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Jenny’s chalkboard: Mexican breakfast for dinner

With an assist from food TV–including a new show on Travel Channel called Feed the Beast, which I’ll be previewing before it premieres on Wednesday; and then an hour of Food Network’s Diners, Drive Ins & Dives yesterday, and after my wife (i.e. Jenny) and I both had this sluggish, head-achy thing going on, we decided we needed to eat something fatty and greasy. We were not hung over, but that’s what it felt like, and we needed a Sunday morning hangover remedy on Sunday evening. Those shows made me crave eggs and fat and salt, and when I saw we had chorizo in the fridge, I knew what had to be done–we had to make Mexican breakfast for dinner. Jenny agreed and put that on her chalkboard.

So what you’re seeing in the photo and that went happily into our bellies last night is this…..first, I took a leftover baked potato and cut that up, and stir fried it in a bit of canola oil. Meanwhile, as the potato was cooking, I took a link of chorizo (by link I mean it was maybe a foot long), removed the meat from the “fake” casing, and fried that up in a pan for about 10 minutes until it was cooked through and crispy, draining on paper towels. I wiped out the pan, and fried four eggs in it. Jenny shredded some cheddar cheese (full fat kickass Wisconsin cheddar), and I cubed an avocado while the eggs were cooking. I also opened up a can of refried black beans, and chopped some cilantro. As the eggs were set, it was time to assemble this creation in a big bowl–

First, the potatoes, which were nice and crispy. Then a dollop of refried beans and the chorizo. We topped that with two eggs in each bowl, followed by the avocado chunks, cheese and cilantro. Oh, and some Mexican hot sauce for good measure. Suffice to say we both felt so much better after eating this dinner. It was one of those food nirvana moments when you feed your body what it’s craving, and then some. And hey, now I know what to make next time we are hung over….and we hope you try it too.

Wing Sauce Wednesday–gazpacho revisited


note: this photo is not mine, but it looks a lot like my gazpacho

I posted a recipe a couple years back called Guy Gazpacho on Bullz-Eye’s Grub for Guys section, and I re-posted it here last May. And I thought that now is a good time to re-visit that one, because it’s getting brutally hot outside everywhere, and because tomatoes are coming into season, as are cucumbers and peppers. Plus, hey, it’s Wednesday, and that means it’s a great time to have another Wing Sauce Wednesday column. That’s because wing sauce is one of the secret ingredients of my gazpacho.

If you, like me, love Buffalo wing sauce and feel like you’d be really happy just doing shots of it, this is the soup for you. It has 2 tablespoons of wing sauce, but I have started adding more like 3-4 per batch. The other secret ingredient for me? Avocado. It gives the soup a nice smooth texture and taste. I also do not use onions or raw garlic as many chefs would, because my stomach is not a fan of that stuff in its raw state. But you could certainly add some of either or both. There are no rules, but if you do make this gazpacho on Wing Sauce Wednesday, you should definitely add the sauce. Trust me, it’s worth it on Wednesday or any day.

Taco baked potato

Sometimes you have no idea what to make for dinner, and it’s getting late in the day. Lately, that’s happened a lot to me. I work from home and do most of the cooking in our house, so I’m usually planning and cooking, and trying to time things for when my wife gets home from work. Recently I had some ground turkey and didn’t know what to do with it, and had to think something up. We had some nice baking potatoes, and I’m one of those people who does not believe in microwaving potatoes–blech. So I popped two potatoes in the oven, and using some taco mix we had on hand, made taco meat with the ground turkey. And what was born? A combo that I’m surely not the first person to think of–a taco baked potato. This combines two awesome food items and it’s pretty healthy, so long as you’re not counting carbs.

Here is what to do–rinse the potatoes, and pierce them a few times with a fork. Bake at 450 degrees for an hour or so. Meanwhile, with about 15 minutes left on the potato cooking time, make the taco meat according to package directions. Shred some cheddar cheese (or used pre-shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese), and gather taco items such as chopped tomatoes, olives, jalapenos, sour cream and either salsa or taco sauce. You can also add chopped avocado as I did, and/or cilantro. Really, you can use your imagination or anything you have on hand. The only item that goes in tacos that might not be good here would be lettuce, since it would wilt when added to a piping hot potato.

So cut the potatoes in half, mash them a bit and then top with the meat and other toppings. Dinner is served!

Healthy breakfast bowl

Last week I posted something on easy breakfast tacos, but it doesn’t always have to be about tacos or burritos when you are making a quick and healthy breakfast. What follows is my take on the breakfast bowl, something that has become more prominent in fast food chains as carbs have fallen out of favor the last few years.

So here we go…..

Chop some tomatoes, shred some cheddar cheese and open a can of pinto beans.

Prepare some quick brown rice (I like the Trader Joe’s kind in the freezer section, that you nuke in three minutes) and put about 1/2 cup of the cooked rice in a bowl. Set the rest aside (or multiply this recipe out for more servings).

Cook 2 eggs in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until the whites are just set (don’t overcook–you want a runny yolk). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the beans and tomato in the bowl with the rice, top with the cooked eggs and shredded cheese. (Other options and add-ins are green pepper, jalapenos, cooked corn off the cob, or diced avocado.)

Top with salsa or hot sauce and serve.

Mikey’s breakfast bowl

Breakfast bowls have become all the rage these days, and I’ve decided to join the party–with rice as the backdrop. Here is my version, and we’ll called it Mikey’s Breakfast Bowl and it serves one (but you can multiply it out).

Ingredients
3/4 cup cooked brown rice
1/3 cup cooked pinto beans, from can, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped smoked sausage or ham
1/4 cup chopped avocado
3 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 eggs
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
Hot sauce

Directions
Warm rice in microwave according to package directions (Easy to microwave rice is everywhere now, but I love Trader Joe’s brand–it comes in pouches that are frozen and microwaveable in 3 minutes). Stir in beans and nuke for another 20 seconds. Stir in avocado, tomatoes, and sausage or ham. Meanwhile, spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray, and crack two eggs into the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the whites of egg are set and not runny. Slide eggs into bowl, and crack the yolks to let the egg run into the bowl. Sprinkle with cheese, cilantro, and hot sauce, and serve.

Low carb breakfast special

I’m trying to lose a bit of weight, so for the moment I’m cutting back on carbs. But as I looked at a South Beach Diet cookbook this morning, I decided that I was just going to whip up my own recipe. So I made an egg sandwich using fried ham as the “bread,” and used mashed avocado and hot sauce as condiments. It was awesome. Here is how I did it and how you can, too….

Fry up two slices of ham until crisp, but not burnt. In another skillet, scramble two eggs and add salt and pepper. Cook until just set. Meanwhile, mash half an avocado with some salt. Lay ham on a plate next to each other, place a slice of swiss (or any cheese you have on hand) on one slice of ham, and spread avocado on the other. Then slide the scrambled eggs onto the slice with the cheese. Shake some hot sauce, on, assemble the sandwich and eat. As my wife said, it might be low-carb but it’s not low-fat. That’s okay though, I was only looking to cut carbs in my breakfast, and I succeeded.

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