Breakfast Tostada

breakfast taco

What do you eat when you’re dining alone?

For me, it’s eggs.  It’s always eggs. 

Maybe it’s simply because Jeff hates eggs. I know – who doesn’t like eggs?  My husband, that’s who.  Omelets, scrambles, benedicts, quiches… all out of the question. So we don’t eat eggs together.  But when he’s working late, out of town, or just not hungry, I never think twice. It’s always eggs.

Or maybe it’s because there are a million ways to cook eggs, almost all of them quick, easy, healthy and perfect for solo meals. When I’m cooking for myself, I don’t usually like to fuss too much in the kitchen.  But that doesn’t mean I always want to order pizza or eat a bowl of Cheerios.  Although, sometimes nothing beats a bowl of Cheerios…

This breakfast tostada is great in the morning as a quick, healthy weekday treat for yourself.  But the recipe doubles, triples, or quadruples really easily, too, and makes a nice brunch with friends.  I like to use corn tortillas, since they toast up with the best texture.  I’m a big fan of chipotle salsa here, but use whatever you like most.  I think a good tomatillo salsa would be yummy.  But if you have some homemade salsa in the fridge, by all means, use it!  This recipe is really more of a suggestion, so play around with toppings.  You could add some refried beans or black beans.  Or maybe sprinkle on a few corn kernels or a squeeze of lime.  Perhaps go for some shredded cabbage instead of lettuce, for extra crunch. You could sub in turkey sausage or even vegan sausage for the chorizo, or use up some leftover shredded chicken breast.  You get the idea.

egg tostada

Breakfast Tostada

Makes 1 tostada

1 corn tortilla

1 teaspoon butter

1 egg

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons salsa

2 tablespoons cooked crumbled chorizo

2 tablespoons shredded lettuce

1 tablespoon sour cream

1 radish, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro

Toast the corn tortilla in the oven or toaster oven until mostly crisp, but not too browned.  Meanwhile, heat the butter in a skillet and fry the egg to your desired doneness.  I like over-medium, but cook to your preference.  Sprinkle the egg with salt and remove from the heat. Spread the salsa on the tortilla.  Top with the egg, the chorizo, the lettuce, the sour cream, the radish, and the cilantro.  Enjoy with a couple of napkins!

Published in: on February 25, 2012 at 3:10 pm  Comments (8)  
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Not Just For Thanksgiving: Pumpkin Feta Tart

french pumpkin tart with feta cheese

February is my least favorite month for cooking.  Oh sure, there is plenty of chocolate for Valentine’s Day, and little else to do besides putter in the kitchen all month.  Even so, every year, right about the middle of February, I lose steam.  With minimal produce for inspiration, and the holiday festivities a faded memory, I cave to take-out and frozen pizza more often than I’d like to admit. 

Do the winter blues hit you too?

As I sit here wishing for spring, planning my vegetable garden and dreaming of tiny strawberries, I’m attempting to jump start spring with a round of spring cleaning.  Today we tackled the basement and the kitchen cabinets.  And do you know what I found lurking at the back of my pantry?  A can of pumpkin.  It may not be a farmer’s market basket, but this vitamin-filled little can really jazzed up our quick winter supper.

You already know about my love of pumpkin.  Layered in a yogurt parfait, swirled into oatmeal, stuffed in ravioli, or baked in a cupcake, you really can’t go wrong with canned pumpkin. The slightly sweet earthy pumpkin works wonderfully with the salty tang of the feta and the nutty flavor of the swiss chard in this simple tart. A sliver of this tart would probably be a very nice appetizer for a fancy dinner party, but a big wedge also works well as a main course served with a big arugula salad dressed in good olive oil and lemon juice.

I like this Easy Olive Oil Tart Crust recipe from the wonderful Chocolate & Zucchini but you can use any tart crust you like.  You could even use refrigerated pie crust dough here and I’m sure the tart would still turn out wonderfully.  I do think that a good tart pan, with a removable bottom, is pretty important, though.  Before investing in a tart pan (really, not a very big expenditure) I made many mediocre tarts in a pie plate.  The too-deep, flat sides of the pie dish result in a soggy crust, and an unpleasant filling-to-crust ratio.  If you don’t have a tart pan, you might be better off making a rustic crostada – just roll out the dough on a baking sheet, spread the filling in the middle, leaving a two-inch border.  Fold the crust edges into the middle, brush with a bit of oil, and bake until golden.

Pumpkin Feta Tart

Serves 6 (as a main course)

1 recipe of tart crust dough 

3/4 cup thinly sliced onion

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 cups thinly sliced fresh swiss chard

salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

2 cups canned pumpkin

2 eggs, beaten

3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Carefully press the crust into a 12-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.  Refrigerate the crust while you prepare the filling.  Saute the onion in oil over medium heat until soft and just beginning to darken. Add in the swiss chard and cook 1 minute more. Season liberally with salt and pepper and stir in the rosemary.  Remove from the heat.  In a medium sized bowl, stir the pumpkin and the eggs well to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove the crust from the refrigerator.  Spread the pumpkin mixture evenly in the crust.  Sprinkle the swiss chard mixture evenly over the pumpkin mixture and top with the feta cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Serve warm or room temperature.

Published in: on February 18, 2012 at 8:16 pm  Comments (12)  
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Spiked Raspberry Chocolate Milkshake Shots

raspberry chocolate milkshake shots

I’d venture a guess that television sales soar on the day before the Superbowl.  This year, we did our part to propel retail sales, and this afternoon, our new 42 inch flat screen was erected in its place of honor in the living room.  With friends coming over, the Patriots playing, and a fancy new tv to boot, I figured I had better step up my game in the kitchen this year.

I adore football food.  We’ve covered my obsession with Superbowl snacks before.  Last year, I made four varieties of gourmet pigs in a blanket and mac ‘n beer cheese soup. But this year I decided to go old school with BBQ turkey burger sliders and sweet potato fries.  Simple, crowd pleasing snacks – but missing something.  A sweet, creamy something.

We have a number of new, trendy burger joints in town.  I adore each and every one.  Juicy burgers, crispy french fries, and sweet, creamy milkshakes.  My favorite local burger spot has started making spiked milkshakes, and they are fantastic.  It didn’t take long for us to realize that we could make our own spiked milkshakes at home.  Of course, for Superbowl Sunday I like everything to be finger food, bite sized and easy to grab from the coffee table.  Which, for milkshakes, translates to spiked shake shots. 

Nothing could be easier – just whir ice cream, milk, liqueurs, and chocolate sauce in the blender and pour into cute shot glasses.  Add a straw (bottom cut off), and a little fruit for garnish, if you like.  These raspberry chocolate shake shots are my favorite, but you could do almost any flavor.  An orange creamsicle shake, made with Grand Marnier, would be lovely.  I dream of a caramel apple shake made with dulce de leche ice cream, apple liqueur and a drizzle of caramel sauce. And we’ve enjoyed a wonderful mocha shake with Kahlua and Godiva liqueur.  The possibilities are endless.

Enjoy the big game!

Spiked Raspberry Chocolate Milkshake Shots

Makes about 8 shots

1/2 cup vanilla ice cream

1/2 cup milk

1 ounce Chambord (or other raspberry liqueur)

1/2 ounce Godiva chocolate liqueur (or other chocolate liqueur)

1 tablespoon chocolate syrup

frozen raspberries, for garnish

In a blander, combine all ingredients except the raspberries.  Whir until smooth and spoon carefully into shot glasses.  Garnish with raspberries and serve with straws with the bottoms cut short.

Published in: on February 4, 2012 at 7:38 pm  Comments (9)  
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