Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cookin' Up Breakfast at the Ranch

Mindy here. Last week my crew and I took an extended weekend at the ranch. The grass was high, the cattle were fat, and my men expected a big breakfast.

When we go to the ranch it's always a bit like a vacation. We eat differently there than we do at home. A little more down-home, a little more everything. And the one thing my men need before a day of manual labor is a hearty breakfast.

Their favorite is what we call traditional camphouse breakfast and it has three mainstays--homemade biscuits, REAL bacon, and what we've dubbed camphouse eggs.

Camphouse eggs are really just glorified scrambled eggs, but they love 'em. I love that they're easy.

They consist of three main ingredients--onion, jalapeno pepper, and, you guessed it, eggs.

Now before you go all wimpy on me about the jalapeno, these are not hot. Really. Oh, I suppose if you ate them straight up they might be, but sauteed, there's no heat. Only flavor.

The first thing you want to do is cut off the end and the tip. Then cut the jalapeno right down the middle.

Next, scrape out the seeds and the ribs. This is where the heat is. And whatever you do, DO NOT rub your eye after you've done this. It will sting like crazy. Right, Missy.

As soon as I'm done handling it, I usually wash my hands with dish soap. This seems to cut the oils pretty good.
Now slice that pepper into strips lengthwise and dice.
Now it's time to get you skillet ready. Spray it well with Pam, or something like that, or add a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil and heat over medium/medium-high burner. Chop your onions while waiting for it to heat.
I add the jalapeno first since it takes a tad longer than the onion to cook. While you're waiting for your onion to turn translucent, check on your bacon. Mmm...looks good to me.

You can adjust the amount of pepper, onion, and egg, depending on how many you're fixin' for. On this day, I used 7 farm-fresh eggs, courtesy of my friend, Cheryl. To the eggs I added about a teaspoon of salt, some black pepper, and 1/2 cup of milk. Whisk together and add to veggies. You can add more things if you like. Bacon bits, mushrooms, tomatoes....

Biscuits are ready. I love these things. First I gotta have one with my eggs, maybe sandwich some bacon in between. Then I have to have my dessert biscuit. You know, with jelly.


Cook eggs until set, stirring occasionally. (Like y'all don't know how to cook scrambled eggs :-)

Now these are some happy campers. They're so spoiled.

Do you have a special take on scrambled eggs? What's your favorite breakfast to make? Your family's? 


39 comments:

  1. I just love the notion of goin' to the ranch. That in and of itself is enough for me, LOL! Who needs food with cattle and cowboys?

    Mindy, explain for those of us who don't know about a ranch vs. where you live. Who's ranch? Is it yours? Family's? Spill it, Tex!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoa! Settle down there, Yank.

      The ranch, which we usually refer to as "the farm" because my husband thinks ranch sounds pretentious, is between Houston and San Antonio. It's land that has been in his family forever. Personally, we have about 500 acres . And while hubby calls it "the farm," it is a working cattle ranch. We lease the land to a friend of ours.

      As for the cowboys, yeah they're around. Just not always as hunky as those on LI covers. Which is probably a good thing.

      Someday, hubby and I will retire to the ranch. For now, we are city dwellers in the Dallas area. Sigh. I much prefer the country life. We built a small camphouse back in 1995 that our haven.

      I'll have to tell you about the hillbilly hot tub sometime.

      Delete
    2. I'm still lost in the romance of it and PRETENDING that you're the Texas version of Ree Drummond and Richard is out ridin' herd with Chaps and a ten gallon... oh, yum!

      Delete
  2. Look at the guys! What a fun photo!!

    Mindy, did you have to spill my stupidity on setting my eyes on fire??!! LOL

    I'll have to be brave and give this a try. I'm a wimp when it comes to spiciness (that doesn't look like the right spelling!). But I'll be sure to get all ribs and seeds out and try this sometime. If all else fails, I'll get a poblano pepper to use. I can take them. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wait a minute, Missy. You can take a poblano but not a jalapeno? Hubby loves poblano. I don't like their heat. Even cooked, they're still a tad on the warm side.

