Breakfast


Delicious Mexican Breakfast

Angela Lopez - Saturday, January 25, 2014

 

Migas is a Spanish word that translates to “crumbs” in English. The addition of small pieces of corn tortilla turns this eggstravaganza into migas. Some versions call for tortilla chips, while others use torn pieces of soft corn tortilla without crisping them in a skillet. I prefer something in between - after cutting 1 inch pieces of tortilla, I place them in a small amount of hot oil, just long enough to start browning but remaining a little chewy.  

 

Other variations are accomplished by adding browned, crumbled breakfast sausage or chorizo. Or add fresh tomatoes and green onion.

 

This is a great way to use up bits and pieces of leftover tortillas. And keep in mind, when you get ready to throw away the remnants in the bottom of your tortilla chip bag, try stirring them into your next pan of scrambled eggs. This will make the process even easier.

 

Migas Made with Corn Tortilla

4 corn tortillas

2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

8 eggs

3 tablespoons milk

Salt and pepper to taste (omit salt if using salty tortilla chips)

1 tablespoon butter

1 fresh jalapeno, deseeded and finely diced

Toppings:  crumbled bacon and grated cheese

 

Stack tortillas and cut into 1 inch squares. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add tortilla pieces, stirring to coat with oil. Let brown, slightly. Scoop out and place on paper towels to drain. Whisk eggs, milk, and salt and pepper in small bowl and set aside. Heat large skillet over medium heat and melt butter. Add diced jalapeno and stir. Pour in egg mixture and begin to scramble with whisk or fork. Add tortilla pieces and stir, cooking until eggs are done, 1 or 2 minutes.

Plate migas and add desired toppings, such as crispy bacon and cheese, or fresh cilantro and salsa. Makes 4 servings.

 


Jam Session

Angela Lopez - Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Strawberries are looking good in the local markets right now. Big juicy berries are wonderful on their own but I can’t help but want to cook up a batch of strawberry jam. Prices are currently pretty good, as well, so I was able to purchase two pounds for not much more than one pound has cost lately. And when the cherries get a little sweeter, I’ll use this same method with pitted Bing cherries. In fact, this recipe will adapt easily to stone fruits, such as apricots, peaches and plums. And maybe you’ll have a tomato plant or two that will produce more than you can eat at once. If you haven’t tried tomato jam, it’s a real treat on bruschetta or biscuits.

This particular recipe can be made without pectin to thicken it. And with three simple ingredients, it’s a snap to make. You’ll have fresh, homemade jam within an hour or so. It’s perfect to spread on toast for breakfast, or shortbread biscuits for dessert. Enjoy food made fresh!

 

Strawberry Jam 

2 pounds strawberries

3 cups sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

 

Rinse fruit. Remove stems and hull. Rough chop and place in a bowl or rimmed plate. Mash fruit with back of fork tines, pressing down with hands. Pour fruit and juices into saucepan and mix in sugar and lemon juice. Let rest for about 20 minutes. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. If fruit mixture begins to stick or boil too violently, turn heat down to medium. Periodically, skim off the light colored foam that forms on top and discard. Cook approximately 20 minutes or until temperature reaches 220 degrees F.

In the meantime, place jars and lids (rings and flats) into hot water bath on stovetop for about 10 minutes to sterilize and heat. Pour hot jam mixture into warm, dry jars. Place flats on jars and screw on ring.


Butter My Biscuit

Angela Lopez - Monday, June 10, 2013

Biscuits were always a staple in our house when I was growing up. My dad seemed to want my mom to be in the kitchen every morning donning an apron with her hair pulled back in a little bun rolling out dough. I guess that was in his dream-world; even though my mom loves to cook, she certainly wasn’t making an appearance like that every morning, especially on a busy workday. But I think he fondly remembered his mother doing it that way and longed for the memories that homemade biscuits conjured up. My mom would indulge his fantasy once in a while when she had time, but typically, she whacked open a can to unleash prepared rounds of dough. They tasted good, and definitely work in a pinch. But when she was really clever, she would tell him we were having square biscuits, as she popped the sliced bread into the toaster. 

I’ve tried recipe after recipe over the years, always hoping to perfect my own homemade biscuits, but also trying to keep it simple. I wanted the process of making biscuits to be almost as easy as using biscuit mix or running to the store to purchase a can of biscuits. It really doesn’t take much more. I use self-rising flour to eliminate the steps of measuring out baking powder and/or baking soda. And I love the tang you get from a buttermilk biscuit but often don’t have buttermilk on hand. So to cut out the part of the process where I hopped in the car and drove down to the store to get it, I started using the sour-milk method of adding vinegar to regular milk or “sweet” milk, as my dad always called it. And at times, I don’t even use a biscuit cutter; I simply cut the dough into 2 1/2 inch squares with a knife before baking. They definitely aren’t the same square biscuits we used to have!

