Breakfast, Main Dishes, Meat, Pork, Recipes

Sausage and Ranch Potato Skillet with Fried Eggs

This easy sausage and potato skillet is seasoned with a healthy herb ranch blend and topped with a fried egg, making it a perfect breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner! Delicious!

Sausage and Ranch Potato Skillet with Fried Eggs | thepajamachef.com

I love skillet meals! One dish meals are seriously my go-to for weeknights. Less courses=less dishes=less clean up=more time to read on the couch/bake pumpkin treats/watch tv/brush our little spoiled cats or anything else my little heart desires. Usually my skillet meals include rice, pasta, or quinoa, and cheese. Always cheese! But sometimes you want something a little lighter and fresher. Not that rice or pasta dishes can’t be light, but you know what I mean, right? For me, the key to delicious light meals is lots of flavor. Like ranch! Mmm, ranch dressing. Whoever invented that stuff was a genius!

Healthy Herb Ranch Seasoning | thepajamachef.com

A few weeks ago, on a whim, I made a batch of healthy herb ranch seasoning and used it for some roasted potatoes alongside a little breakfast-for-dinner meal with cheesy scrambled eggs, oatmeal scones, and berries. Not that you’ll NEED extra ideas for using this ranch seasoning [I think it’s going to become a standard addition to my pantry] but let me just say that ranch seasoning on popcorn is amazingggg! Mmm, it’s 8 am and I want some ranch popcorn. Haha.

Ranch Potatoes | thepajamachef.com

Now, that meal was good…but I had visions! Visions of a ranch-seasoned skillet meal with crispy roasted potatoes, crumbled breakfast sausage, bell peppers, onion, garlic, jalapeno and a fried egg on top! Well, my fried eggs are actually over-easy eggs but same diff. 🙂 I am happy to report that this skillet was everything I dreamed it would be… a fresh, filling meal full of ranch flavor AND the best part was that it’s healthy! That’s why I used that ranch seasoning blend… all the flavors of a hearty, creamy ranch without tons of salt, sour cream, or mayo. To make the potatoes super crispy I roasted them in the oven with some of the ranch seasoning, then tossed them with the sausage and bell pepper mixture after everything was cooked. Don’t forget the avocado on the side… a bite of creamy, cool avocado alongside this spicy ranch-y skillet is just divine! Enjoy!

P.S. Don’t forget about my giveaway for Healthy Solutions Spice Blends! Ends Saturday! 🙂

Sausage and Ranch Potato Skillet with Fried Eggs | thepajamachef.com

two years ago: Peach Ginger Pie
three years ago: Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad
four years ago: Chili Burgers

Sausage and Ranch Potato Skillet with Fried Eggs

  • Servings: 4
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Sausage and Ranch Potato Skillet with Fried Eggs | thepajamachef.com
Ingredients:

  • 1 pound red potatoes, cut into eighths [quarter, then half each quarter]
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon ranch seasoning, divided [see below, or use your favorite]
  • cayenne pepper – optional
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound breakfast sausage
  • 1 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced – optional
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 eggs
  • diced avocado, for serving

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss red potatoes in 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning, a sprinkling of cayenne, and olive oil. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until fork-tender. I like to bump the heat up to 475 for the last 5 minutes or so of baking to get a nice crispy crust.

While potatoes are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon. Drain grease and return sausage to pan. Add onion, green pepper, red pepper, and jalapeno, if using. Saute for 10 minutes or until onions are soft. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Cover and remove from heat. When potatoes are done, add to skillet with sausage and vegetables and stir in remaining 1/2 tablespoon ranch seasoning.

Cook fried eggs to desired doneness, then serve a fried egg on top of each serving with diced avocado.

Healthy Herb Ranch Seasoning

  • Servings: 1 cup
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Healthy Herb Ranch Seasoning | thepajamachef.com

from Wildflour’s Cottage Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried chives
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried minced onion, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a Mason jar and shake to combine. Store covered until ready to use.

Can combine with 1 3/4 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt for a ranch dressing/dip; just mix well and thin with milk or buttermilk to reach desired consistency.

Linked up with Weekend Potluck.

Appetizers, Recipes

Broccoli Stuffed Loaded Potato Skins with Avocado Cream

It’s January! For many people, that means a [re]commitment to healthy eating. Sticking with a healthy diet can be hard. Since I am all for moderation of all things, instead of strict denial, I like to find healthier versions of my favorite treats. These potato skins are a prime example.

Broccoli Stuffed Loaded Potato Skins | thepajamachef.com

The regular version is loaded up with tons of cheese, sour cream, and bacon. This version, à la Ellie Krieger, features broccoli, Canadian bacon, avocado, and cheese. The perfect substitute! And perhaps, even better than the original?

