Have I mentioned that I’m something of a cookbook fiend? I’m that girl who approaches a new cookbook like a novel. When the weather starts to get cooler, there’s nothing like curling up on the sofa with a cup of something warm and getting lost in a new collection of recipes. I especially love when a book finds new ways to use old favorite ingredients, giving new life to nostalgic flavors. Katie Webster’s Maple does just that. With 100 recipes from cocktails and cakes to salads and chilis, Webster’s creative use of maple syrup takes readers far beyond standard breakfast fare. I’ve enjoyed several recipes from the book since its arrival, one of which was this Potato and Sausage Breakfast Skillet with Greens. A hearty twist on a breakfast classic with a hint of sweetness in the background, this skillet would be a nice addition to any breakfast or brunch table.
Reading the introduction to Maple, you know you’re about to dive into a heartfelt cookbook. Webster and her husband live in Vermont, where they enjoy “backyard sugaring” as a hobby, tapping trees and processing the sap at home by boiling it into syrup. I can’t say that I’m not a little jealous of this pastime! What an interesting and fun endeavor, not to mention an amazing gift to be able to share with family and friends. In truth, maple syrup is pretty much woven into the fabric of American breakfast culture. Webster writes of her hope that her cookbook will evoke special memories for her readers, and shares some of the charming recollections that maple syrup brings to the forefront of her mind. As a collection, the recipes feel as genuine as they are versatile, spanning not only a range of courses, but also seasons. My mind tends to gravitate toward fall when I think of maple syrup, but with recipes such as Maple Margaritas, Swordfish with Maple Pipérade, and Sweet and Sour Coleslaw, Webster demonstrates how versatile maple syrup can be as an ingredient for year-round use.
Webster’s breakfast skillet was a nice combination of traditional morning fare—potatoes and sausage—with an addition of kale for a nutritious twist. The maple syrup provided a hint of sweetness that was present, but not overly assertive. The recipe doesn’t specify that the skillet should be served with eggs, but I went for it. We loved allowing the velvety yolks to mingle with the potatoes, sausage, and kale. It was actually lunch time before I finished the photos the day I made this, but that didn’t stop us from digging in. As Maple so aptly demonstrates, there is no wrong time of day to enjoy one of nature’s best sweeteners!
Potato and Sausage Breakfast Skillet with Greens
From the Maple cookbook: “This hearty breakfast is a contender for a new weekend brunch classic.”
Excerpted with permission from Maple (Katie Webster, Quirk Books, 2015)
- 1 large russet potato, diced
- 1/2 pound pork breakfast sausage, casings removed if in links
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups de-stemmed, finely chopped lacinato kale
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Bring several inches of water to a boil in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Add potato to the basket and steam 5 to 7 minutes, until just tender when pierced with a fork or the tip of a paring knife. Set aside.
Meanwhile, brown sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon and breaking up chunks, 3 to 4 minutes, or until pink is no longer visible. Scrape sausage onto a plate and set aside; cover with foil to keep warm.
Add oil in the skillet and return heat to medium-high. Add shallot and salt and cook, stirring often, for 30 to 90 seconds, or until fragrant. Add potatoes to shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until potatoes are mostly browned.
Add sausage and any accumulated juices, kale, syrup, and vinegar, and cook, stirring often, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the kale is wilted and just tender and sausage is heated through. Season with pepper. Serve warm.