Spicy Sausage, Mushrooms,
Hash Brown Potatoes and Cheese
I lived in the USA for several years when I was in my twenties, and one of the things I aways looked forward to every weekend, was a visit to the local Diner for brunch or breakfast; in the local diner (which was built onto a vintage Airstream caravan), one of the dishes that I used to order was a breakfast skillet, so today, having just returned from Las Vegas (more about that later!), I decided to recreate this classic dish, and I think my recipe for an “American Diner” Breakfast Skillet is pretty close to the original recipe that I enjoyed all those years ago. The key is to use spicy sausages, or spicy Italian sausage as they are called in the US, I used some Chorizo sausages by Heck, which added colour as well as the required spiciness.
The other key element in a “breakfast skillet” are the hash-brown potatoes, which can be bought with ease now, from the frozen food cabinet in most supermarkets; you need to allow them to defrost, so they can be shredded before being cooked, or, if you have the time and a grater attachment on a food processor, then you can shred or grate your own potatoes to make the hash-browns. And, as in the name, you also need a good heavy-based skillet, such as a Le Creuset or an iron one, similar to the one I used which is shown in my photos. I served my “American Diner” Breakfast Skillet with some sourdough toast, tomato ketchup and a lovely little salad in a tea-cup, a recipe for the salad will follow in another post.
Served this way, with toast and salad, you have a lovely brunch, light lunch or family tea (supper) dish that is easy to make, and will satisfy everyone. If you want to make a veggie version, then omit the sausage, and add some mixed peppers, tomatoes or even some veggie sausages if you want the extra texture. However, this recipe is wonderful when served for a lazy breakfast or brunch over the weekend, with a big pot of tea or coffee, a newspaper and lots of time! Back to Vegas briefly, I was there last week for 6 days to cover the Vegas Uncork’d Food Festival; now, they say “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”, but, I WILL be spilling the beans in another post about what I got up to in this bright, vibrant and colourful destination, so do keep popping back to read my account of my time there. That’s all for today, I will also be back with more recipes and some reviews in where to eat and sleep in London. Karen
A Diner meal in Vegas:
A Classic Diner Menu:
Definition of a Diner:
A diner is a small fast food restaurant that is found in the United States and Midwest, as well as in Canada, and parts of Western Europe. Diners offer a wide range of foods, mostly American cuisine, and have a distinct exterior structure, a casual atmosphere, a long counter with bar stools where patrons eat their meals, and late operating hours. Diners frequently stay open 24 hours a day, especially in cities and towns with a busy bar scene or with factories with night shift workers. Bar patrons seeking a post-“last call” venue to socialise and get food as well as shift workers leaving their factories historically provided a key part of the customer base.
From the 1920s to the 1940s, diners were usually prefabricated in factories (like mobile homes) and delivered to the restaurant site. As a result, many early diners were typically small and narrow, because they had to fit onto a rail car or truck for delivery to the restaurant site. Some of these diners have been expanded over the years through additions onto the prefabricated structure, while many contemporary diners are fully built on-site instead. Diners were historically small businesses operated by the owner, however many diners are currently operated by chains.
Diners typically serve American food such as hamburgers, french fries, club sandwiches, and other simple, quickly cooked, and inexpensive fare. Much of the food is grilled, as early diners were based around a grill. Coffee is the ubiquitous beverage at diners, even if it is not always of high quality. Diners often serve hand-blended milkshakes and desserts such as pies, which are typically displayed in a glass case. Classic American diners often have an exterior layer of stainless steel siding—a feature unique to diner architecture. In some cases, diners share nostalgic, retro style features also found in some restored drive-ins and old movie theatres.