I was recently thinking about the conventional wine pairing “rules” (red with steak, white with fish, etc.) and realized that there are quite a few silly food rules. Some foods are considered breakfast foods, while others are classified as appropriate for meals later in the day. In some cases, those assignments are really strange because many of the elements cross over. For example, fried eggs are considered breakfast food but you can enjoy quiche or frittata, which are also make from eggs, as lunch or dinner items. Hash browns are for breakfast but french fries are eaten at lunch or dinner. So in an attempt to throw out these silly conventions I recently made a dinner that would normally be considered “breakfast food” and enjoyed it with a cool glass of rose.
The origin of this idea came from a package of Italian sausage that I needed to find a use for. I decided to mix the sausage in with shredded potatoes to make a really savory and tasty potato cake. It just seemed natural to serve them with eggs because that combination is just so darn tasty! The spinach was in there for nutritional value (and color!) because I try to serve at least one veggie with dinner.
The preparation of the sausage and hash browns is so much easier if you buy preshredded potatoes. Not only do they shave off a lot of time and effort, they are much drier than freshly shredded potatoes which makes for a less soggy cake. As long as these are available, I will never waste my time shredding potatoes again.
I was not sure if I should precook the sausage before mixing with the other ingredients but went ahead and mostly cooked the sausage to render off some of the oil and alleviate worry about serving my family raw pork. I think it really helped with the cooking time too. This recipe made a LOT of sausage hash brown cakes and it would have taken ages to cook them all with raw pork in there.
The other very exciting thing about this dish is that I finally used these silicone eggs cups that I have had for YEARS and never used. I decided that it was time to use them or toss them. Interestingly, I have used them nearly every day since. They make the most perfect poached egg.
To poach the eggs, add an inch of water to a pan with a lid, bring to a boil and then add the cups with an egg in each. I used cooking spray to prevent sticking. I think the perfect cooking time for me is 4:30 (use a timer or you can quickly end up with overcooked eggs). Slide a butter knife around the edges and the cooked egg slides right out.
I had never had wine with eggs and hash browns before but I had a feeling that quite a few wines would pair nicely. Because it was 90 degrees on the day I made this dish, I was craving something light and refreshing and picked a French rose to enjoy with this meal.
The 2011 Domaine Houchart “Cotes de Provence” Rose is dry blend of Cinsault, Syrah and Grenache. This wine is very light and easy to drink with an essence of strawberries and citrus. It can easily be enjoyed on its own or with breakfast in this case. I have tried a few rose wines from the south of France this summer and they are really wonderful for hot summer days.
Poached Eggs with Sausage Hash Browns and Spinach
(serves 2 with extra hash brown cakes)
1 bag shredded potatoes
6 eggs (2 for hash browns, 4 for poaching)
1 small onion, diced
1 lb. sausage (no casings)
1/4 cup flour
1 bag of spinach
garlic powder, onion powder, paprika
1. Cook the onion and the sausage. Be sure to break up sausage as best you can. Drain of excess oil and cool
2. Mix potatoes, onion & sausage, 2 eggs (beaten), flour and spices with your hands
3. Saute cakes in oil in batches
4. Saute spinach until wilted with salt and garlic powder
5. Poach eggs (you can make fried eggs too)
6. To assemble: spinach then cakes then poached eggs. Season eggs with salt and pepper as desired.