coat of crispy crunchy goodness, strip the rosemary from the stems and chop them (medium-fine). To strip the rosemary, hold the stem at the end and pull back on the tender leaves towards yourself with your thumb and index finger. Remember! It's essential that you continue to season at each step. These are potatoes. Potatoes need lots of seasoning or else they will be bland! Do not under season them, or you will be disappointed.
Once the potatoes are golden brown, crunchy on the outside, and soft on the inside, add the sausage and onions back to the skillet. Turn off the heat and add the chopped rosemary to the potatoes. Check for seasoning again.
Serve - While the potatoes are cooling down from molten lava status to just hotter' than Hades, grab a couple of eggs..... A little butter flavored cooking spray, salt and pepper. Gently turn while still soft.... just after all the whites have set. Add the andouille sausage breakfast potatoes to a plate. As a more grown-up option, add that soft-medium fried egg on top of the potatoes. Garnish with a tiny bit more of the chopped rosemary. When you cut into the egg, the rich yolk will ooze down into the potatoes. Now can you just taste it?