I’m so grateful for the traditions my mother and my grandmothers have passed on to me, especially the love of being in the kitchen and cooking for our families. Make some memories with homemade biscuits this weekend. Whether you make them on a regular basis, or save it for special occasions, you’ll be a hero to your family as they smell that wonderful aroma coming from the oven! Enjoy food made fresh!

Basic Breakfast Biscuits

2 1/2 cups self-rising flour

1 stick, or 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold

1 cup whole milk

3 tablespoons white vinegar

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Measure 1 cup milk and add 3 tablespoons vinegar then set aside. Place 2 cups self-rising flour into mixing bowl. Begin cutting cold butter cut into very small pieces into the flour. Use pastry cutter or 2 butter knives to blend.

Milk will now appear slightly lumpy; stir to combine. Incorporate milk mixture into flour stirring until smooth. Add remaining 1/2 cup flour and continue blending. When well blended, turn dough out onto floured surface.

Separate dough into 2 balls. Roll one ball into approximately 6-by-10 inch rectangle. Fold dough in half and roll again to same size. Cut out biscuits with 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter or glass. Place on baking sheet. Combine scraps with the other dough ball and repeat process. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 15 minutes. Remove from oven and brush tops with additional butter. Makes 12 biscuits.

Tip:  Freeze butter then grate into the flour using a box grater. This will help to incorporate the cold butter into the flour in small enough pieces that the end result will be an even texture throughout the biscuit, but the cold butter will still leave little pockets of air creating a fluffy biscuit.

 


Breakfast Tacos

Angela Lopez - Sunday, October 28, 2012

Last weekend I noticed I had some leftover prosciutto in the fridge from another recipe I was working on. Since it fries up a little like bacon, breakfast burritos came to mind. The flour tortillas I had on hand were rather small, so I made breakfast “tacos” instead of burritos.

I love to clean out the refrigerator when I make something like this. Whatever I have on hand challenges me to get creative. Technically, Serrano ham would be a better choice for Mexican or Spanish food, rather than its Italian cousin, prosciutto. But you just can’t go wrong with pork, eggs, and potatoes so this was an easy decision. Add a little seasoning and you have a winner.

Be creative and - Enjoy food made fresh!

Breakfast Tacos

2 new potatoes, diced

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 ounces prosciutto or Serrano ham

4 eggs

1 teaspoon butter

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

6 tortillas

Salsa

 

Begin by browning potatoes in olive oil over medium heat in large skillet. Season potatoes with oregano, red pepper, salt and pepper. Add prosciutto and continue cooking until crisp and the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Whisk eggs in separate bowl. Scoot potato mixture to one side of skillet and add butter to empty side of skillet. Pour eggs in where butter has melted.  Scramble eggs in skillet until almost done. Stir eggs and potato mixture together. Heat tortillas and fill with mixture. Top with salsa. Makes 6 tacos.


Zucchini Bread

Angela Lopez - Monday, July 02, 2012

One spring I came home from the garden shop with what I thought was a mix of zucchini plants and yellow squash plants.  But when they started producing, they all ended up being yellow squash.  This reassured me that I need to get started earlier next season and plant “seeds” rather than buying plants then I’ll know what I really have.  I later told my neighbor about this disappointment.  And the strangest thing happened - later on in my garden, I came across 2 big ‘ol zucchinis!  Well, it turns out my neighbor was a little trickster and placed them there next to the yellow squash to fool me.  Oh well……..I sure did enjoy that zucchini bread I made with them.  And I even took the trickster and his wife a loaf of it; he said he might have to sneak zucchini in the garden more often.

 

Here’s a tip my mom gave me:  If you can’t bake right away, go ahead and grate the zucchini and place it in a freezer bag, then freeze for up to six months.  I use it for a nice treat during the wintertime when the garden is long gone.  I’m not sure whose original idea it was to put zucchini in a sweet bread but they were right on the money.  We just love this anytime of year.  Enjoy food made fresh!


Zucchini Bread (makes 2 loaves)  

2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 cup zucchini, peeled and grated, *see note
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (opt)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  With electric mixer on medium speed, blend sugar, oil and eggs until smooth; add vanilla.  Mix the remaining dry ingredients and slowly add to egg mixture just until incorporated well.  With mixer on low, fold in zucchini and nuts.  Pour batter into 2 greased and floured loaf pans.  Bake for 55-65 minutes, test to see if tooth pick comes out clean when inserted in center of loaf.