Colorado

my favorite breakfast: green chile eggs and hash browns

If there is a food that is quintessential “Colorado” it would be green chile. In the fall, you can easily find fresh roasted green chiles on many street corners. Most are New Mexico Hatch variety.  I love making homemade green chile. But if I don’t have the time or the fresh roasted chiles, I like to buy Nanita’s. I get it at Sprouts in Denver but you can buy it online here. Its the sauce variety of green chile and not the stew or soup.  My favorite way to eat Nanita’s is with hash browns and eggs.  I cook the hash browns, pour over the green chile, and then crack the eggs into the hot green chile. I then cover it all and let it cook until the eggs are set, white are cooked but yolks are a thick-runny consistency.  Yum yum yum! Another way to make this is with cheesy grits.  For this, you would cook the grits separately and then serve with the hot green chile and eggs on top.

Ok, it seriously bothers me that I can’t seem to figure out how to flip that so it’s fitting the pan shape.

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​​green chile eggs with hash brownsserves 2-4

ingredients

2 large russet potatoes- peeled and shredded

1 small onion-chopped

2 tablespoons avocado or other high heat oil + 2 teaspoons more

1/2 teaspoon each: smoked paprika and garlic powder

salt and black pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups Nanita’s green chile sauce or other commercial or homemade green chile sauce

2-4 eggs

optional toppings: chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, crumbled bacon, cheese

method:

Heat a cast-iron or non-stick large skillet to medium-high. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and let heat for a bit. Add the shredded potatoes, chopped onion, and seasonings. Don’t be shy with the salt and pepper! Let it cook for about 5-7 minutes until golden brown on one side. Drizzle the other 2 teaspoons of oil over the top and then carefully flip over. Let the other side cooked for about 5-7 minutes.  Pour the green chile sauce over top and let it heat for a bit. Carefully crack the eggs into the hot green chile. Cover to cook. Don’t get distracted. This would be a sad dish with cooked through eggs. Serve it up with the optional ingredients. But honestly, it’s amazing without them too. This dish is well-paired with good coffee.


If you want to make it with grits instead you’ll need to cook the grits according to the package directions. For a 2-4 person serving: add a tablespoon of butter and some sharp shredded cheese or good parmesan.

 

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Iowa, North America

easter feast part one: deviled eggs

2 egg

Deviled eggs happen to be another early high school cooking class recipe.  Our teacher taught us how to make deviled eggs using a plastic sandwich bag to mash all the ingredients together in.  Then, you snip off the corner and squeeze it into the egg white.  I remember going home that day and making them after school.  Thinking back, I find it really funny that I would make myself deviled eggs for an after school snack.

Deviled eggs are a fun, retro type snack that everybody loves. You always see people getting real excited when you bring them to a party. Everyone has to really hold themselves back from not taking too many.  I found quickly that the secret to good deviled eggs is having enough salt and vinegar. You need that yolk mixture to be just a little too strong to eat on its own so that the egg white shell balances it.  I’ve eaten quite a few amazing deviled egg combinations: green goddess (avocado with tarragon), deviled eggs with bacon and sriracha, and deviled eggs with smoked salmon and capers.  All these combinations are amazing and I love trying really unique deviled egg recipes.  This recipe, however, is very basic, but also my favorite. If I had to pick one recipe to stick with my whole life long, this would be it!

classic deviled eggs

serves 6

ingredients:

6 eggs

1/2 cup mayo

4 teaspoons yellow mustard (I prefer 2 tsp. Colman’s and 2 tsp. regular yellow mustard)

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 tablespoon white vinegar

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Fresh chives and or paprika for garnish

 

mustard
I used 2 teaspoons of Coman’s mustard and 2 teaspoons regular yellow mustard. The Colman’s has a sharper, slightly spicy flavor to it. Quite strong.

 

Method:

Boil the eggs for 10 minutes and then put them into an ice water bath immediately.  I’ve heard the secret to easy peeling eggs is that they are cold when you peel them.  You can find all sort of tips on the internet about this but what I’ve found is that none of them work.  It’s all luck.  Either that or I’m horrible about peeling eggs.  I usually make my husband do it and laugh when he gets really mad with how poorly he can peel them.  

Once the eggs are peeled (you’re now either really satisfied because it went well, or pissed off about how ugly your whites look), slice them in half the long way and gently scoop out the yolks into a medium sized bowl.  Add the mayo, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Mix with a fork or potato masher until desired smoothness. Carefully spoon the yolk mixture into the egg whites. Sprinkle with freshly chopped chives and or a little paprika.  Be sure to remind people to savor them because peeling them was such a pain.  People sometimes need a little guilt with their deviled eggs 🙂

1 egg

*This is the first post in my Easter feast series.  I’ll soon be adding recipes for my grandmother’s ham balls, a spring snap pea and snow pea salad with shallots, walnuts, and dates, and also a recipe for truffled twice-cooked new potatoes. If you’re wanting to try the ham balls and you don’t live in the midwest, call your butcher now to have them ground together 2 pounds of ham and 2 pounds of ground pork. They won’t be happy about it because they will have to clean out their grinder and then clean it again.  I’ve been told it’s a real pain. 

