My dad grew up country and military, so he learned how to make something delicious out of nothing early in the life and from both his momma and his daddy – my Grannie and Papa Joe.
Between camping and hunting, Boy Scouts, and military life all using campfire cooking, a favorite campfire skillet breakfast is born: Campstyle Eggs.
Here’s the proportions for a 4-serving batch, which I made this evening for my Vietnam Veteran dad – Ed Mikell.
- 1/2 lb breakfast sausage (Jimmy Dean Hot, one of my dad’s favorites)
- 2 medium potatoes diced pretty small, or equivalent baby potatoes (we prefer yukon gold or red potatoes)
- 1 small onion diced (sweet for us)
- 1 small green bell pepper diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced (optional and not a traditional ingredient)
- 3 jumbo or 4 large eggs (subs: 1 cup Egg Beaters, tofu scramble)
- 1 T milk per egg
Brown up the sausage on medium high heat, using your wooden cooking spoon to break it up into a fine crumble. Use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage to a paper towel, leaving all of the pork fat grease in the pan.
Drop in the potatoes, stir to coat in the pork fat grease well, and smooth into a single layer. Now leave them alone for a good 2 minutes (if diced really small) or 3 minutes (if diced a little larger) to get a light crispy golden crust on that one side. Stir gently to unstick the potatoes and roll them onto their other sides to continue cooking. I like the really small dice for this dish because you can crisp up the potatoes pretty quickly and get the whole dish done in under 20 minutes.
Once the potatoes have softened but may still have some crunch or bite to them still, drop in the onion and pepper to begin cooking. If you wait until the potatoes are completely and perfectly done, you’ll end up with half hard crunchy over cooked potatoes and half smushed potatoes, neither of which are desireable in the final dish.
While the potatoes, onions, and peppers are finishing, scramble 3 eggs with about 2 T milk; be sure to salt and pepper your egg scramble or the eggs will be bland.
When the potatoes, onions, and peppers have reached your favorite level of doneness (takes about 5 minutes for my family), add back in the sausage and stir well. Gently pour the egg/milk scramble over the whole dish and stir gently to coat everything with the egg as it is cooking. It’ll take about 1 minute for the eggs to cook and the dish to be ready to serve.
As soon as the egg is done to your liking (some like wet eggs, some like rubbery eggs, to each his/her own), take the pan off of the heat. This is important: do not leave the pan on the burner to “keep it warm” or you’ll overcook the egg and begin to burn the rest of the ingredients.
When we have this as a breakfast, this is it. As our dinner tonight, we enjoyed it with some local tomatoes sliced and fresh biscuits with butter and preserves.
- Sub veggie crumbles or seitan crumbles for the sausage (will need to use an oil for the potatoes, onion, and peppers)
- Sub tofu scramble or The Vegg Scramble for the egg