Broccoli Stuffed Loaded Potato Skins | thepajamachef.com

While I love the usual loaded potato skins [and ate my fair share in college], this version with broccoli and avocado is just fabulous. They’re more filling and more of a meal-appetizer than an appetizer-appetizer. Make sense? I had forgotten just how good Canadian bacon was… salty and a little more gourmet than regular bacon. Gourmet may be a bit of an overstep, but I love its juicy, smoky sweetness. It pairs SO well with that avocado cream, which MIGHT be my new favorite thing! It’s like guac, but creamy and with just a hint of lime. The only change I might make to this dish would be to chop the broccoli up a little more after steaming it, but that’s just a minor thing.

Broccoli Stuffed Loaded Potato Skins | thepajamachef.com

This app is perfect for a football party, or just a casual night at home in your cozy slippers. 🙂 Enjoy!

two years ago: Perfect Black Beans 
three years ago: Triple Chocolate Oat Cookies

Broccoli Stuffed Loaded Potato Skins with Avocado Cream [from Comfort Food Fix by Ellie Krieger]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 4 small russet potatoes, scrubbed and dried
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli florets [4 ounces]
  • 2 ounces Canadian bacon, diced
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated

for avocado cream

  • 1 avocado
  • 2 scallions, chopped [green and white parts separated]
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pierce potatoes with a fork 8-10 times each, then wrap in paper towels and microwave until fully cooked, about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside until cool enough to handle, then cut in half lengthwise.

Scoop out all but an 1/8 inch of the potato flesh, reserving for another use. Brush the inside and outside of the potatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place skin-side down on a baking sheet and cook until crispy and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, making the filling. Steam the broccoli until crisp-tender. Add the Canadian bacon to a skillet set over medium-high heat and saute until crisp, about 4 minutes. Divide the broccoli and cheese equally amongst the potatoes

Lower oven temperature to 400 degrees and return potatoes to oven, baking for about 5 minutes until cheese is melted.

To make the avocado cream, place all ingredients except green scallions in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, top potato skins with Canadian bacon, avocado cream, and green scallions.

Time: 45 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings.

Potatoes, Recipes, Sides

Chipotle-Cilantro Mashed Potatoes

Thanks for coming back for another edition of Thanksgiving week! On Monday I shared my recipe for Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls. On Tuesday, it was Mixed Vegetables Mornay [my fave side ever!!]. And today, it’s mashed potatoes.

Chipotle-Cilantro Mashed Potatoes | thepajamachef.com

I know, I know. Mashed potatoes are super classic… and you probably don’t even need a recipe to make them. BUT hear me out! These mashed potatoes are something extra special, because they’ve got a Southwestern flair to them! Chipotle peppers and cilantro are an awesome flavor combo, so why not add ’em to mashed potatoes??!

Chipotle-Cilantro Mashed Potatoes | thepajamachef.com

I seriously couldn’t get enough of these potatoes. And I’m not a mashed potatoes girl. I prefer baked potatoes or fries, anything really besides mashed potatoes. These potatoes are different though. They’re interesting and spicy, but not hot or anything out of control. I thought about adding some cheddar cheese–and I’m sure that would be awesome, but before you add a bunch of cheese… just try ’em! The cilantro adds SO much flavor. I know these mashed potatoes are far from traditional but you should definitely give them a try! Feel free to add more butter or use cream instead of milk if you like, but since I was making these for two, I decided to be a little less liberal with the indulgent stuff. And truthfully, I think these potatoes were creamy and flavorful enough without tons of cream and butter. They’re amazing, and I think I’ll go have a bowl now! Be sure to come back tomorrow for some turkey, and Friday for pear crisp! Yum yum and YUM!

Thanksgiving Meal | thepajamachef.com

two years ago: KC’s Dilled Carrots
three years ago: Layered Taco Dip

Chipotle-Cilantro Mashed Potatoes [flavor combo idea adapted from Food Network Magazine, November 2011]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds potatoes [Yukon Gold or Russet]
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4-1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons chipotle pepper in adobe sauce, minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced [loosely packed]
  • Kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Wash and dry potatoes, then cut into quarters and place in a pan.  Cover with cold water by an inch or two, then add 1 tablespoon Kosher salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium-low heat. Cook, uncovered, until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain potatoes and let sit until cool enough to handle. Peel potatoes and transfer to a bowl.

Add butter and milk, then mash with a fork or potato masher. Stir in chipotle pepper and cilantro, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Time: 60 minutes.
Yield: 8 servings.

Breakfast, Egg Dishes, Recipes

Eggplant Potato Frittata for Two [or a crowd]

So, I used to post once a month on a blog called Today’s Housewife. Last fall, the group decided together to stop posting due the busyness of life and families and such. Though sad, I enjoyed being part of the group. As of early January, the blog was officially taken down. But I don’t want to lose my recipes, so periodically I will be reposting them on here. Enjoy!

