Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Peasant Breakfast

Crisis Brownies and other comfort foods is the title of the blog. Yesterday I brought you the crisis brownies - so named because sometimes when you have a crisis, the only solution is chocolate - today I'll bring you one of my favorite comfort foods; but first, a comment.

Sometimes, I derive comfort from making something elegant or fancy, like crèmes brûlées:

Other times, I'll be comforted by taking something simple and homey and presenting it attractively, like kimchi bokeum bap:

But then there are those dishes which are neither fancy nor plated professionally. I have been known to eat Stovetop Mac and Cheese straight off a wooden spoon from the saucepan as I stand in the kitchen.

This next dish is never plated attractively, does not use an elaborate recipe or expensive ingredients. There is no real name for it, and I've called it many things: Potatoes, Eggs and Vegetables, Mess-in-a-Bowl, but most often, I call it Peasant Breakfast.

It is just chunks of potato cooked in butter with vegetables, usually onion, bell pepper and mushroom, and once they've cooked down and browned nicely, I crack some eggs over it, let them set, and then mix it all together. Top it with a little grated cheese and serve. Presto. Yum. Really, for pure comfort bang for your buck, you just can't beat it.

When I was in Korea, I used to make this dish for my friends after a long night of partying in I-Tae-Won. We'd go back to my place, usually at 3 in the morning, and I'd make a huge mess of this in the name of hangover remedies, then we'd crash, sleep late and go out for kong namul guk (spicy bean sprout soup) or budae jjigae ("troop" stew) as additional help with staving off the hangover.

I also craved this dish throughout all of my pregnancies, and still crave it at times when I am cold and need something deeply warming. I made it last night as a mini-celebratory meal. I like to adjust with slightly different ingredients and spicing it differently.

Yesterday, I found hedgehog mushrooms:

They were almost too cute to eat. But I ate them, and yes, I washed them first. :)

Peasant Breakfast

  • butter
  • potatoes
  • onion
  • green bell pepper
  • mushroom
  • Creole seasoning
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • eggs
  • grated romano
  • salt and pepper

  1. Brown potatoes in butter. You can use leftover boiled potatoes if you have them, though I usually just use fresh. If you use uncooked mushrooms, you'll want to cover it and let them steam. Season with Creole seasoning.
  2. Add the chopped onions, bell pepper and mushrooms and stir well. Add Old Bay or more Creole seasoning to suit your taste.
  3. Cover and let cook through until the potatoes are tender and the vegetables browned. I like it when the onions get almost crispy.
  4. Push the vegetables aside to make three holes, and crack an egg into each. Cover and let cook until the eggs are set, then stir the whole mess together and let cook. Dump into bowls and top with a bit of cheese and season with salt and pepper.

  • I change up the seasoning, sometimes using fresh thyme and rosemary, but I usually go for something spicy, and this does it for me. 
  • I also will add in bits of leftover ham or sausage if I have them. I really like linguiça and chouriço in the spicy version or maple sausage in the rosemary and thyme version.


  1. Great post. Lovely peasant breakfast. I must break out my Old Bay Seasoning and make something. Never thought to use it on something like this.

  2. I really love Old Bay on potatoes as well as seafood. It's got more oomph than plain paprika, I think.


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