By the way, do you have any tips for me on how to easily peel eggs? Tell me what works for you. Please! And Mom, I know you’re reading this.  Is this pretty close to how you make deviled eggs?

 

 

Asia, Korea

kimchi fried rice

Kimchi. Fried Rice. Yes please. This recipe is so easy, delicious and comforting. You have to use cold rice from the day or two before or at least make it in the morning and then stick it in the fridge. After that, this recipe really only takes about 20 minutes. If you haven’t started buying kimchi on the regular its time to start. Buy it for the delicious fermented taste and then keep eating it for the probiotic health benefits. You’ll find it at any grocery story in the refrigerated pickles and saurkraut section.

I learned how to make fried rice in 10th grade home economics class. Oh how I loved these classes with the fake little kitchens.  I liked to pretend that my group was my own little family. It was playing “house” for a 16 year old.  I loved how we all helped to cook, sat down at our little table, ate together, and then all did the dishes together.  Don’t worry I wasn’t deprived of this in real life, I just really enjoyed playing house. I remember we had this recipe for fried rice and our teacher explained that the rice needed to be cold and made a day ahead of time.  This helped it to fry better.  The recipe she had did not have kimchi but it did have ham, onion, garlic, carrots and peas! Also soy sauce so you know I liked it. This recipe I’m posting may be even easier than my 10th grade cooking class recipe.  Most of the flavor comes from the fermented kimchi.  I’m adding a little cut up pork chop and of course a fried egg on top.  I used chives as a garnish because they are growing outside in my garden.  You of course could use green onions.  I had an extra pork chop that’s why I chose it, plus I love pork with Korean-inspired dishes.  You could use any protein, or not.  That’s what eggs are for! I’m topping it all with a super umami sauce made from soy sauce (this is my favorite brand), gochujang, and sesame oil.

kimchi fried rice

serves 2 really hungry people or 4 sorta hungry people

ingredients

2 cups cold cooked rice- made that morning or the day before- I used short grain rice  (mepssal).

¼ cup high heat oil- I used red palm but avocado would be good too

1 cup kimchi- strained over a bowl, reserving the liquid

1 ¼-⅓ lb pork chop

3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

2 teaspoons Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru)

Sesame seeds for garnish

2 tablespoons chopped chives or green onions

Salt and pepper

Sauce:

3 teaspoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons gochujang 

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Method:

Chop up the kimchi and set aside, make sure to reserve the liquid that drained from it. Thinly slice the pork chop and cut into small pieces. Heat a tablespoon of the high heat oil in a wok or deep skillet. Once hot, add the pork pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook on high until cooked through and set aside. Without cleaning out the pan, add the chopped kimchi on high. Add a little oil if needed. Fry the kimchi for about 3-5 minutes. You want it to get cooked down and develop a sweetness. Add the red pepper flakes and toss and then add the rest of the oil, make sure it returns to high, and then add the rice.  Fry, tossing frequently, for about another 4-5 minutes. Add some or all of the reserved kimchi liquid to help create a desired consistency and get any cooked bits off the bottom of the pan. Return the pork to the pan and add the 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and the 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Cook for another couple of minutes. Taste and adjust soy sauce and or salt and pepper.  Cover with a lid for a moment while you fry your eggs and make your sauce. For the sauce, just whisk together the soy sauce, gochujang, and the sesame oil. For the eggs:  use as many eggs as there are people eating.  Each person gets a fried egg on top. You want the yolk to be runny. You’ll feel so sad if you overcook it. If you do overcook it, just save it for egg salad and make a new one. Having a runny yolk over your fried rice is quite satisfying. Now plate your fried rice. Put your perfectly cooked fried egg on top of the rice. Now drizzle the sauce all around all cute-like and sprinkle with sesame seeds, more pepper flakes, and chopped chives. Yummy!

 

Those are some seriously seductive chives right there.

 

Anywhere and Everywhere

breakfast avocado toast

 

Most days I use sprouted grain bread but on this day I was lucky enough to have oatmeal bread made by my mom.

This is my go-to breakfast: sprouted grain bread, toasted, smeared with smashed avocado, runny egg, salty bacon and fried tomato. It’s quick, healthy, and filling.  Every single time I cut into it and that yolk slowly oozes out, I’m forced to send a snapchat to all my closest friends. Because this is something that deserves their attention. I love to top this combo with good salt, pepper, and habanero sauce.  I like to use course sea salt. My favorite salt is fluer de sel .  The hot sauce I like is Trader Joe’s habanero sauce.

breakfast avocado toast

serves 1

ingredients:

1 slice sprouted grain bread such as Ezekiel bread, but I prefer Alvarado St bread because of it’s simple ingredient list

1/2 small, ripe avocado

1 plum tomato

1 slice of bacon (my favorite is Beeler’s bacon)

salt and pepper

hot sauce

In a small frying pan, fry the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Set the bacon aside on a paper towel-lined plate.   Leaving the bacon grease in the pan and the heat to medium, place the tomatoes in the frying pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Be sure to leave the tomato juice on the cutting board like this:

I heard on The Splendid Table podcast that most of a tomato’s flavor is in the seeds and membrain surrounding the seeds. 