      Go figure.

      And I'm sorry I threw you under the bus. But what good are our mistakes if we can't help others learn from them? :-)

      Delete
  3. BTW, those biscuits look amazing. I'm really impressed. That's a lost art. My attempts have been pathetic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, so when you come for conference you're coming over for venison and biscuits.

      Delete
    2. Venison... Now that's a Ruthy-fave, too. I love cooking venison. Makes the best gravy, the best stew... and awesome chili. Are the deer in TX small? Big? Average???

      Delete
    3. Depends on where you hunt. The ones on our property aren't very big, but once you get down to the river, they're HUGE.

      Delete
    4. Oh, and you can come too, Ruthy.

      Delete
    5. Ruthy's coming? How big is this party?

      Delete
  4. Mindy--wow--looks great. I'll tell my hubby about the jalapeno eggs--he makes breakfast every Saturday morning that we are home. Can't wait to try these eggs this Saturday. And yes, we have real bacon, too.

    And Missy, I've done the wiping the eyes thing, too. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Real bacon...There's nothing like it. It's just not fair.

      Delete
  5. I love eating hot stuff when I have a cold! I think I now have my next comfort recipe.

    Been there, done that on the eye thing. Not good.

    Peace, Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julie, I think we've all done that eye thing at least once. And that's about all it takes to learn is once :-)

      Delete
    2. Oh, yeah. Once is enough. And I never work with hot peppers without gloves in the winter because my hands crack so badly with all the handwashing and heat and wind and cold... Hot pepper juice is a killer then. I'm getting teary-eyed thinkin' of it. Because I'm a WUSS.

      Delete
  6. with the biscuits are they made as in sections and put in one pan/tin? or how do you have the sections on them.
    Are they made with yeast? or more what a scone recipe (like in england, Australia etc). Here we call biscuits what you call cookies.

    My breakfast is boring just some shortcut bacon or toast.

    but I do know that farmers and others have the big breakfasts with bacon and eggs, sausages, baked beans, etc.

    Oh I dont really like scrambled eggs much I prefer poached.

    Ok enough questions from this aussie who should be in bed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jenny, those ranchers and farmers get to have all the fun when it comes to breakfast. Then again, they're usually doing manual labor all day, so I guess they're allowed. Me, I'd just look like a stuffed pig.

      These biscuits are similar to scones, only they have a softer texture and they're not sweet. Each biscuit is cut or pinched off and put in the pan separately, Then they bake together, but come apart nicely. Oh, and no yeast. Simply self-rising flour (that's regular flour with salt and baking powder added), buttermilk, and oil.

      And Jenny, my breakfast is more boring than yours. Usually just cereal. BORING!

      Delete
    2. Thanks Mindy, here scones can be savoury or sweet. (not a fan myself). I read about them in books and wondered cos they seem quick to make although some heroines seem to really struggle with them.

      Mum made buns that way sort of. She use to roll out the dough and then put the butter and cinnamon in the middle then would roll them up and put 8 in a pan and then when cooked you would come apart nicely. (me I liked the dough and they did have yeast). She would make 4 pan of 8 at least once a week and we normally would often take one to the pastor (several of them loved her buns). She would also freeze them and have them toasted for breakfast.

      Delete
    3. Jenny, so those are like our cinnamon rolls, done with yeast dough or sweet bread dough.

      I'm working on a SECRET RECIPE for biscuits involving yeast, because I think that's the secret to Annie Loveless's biscuits at the Loveless CAfe in Nashville. And they're coming out great, I'm just trying to make it absolute so when I share it, I don't mess folks up. Super simple and they have that slightly softer, bready quality with the flavor of biscuits. Amazing.

      Delete
    4. Ruthy, mums recipe also has fruit (sultanas, currants, raisins) in it. Takes a couple of hours to make cos it rises twice.