~

from September 8, 2011… I need to make this again soon! 

Q: How do you get a husband (or kids) to eat eggplant?

A: With eggs, cheese, and potato of course!

This summer my husband and I joined a CSA for the first time. CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture” and is basically a chance to purchase a basket of produce each week from a local farmer. You can read more about our experience here, but for the most part, it’s been great–and it lasts until early November so we still have several months to go! I love that my CSA basket has items that I would never purchase on my own… but sometimes it does create challenges, like when you have an eggplant-hating husband and you receive a pint full of those purple vegetables.

Eggplant Potato Frittata for Two (or a Crowd) | thepajamachef.com

Enter the frittata, also known in my kitchen as a “miracle vegetable hider” or just plain “delicious.” A frittata is a crustless quiche, prepared mostly on the stove but thrown in the oven for a delicious finishing touch. Frittatas sound complex, but are really simple to prepare and make a great, filling dinner on a busy night or an impressive looking meal for company.

Over the past few months, we’ve had the opportunity to make many combinations of frittatas with different vegetables and herbs. It’s amazing what egg and cheese can do! This is my latest version–sweet, chewy eggplant combined with familiar, comforting potatoes was a winner in our book, and I hope you enjoy it too!

Eggplant Potato Frittata for Two [adapted from In Praise of Leftovers and The Pajama Chef]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 3/4 cup potato, cut into very thin rounds
  • 3 small eggplants, chopped [about 3/4 cup]
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoons fresh herbs, chopped [I used basil] or 1 tablespoon dried herbs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese [I used mozzarella]

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a small, ovenproof, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add a little oil [once around the pan], then add potato and eggplant. Cook 4-5 minutes or until soft, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, beat eggs, water, and herbs together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

After vegetables are soft, pour in egg mixture and use a spatula to evenly distribute vegetables. Allow to cook for a couple minutes, until the bottom of the frittata starts to set, then use a thin spatula to lift the edge of the frittata. This allows the uncooked egg to transfer below to cook. When eggs are almost set, top with cheese and place in the oven to cook for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Cool briefly before cutting, then serve warm.

Note: Recipe can be easily doubled, tripled, etc. as needed, but leftovers aren’t the best so just make what will be consumed in one meal if possible.

Yield: 2 servings.

Time: 30 minutes.

Linked up with: What’s Cookin’ Wednesday.

Potatoes, Recipes, Sides

Mom’s Potato Salad

Everybody has their own favorite potato salad recipe. You know, the only one you’ll make. Well, this is mine. Actually my Mom’s, or more likely her Mom’s. Or something like that. Anyways. This potato salad is absolutely perfect. Creamy, crunchy, classic–with just the right ratio of potatoes to eggs to celery to onion, with a super simple mayo-mustard dressing. The only catch? You must make it in this very yellow bowl for its perfection to truly shine through.

Mom's Potato Salad | ThePajamaChef.com

Yes, that faded Pyrex yellow bowl is the potato salad bowl. A piece of family history, if you will. If you don’t have one, don’t despair. Just be sure to serve it up with tons of paprika and it’ll even out. 🙂 Lots of paprika on potato salad is key, imo. Do you agree?

Maybe it’s easier for me to make it in this bowl because it’s one of those recipes where you just eyeball everything without measuring [though I did provide rough measurements in the recipe below, recorded from when I recently made this].

Mom's Potato Salad | ThePajamaChef.comRegardless of the bowl, this is seriously the best potato salad I’ve ever had, and I hope you’ll give it a try too! But even though I think this is the best, I’m curious to know… what’s in your potato salad? Links welcome! I’m super curious. 🙂

#TheSaladBar

P.S. I know I don’t usually post on Saturdays but I just joined The Salad Bar, which is a new monthly blogging group challenge. Wendy of The Weekend Gourmet started this group last month and I am so happy to be part of it. You can request to join by clicking on the above image [linking to our Facebook page]. The theme this month is potluck salads, so please check out the other awesome recipes below. I know I cannot wait to do just that later today!! 🙂 Have a great weekend!

Mom’s Potato Salad
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 white potatoes [about 2 lbs]
  • 3-4 hardboiled eggs, chopped
  • 2-3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • about 1/2 to 1 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise
  • about 2 to 4 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • paprika

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to boil, add potatoes, and cook until soft. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut into chunks and place in large mixing bowl. Add eggs, celery, and onion, then enough mayonnaise to coat. Add mustard to taste, then season with a little pepper and a lot of paprika.

Serve warm or chilled.

Time: 60 minutes.

Yield: 10-12 servings.