My favorite week of the year, every year since 2000, is the week I go to Birchwood, WI, on a fishing trip with my grandpa. We see black bears and their cubs finding their next meal occasionally, bald eagles both young and old swooping over the surface of the lake and powering their way to the sky with a fish in their talons, loons in pairs as their haunting sound echoes over the lake, deer swimming from island to island, double rainbows, and my favorite part, usually enough fish for our 3-4 fish fry’s for dinner and more than enough for my family and packing the freezer. We throw out two bobbers each and play with an ultralight while waiting for the bluegill full of eggs, crappie by the crapload, bass that’ll fight every second on the line, northern pike who scare away all the much tastier fish and cut our lines, and walleye in a rare, much-hoped for moment. Even when we don’t catch any fish we enjoy some homemade mocha, my grandpa’s concoction, and, my ticket to Wisconsin according to Grandpa, my mom’s molasses cookies. Even though I’ve been going for 10 years, my grandpa for 40ish years, we still appreciate every moment of nature’s best. The good people at every shop and at Dalen’s Resort are always ready to talk shop: what kind of fish are biting, what bait is working, the huge bass/walleye someone caught, and the crappie runs that’s had fishermen taking home their limits. There is so much I want to say about our annual fishing trip up north, but I don’t even have the words. When I thaw out a pack of filets and write it up, I’ll see what I can do another time.
A running joke Grandpa and I have up north is that our family and friends back home probably think we’re just eating the bare minimum. Little do they understand, we feast for 2 meals every day, brunch at 11, dinner at 5, with snacks everywhere in between. I usually come back about ten pounds heavier after our week up north, and this Grandpa original dish is one filling reason why. But, it isn’t just breakfast, works great for dinner, as Mitch Worden can tell you. Or as any one of my roommates over the years, Banta, Taco, Schwartz, etc, can tell you, this meal is right and so easy.
The result: 2-3 servings of a delicious one skillet meal
- 3/4-1 pound pork sausage (spicy, regular, or maple depending on taste preference)
- 2-3 potatoes, peeled and evenly cubed
- ½ onion, diced
- 2 Serrano peppers, diced (seeds add heat so it’s your call there)
- 3-4 eggs
- Vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Cajun seasoning as desired
- 5-10 dashes hot sauce (I used a habanero one)
- Cheese, grated
In a medium or large skillet, completely coat bottom with ample oil and heat up on medium, when the oil is hot, dump in the potatoes, let the potatoes sit for a few minutes before stirring around so they can get golden brown, same goes for when the potatoes are flipped around, if you stir the potatoes constantly it will be harder to get good color. It will probably take 15-20 minutes to give them a good cook and good color. In a second skillet, about halfway through the potatoes cooking, put sausage in and cook on medium heat. As the part touching the skillet cooks, break up the sausage into smaller crumbles about the size of the potatoes. Stir the sausage as needed, when the sausage is about 2/3 cooked, add the peppers and onions, and keep on the heat until the sausage has reached some sear and is cooked through. When both skillets are ready, drain the juices/oil and combine everything in the larger skillet. Cook on medium heat for 1-2 minutes and stir the ingredients in together w/the spices. Have your beaten eggs in a bowl and pour the eggs over the mixture, stirring often to make sure all the egg in the skillet is cooked, add cheese when the eggs are almost ready and serve. I like it sweet and salty style so I eat mine with some toast with blackberry jam.