      Delete
  7. Mmm, sounds so good! We have 'Saturday breakfasts' around here -- one relaxed morning a week when we can take the time for something special. I like adding things to our scrambled eggs... things like chopped scallions or red onion and sweet red and green peppers, or diced ham or crumbled bacon. Open a jar of homemade Spanish sauce and put a dollop over the eggs before serving for some rich and spicy flavour. Yum!

    That's Saturdays. Most days I'm lucky to grab a glass of orange juice. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carol, I always forget about ham. And I have a bunch of Canadian bacon on hand, which is close enough.

      And Carol, you really should grab more than just OJ :-)

      Delete
  8. Mindy, I'm green with envy over 500 acres of land. Even Texas land! (There should be a song about Mesquite and scorpions, shouldn't there?). Tell your husband to stop thinking it's pretentious and go ahead and call it a ranch. You have land, cattle on it, and it's in Texas. What else would you call it?

    My boys' favorite breakfast is one they learned while camping with the Boy Scouts - they call it Shipwreck. You cook bulk sausage and onions together. Once they're done you add frozen hashbrowns. After the potatoes are done, add about a dozen scrambled eggs. After the eggs are cooked, add about 1/2 pound shredded cheddar cheese. Serve on a tortilla with salsa to taste.

    It's pretty good, but we'll often have it for supper instead of breakfast!

    And whenever I deal with peppers (except the Green Bell peppers) I have to wear gloves. I bought a bag of latex gloves at the drug store and just throw them away when I've finished slicing and dicing. The pepper's oils burn my skin too quickly to do it bare-handed. I can't imagine what touching my eye would feel like!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jan, that sounds like what we call Mountain-Man Breakfast. And it sounds really yummy right now.

      Great idea about the gloves. You must have sensative skin.

      As for the mesquite and scorpions, hubby has done his best to get rid of the mesquite, I hate the scorpions. I'm the only one in the family to be stung and it's happened at least four times! Stupid bugs.

      Delete
    2. That's pretty much what a fritatta is... a great mish-mosh of breakfast foods fried/scrambled together. So delicious!

      Delete
  9. LOL you're putting images to all the cookin' I've been readin' about in historicals set in Texas. Your biscuits look yummy -- never quite knew what they were though like Jenny says, many a heroine has struggled over getting them light and fluffy.

    I wouldn't touch a jalapeno pepper if you paid me! Oy -- not a spicy food person but I was traumatized by the above pepper when I grew the plant by mistake. I thought it was a bell pepper plant only the silly things were growing funny. Nevertheless, being the loving friend that I am, I shared them with my bestest buddy who was thrilled to have fresh produce from my garden to make a lovely salad for when her in-laws came over. (Difficult mother-in-law don't ya know.) Anyhow poor old Mona calls me up later and lambasts me about my little 'joke'. It took a while to clear things up but apparently my very fair-skinned friend was super sensitive to the jalapeno pepper she cut up. Not only did she burn her tongue when she ate a piece, but she ended up with red welts along her cheeks, one eye swelled shut and her fingers exploded. LOL. Oy! I felt so awful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Kav....

      Oh. Oh. Oh.

      Poor you. Poor friend. Poor MIL.... Well, two out of three ain't bad, LOL!

      Oy, I can just see this. It sounds like a scene from The Parent Trap.

      Delete
    2. Kav, you didn't? Shame on you.

      Ruthy, that would've been perfect in The Parent Trap. I love that movie.

      Delete
  10. Just passing through quickly, but Kav!!!! Oh my gosh. I just snorted and choked myself!!! LOLOLOL

    That's a priceless story!! :) :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Missy, I'd pay money to see you snort and choke :-)

      Delete
  11. 35 comments!

    That's what talking breakfast will get you.

    Breakfast is actually my favorite meal of the day - no matter what time I eat it. Sunday we had brunch for the graduating class. There was bacon, sausage, omelets, scrambled eggs, potatoes, french toast, pancakes, bagels, croissants and lots of coffee.

    An assortment of fruits too, but that's just for decoration when there's bacon and sausage to be had!

    ReplyDelete