When Branwen and Larry were in college, they lived on a temporary campus while the school's permanent campus was under construction. The "dormitories" were actually apartment buildings, and four or more students shared actual apartments, with living rooms, full kitchens, balconies, and sometimes two full baths. This sounds lovely, and it was, except that the kitchens weren't truly full kitchens. Because the school intended to sell the buildings when the permanent campus opened, the students were not allowed to use the stoves in their apartments. (One apartment per floor was designated a "common room", and you could sign up to use the stove in there, and the refrigerators could be used.) But kitchen appliances were permitted, so microwaves, toaster ovens and electric frying pans were prized items.
Since Branwen and I share a birthday, I chose to fly down and visit her on campus the weekend she turned 21. (I turned 21 + n. ;-D ) I took along all the ingredients and equipment to make her a cherry pie, including a triple-wrapped bag of frozen cherries. When I reclaimed my bag at the airport, it was no surprise to discover that TSA had opened it for a search. What do you suppose a pastry blender and rolling pin look like on x-rays??!
We baked the pie in the common room, and it was excellent. And on Sunday after mass a bunch of Branwen's friends threw a brunch to celebrate. I don't remember what all was on the menu, but I know there were mimosas and this dish, which was -- and is -- Larry's breakfast specialty.
In a large covered skillet over medium-high heat (obviously, you can do this in an electric frying pan!) brown one onion in oil or bacon grease until soft. Add one 2 pound bag frozen southern-style (diced) hash browns, and allow the potatoes to thaw, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, microwave 1 to 2* boxes of pre-cooked brown-and-serve sausage links until hot. Cut** the links into small rounds and set aside. Grate 4oz. or more of cheddar cheese (we like extra-sharp.) When the potatoes are soft and starting to get warm, sprinkle on Cajun seasoning*** to taste and stir to distribute it evenly. Stir in the sausage bits, and allow the mixture to get very hot, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, although browning is fine. Just before serving, sprinkle with the shredded cheese. Allow the cheese to melt slightly, stir and serve. Serves 3 to 6 (depending on how many of them eat like Larry!) Some of my family like to top this with salsa, but I think that's overkill.
*Larry currently uses about 1 1/2 boxes (15 links), but he makes these often enough that the open box doesn't sit in the freezer very long. I love sausage, so I throw in all of them.
** If the links are too hot to hold down for chopping, you can use two forks to tear them apart.
*** Tony Cachere's is our favorite brand. Start with just a little; this stuff has zip!