Wake Up

I have several posts in me today.  I’ve been pretty busy in my kitchen.And it’s all the fault of Google Reader and Taste Spotting. Within the last few weeks, I subscribed to Taste Spotting, it’s an editor’s pick.  There are so many updates each day it’s nutty.  And the food just looks so good.

Last week I made Root Beer Float cupcakes.  So flipping good and really not that hard. Today, I made Huevos Rancheros in Tortilla Cups. They were really yummy.   But I have a few suggestions and mistakes that I have learned from.

The recipe calls for combining black beans, pinto beans, cumin, a tiny bit of olive oil, salt, and fresh cilantro as the main part of the dish.  It recommends salsa as an optional garnish.  This makes a rather dense, dry filling.  And frankly, even with the best olive oil and a pinch of salt, this is rather bland.

I believe that next time, I will add fresh salsa to the bean mix.  The addition of some lean chorizo, bacon, or ham would greatly enhance this dish.  But at the very least, I’m adding salsa.  It was just too much.

Also, a really simple, and maybe not initially obvious tip: before you crack the egg on top, make a depression in the filling to keep the egg in place.  The instructions say “carefully crack the egg into the center of each tortilla cup”.  That’s lovely and everything, but even with the flattest, most level filling surface and the steadiest hands when transferring the oven-safe cookware to the oven, the egg wants to move.  Save the headache, make a little depression in the center to keep the yoke in the middle.

Now, I don’t have the specified ramekins.  I just used my oven-safe soup bowls (I went through a hardcore French onion soup phase).  They come in sets of 4 and one got broken over the years.  So I have 3 bowls 5 people to feed.  But I also fed my family in shifts today.  Thing 1 had to be at work early so I got up to make hers.  By the time I woke up and got all my ingredients together, I realized that I didn’t have the almost 30 minutes to bake this in the oven.  I decided I would send it in the microwave for 5 minutes to get it started.

Maybe you know this, maybe you don’t.  In case you don’t, I’ll share.  Egg yolk + microwave = egg mcmuffin yolk.  Not cute.  So, although thing 1 liked her breakfast and shockingly (for a 17 year old) was very appreciative, her dish was truly dry.

Now Thing 2 and the Monkey King are just not hip to beans, particularly with their eggs.  So for their tortilla cups, I used only egg and cheese.  I also used a stoneware cereal bowl to cook one of the tortilla cups.  They loved them.  Even without the dry bean filling, Thing 2 (who detests anything that appears to ever have been friendly to a fruit or vegetable) requested salsa in hers.  I have to puree her salsa to get her to eat it.  But I really found that instructional.  Even a girl who hates veggies thought this dish needed salsa.

Thing 2 crumbled bacon over top her tortilla.  It looked beautiful.

There are so many ways to change this recipe up (I provided the link above, but here it is again).  I might try dicing up avocados in the filing or having guacamole as a condiment.  Carmelized onions and sauteed peppers would be excellent in the filling.  Hot peppers would give it a nice kick.  I put hot sauce on almost everything.  I prefer, because of the flavor, Trappey’s Red Devil Hot sauce.  It’s not very hot so it’s not overwhelming, and it has a very nice flavor.  Also, and really importantly, I would use whole wheat tortillas next time.  I put flour tortillas on the shopping list for this.  My husband took it at face value and bought exactly that, but we never buy regular flour tortillas.  We always  use the highest fiber bread products we can.  I realize that this would have added to the dry factor this time so I guess it turned out better… just this time.  And I realize that I would definitely need to gently warm the tortillas in the microwave to get whole wheat, high fiber tortillas to bend into the bowls without breaking them.  It’s a small price to pay.



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