Most diners have on their breakfast menu something called "The Mess." I love "The Mess" if it's done right. A good "Mess" will have easily identifiable components like ham, potatoes, peppers, onion, etc. A bad "Mess" will have a blob of egg with stuff in it that looks like it lives in a large tub in the walk-in until someone orders "The Mess." That "Mess" is just a mess! This is "The Perfect Mess!"
It has cubes of ham, orange bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, hash browns, red onion, cheese, eggs, butter (never oil), all brought together at the perfect time. Let me show you how I make my Mess.
Start "The Perfect Mess" by chopping your fresh vegetables into chunky pieces. I used red onion, orange bell pepper, and jalapeño pepper.
Now lets talk about meat. You can use meat or go with just vegetables and cheese. It's your mess! Use bacon, sausage, ham; whatever you like. My choice is ham, but not just any ham. I avoid those vacuum packed ham slices in the deli aisle. They lack flavor and texture. There is also water added which I don't like. I prefer to get a thick slice of "Ham Off The Bone" at the service deli counter. It generally has less water, better texture and better flavor.
I trim of the edge and chop into ½" squares. No need to use it all at once. There's always tomorrow morning!
I like to cook the peppers and onions together as they take a little longer.
I start by throwing the ham cubes in a non-stick skillet. Cook just long enough to get a little color on them. Remove and set aside.
After the ham, I add a dab of butter to the hot skillet and cook the fresh vegetables until just tender. Remove them and set aside. I add the ingredients as I cook them to a plate.
Next comes the potatoes. I use packaged hash browns for "The Perfect Mess." You can thaw out frozen hash browns, home-style potatoes, or use the ones in the green bag. I avoid fresh grated potatoes because they usually come out gummy. I add another dab of butter to the skillet and cook the hash browns until golden. Add them to the plate with the ham, peppers, and onions.
While the potatoes cook, beat the eggs in a small bowl. You can make as many portions of this dish as you like. I used three eggs for 2 servings.
Grate some cheddar cheese and set aside.
Keep the cheese separate from the vegetables and ham. The Perfect mess is like a picky kid who doesn't like his/her food touching. The cheese will go on last.
Add the vegetables and ham to the skillet and heat until warmed through. Pour the beaten eggs over the top and season to taste with salt and pepper. Don't start stirring immediately. Let the eggs start to cook first, but do not leave them long enough to begin browning. Browned eggs = yuck. Gently fold and stir until the scrambled eggs are as you like them.
Add the cheese at the last-minute, stir, and place "The Perfect Mess" onto the serving plates. You can eat it as is, or drizzle on hot sauce or salsa. I suppose you could add ketchup if you are inclined to so do. I cannot make that seem right. Pour the black coffee and eat the mess while it's hot. You can thank me later. 🙂
- ½ cup ham (cubed)
- 1 small orange bell pepper
- 1 jalapeño pepper
- 1 cup hash brown potatoes (thawed)
- ½ cup red onion (chopped)
- ½ cup cheddar cheese (grated)
- 3 eggs
- 2 TBS butter
- Chop the fresh vegetables into chunky pieces about ½" in size. Cube the ham.
- Heat a non-stick skillet on medium. Add the ham cubes. Cook just long enough to get a little color on them. Remove to a large plate and set aside.
- Add a pat of butter to the hot skillet and cook the fresh vegetables until just tender. Remove them to the plate with the ham and set aside.
- Add another dab of butter to the skillet and cook the hash browns until golden. Add them to the plate with the ham, peppers, and onions.
- Beat the eggs in a small bowl.
- Grate the cheddar cheese and set aside.
- Add the vegetables, hash browns and ham to the skillet on medium heat and cook until warmed through.
- Pour the beaten eggs over the top and season to taste with salt and pepper. Don't start stirring immediately. Let the eggs start to cook first, but do not leave them long enough to begin browning.
- Gently fold and stir until the scrambled eggs are as you like them.
- Add the cheese at the last-minute, stir, and remove onto the serving plates. Serve hot!
Click for more great Breakfast and Brunch recipes!