“Learn to trust your hands.”
This was the sage advice offered to me by my friend Rawiya as we talked about preparing meals. I was a few months into Pinterest aided cooking and my indecisiveness made a 30-minute meal take an hour. I would check the recipe multiple times in between taking a step. It wasn’t that I couldn’t remember what was next. It was that I didn’t trust myself to not mess it up.
Why was messing up such a big deal? I mean 9/10 a kitchen calamity still results in something edible, right? That tasteless chicken I made my first go round was salvaged with some barbecue sauce. Despite that, there were still echoes of cookies where the measurement of baking powder was off just enough that the entire batch tasted like batteries.
Beyond mistakes, there was also the want to make a recipe my own. To use it as a guideline and not a fixed set of directions. To know when to alter something, when to add something, when something that was listed wasn’t necessary. I wanted certainty but what I didn’t realize was that with so many variables it wasn’t about exacts. It was about a kind of faith that wasn’t decided but instead was earned.
As the advice finally sunk in, my wife Lin helped bring it home by suggesting I just throw things in and see what happens. When I watched the success and failures, I began to learn and no longer religiously followed recipes. They then turned into find your own adventures where I hoped to find a delicious meal at the end.
I no longer avoided recipes that included ingredients that I didn’t have. That is how I came to making the breakfast pizza. The recipe I found on Pinterest called for bacon to be included, but we never have bacon (why? It’s expensive and I almost always end up wasting at least half of the package). It also needed six eggs (I only had five). So what did I do? I improvised. I took two sweet Italian sausages, the eggs, tater tots, cheese, butter, and my trusty cast iron skillet and went to work.
Like many recipes I take on it’s never about a difficulty score but the resulting taste, and boy did this one deliver. The breakfast pizza is perfect for any time of day. Instead of eating last night’s pizza leftovers, take a few minutes to make this.
If you know how to do the following: cook sausage, place tater tots in a cast iron skillet, scramble eggs, and throw cheese on top then you can make this recipe. While I made this recipe without bacon, you can include it or try anything else. Remember the recipe is merely a guideline that you can work off of. The key is to trust your hands and feel free to experiment. You might be pleasantly surprised with what you end up with.
- 32 oz bag of tater tots
- 6 eggs
- Two cups of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Two sweet Italian sausages
- Olive Oil
- Cook Italian sausage. When finished cut into smaller pieces and put off to side.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Grease cast iron skillet with olive oil.
- Place tater tots along bottom and sides of cast iron skillet so that the entire surface of the pan is covered.
- Place skillet with tater tots in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Scramble together eggs in a large bowl with salt and pepper.
- Grease pan with butter and cook eggs until they set.
- Take skillet out of the oven and press tater tots down until they are as flat as possible.
- Spread one cup of cheese over flattened tater tots.
- Add scrambled eggs, and cut up pieces of sausage on top of the layer of cheese.
- Use the second cup of cheese to top off the pizza. Make sure cheese gets to tater tots on the side to hold everything together.
- Place skillet back into the oven for 10 more minutes.
- Recipe adapted from The Gunny Sack.