You’ll use the juices to help break down and smash the avocado.  Rinse your avocado and slice it in half.  Scoop half the avocado onto the cutting board and sprinkle with salt.  Let set.  Turn your tomatoes over to fry on the other side. Now, you’ll crack your egg into the same pan while the tomatoes finish cooking.  Sprinkle your egg with salt and pepper. Place your slice of bread in the toaster but don’t push it down yet! Smash your avocado up with a fork. Then, flip your egg and put your bread down to be toasted. Turn OFF the heat on the frying pan.  You want your egg to be runny but not TOO runny.  Slow runny.  When the toast is toasted to your liking, put it on a plate, and spread on your smashed avocado.  Top with the bacon (cut in half), the tomato slices, and finally that perfectly cooked egg. Pour just a little habanero sauce over the top.  Cut into it, and take a picture. Enjoy!

Africa, Tanzania

chips mayai or hashbrown omelet

img_3549

Chips Mayai means “French Fry Eggs”.  I first had Chips Mayai in Tanzania.  Where I had it, they would fry french fries in a bunch of oil, then pour beaten eggs over to form an omelet.  It would be served with Kachumbari (tomato, onion, cabbage slaw) on top with ketchup and pilipili (hot pepper sauce).  Delicious! In this rendition, I’m shredding red potatoes up to use as hashbrowns instead of french fries.  I’m also adding jalapeno pepper because I had one in the fridge that needed to be used.  On top, again, in the face of not wanting to be wasteful, I’m being forced to add some shredded cheddar cheese and perfectly crisp bacon.  If you don’t have any leftover cheese like me, try to make yourself feel better by saying “it’s more authentic”. That will convince anyone, including you.  In the end, you had better have some avocado because that is authentically Tanzanian and it makes it feel a little healthy and tastes amazing.  Remember when avocados were “too fattening”? What a sad time! You’ll also notice in this recipe that I’m going to instruct you to beat your egg mixture exactly 80 times. This is probably the most direct you’ll ever hear me be.  I once heard on an episode of America’s Test Kitchen that 80 strokes were the precise amount to beat eggs for omelets.  This, they say, is called science.  And also, it was Christopher Kimball talking, plus a French woman, and with that combination, you know they know way more than you.

chips mayai- Tanzanian street food and breakfast food

Serves 2 really hungry people (or 4 people)

  • 4 medium red potatoes
  • 1/2 small onion chopped
  • 1 jalapeno deseeded and sliced (I like to leave one half with the seeds and ribs intact)
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Toppings Ideas:
  • Hot Sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Bacon
  • Green Onion
  1. Heat your cast iron or non-stick pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Place your 3 strips of bacon in the pan to fry.
  3. Meanwhile, shred the potatoes with a box grater or in your food processor with the large shred attachment.
  4. Finely chop your onion
  5. halve, de-seed, and thinly slice your jalapeno.
  6. Once the bacon is done to your liking (not too dark because of the carcinogens), set it to the side.
  7. Pour out most of your bacon grease and put it in your bacon grease jar to use later.
  8. With a little bacon grease left in the pan, spread out your shredded potatoes, onion, and jalapeno in the pan and make sure it’s on medium heat.
  9. Season with garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
  10. Cook the veggie mixture for about 6-7 minutes on one side. Take a spatula and peek that it’s browned before you flip it over the brown the other side.
  11.  Let that side cook for about 5 minutes until browned.
  12.  While the second side of the hash browns are cooking, crack your eggs into a medium sized bowl and add a little water or half and half if you have extra like I did.  Why do I always have an excess of fatty dairy products?
  13. Beat your eggs for  80 strokes.
  14. Pour your egg mixture over the browned hashbrown.
  15. Let the mixture cook for a couple of minutes, then grab a lid that fits your pan, turn the heat to low and cover the chips mayai until the egg has set but is still a little loose and shiny on top.  This way you know that you haven’t overcooked your eggs.
  16. sprinkle your toppings on top.  If you’re using cheese you may want to cover it again to melt it.  Also, crumble up your bacon as you sprinkle it on.
  17. Cut the chips mayai into four pieces like a pizza pie.
  18. Serve with sliced avocado and fruit.  It’s also best with a little ketchup and hot sauce on top.

    Serves 2 hungry people or 4 people with willpower.

Right after the egg mixture was poured over the hashbrowns