17 January 2011

Hopple Popple

I read about hopple popple on Roadfood.com and realized that I sort of have been making it all along.  And I'm not even German!  After a little more investigating on the web, it seems that there are many variations of this dish.  The constants are eggs, potatoes, onion, some kind of meat, and some cheese.  What makes hopple popple different from just a basic meat-and-potato scramble is that the eggs are in the background.  Yes, they're there in every forkful, but you'd be hard-pressed to decide whether it's a meat dish, a potato dish, or an egg dish.  They all play equally starring roles.

Meat can be anything: bacon, sausage, ham, and even pepperoni or salami.  Eggs can be prepared scrambled, or made like a puffy omelette.  I go for simplicity: scrambled.

Last night we had potatoes with our ham loaf, finally finishing the last of our ham.  I made sure to cook a couple of extra potatoes for this morning, and I had some smoked turkey sausage in the fridge.  I prefer pork, but when the sausage is mixed with a bunch of other stuff, turkey does fine.  Turkey or pork, the smoked links are absolutely fabulous in this dish.

Being MLK day, there is no school, so the boys slept in late.  While waiting for them to begin their Day of Sloth, I went ahead and got as much ready for hopple popple as possible, so that it would only be minutes of cooking time, and we'd actually have our breakfast in the a.m.

I find it helpful, when I have time and think of it, to get as much chopped, sliced, and diced ahead of time and waiting in little bowls next to the stove.  Then all I have to do is dump and cook.  Also, it allows the cold food, like the potatoes and sausage to warm up a little and not need quite so much time.

Now, my boys like everything in this dish, except the onions, which I chop up very fine so they won't see them, but there is something about mixing it all up together that seems to go against their collective grains.  But this morning, after the NTY bite, they both had nice helpings.  I thought it was one of the BEST BREAKFASTS EVER!  Not just scrambled eggs, not just fried potatoes, not just sausage, but more than even the sum total.

Here, then, is my Scots-Irish, French, Cherokee (see, no German!) version of hopple popple.

Hopple Popple
to feed 4 with leftovers
  • 1 half of a long link of smoked turkey sausage, like Hillshire Farms, cut in half lengthways and then thinly sliced
  • 2 small potatoes, cooked (boiled or baked) and peeled
  • half of a small onion, diced very small
  • 4 eggs, beaten with a little milk
  • shredded cheese
1. Cook the sausage or other meat in a skillet until it is a little crispy.

2. Add some bacon grease (or butter or oil) if you need a little more grease.
3. Add the potatoes and onions and cook until the potatoes are getting some brown.

4. Add the eggs and be sure that the heat is on low.

5. Scramble it all together until the eggs are how you like them.
6. Top with cheese and mix that in.

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