edible adventures from the centre of the universe

29 January 2007

Cowgirl Ranch Eggs

I'm a big fan of eggs. This might be because I grew up in a very egg-friendly household, where my mom would serve up mountains of fried egg sandwiches to my brother and I for dinner on a regular basis. I loved to dip mine in ketchup, so the sweetness of the bright red sauce would mingle with the salty eggs and soft, buttered toast. To this day, I sometimes get mean cravings for this absurdly simple meal.

But, sometimes I like to dress up my eggs. Just this past week, I decided to whip up some huevos rancheros -- a crispy tortilla and creamy beans with perfectly-cooked eggs and spicy ranchero sauce sounded like just the thing to counter my mid-winter blahs. I like to scramble my huevos, but the traditional way to cook them for this dish is sunny-side-up. Try them whatever way you like best, but make sure to grind some fresh pepper over the top before digging in. Caliente!

Huevos Rancheros

1 batch ranchero sauce (below)
2 large corn tortillas
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup refried beans
1 tbsp butter
4 large eggs
grated cheddar or monterey jack

1. Preheat oven to 500 F. Brush tortillas with the oil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes or so, until slightly crisp. In the meantime, warm the refried beans (I usually use the microwave).
2. Melt butter in a non-stick skillet. Add the eggs, and scramble until almost set. Sprinkle the eggs with cheese and cover to finish cooking (about 1 minute more).
3. Spread half of the refried beans onto each tortilla. Divide the cooked eggs between the tortillas, and then pile on the ranchero sauce. Grind some fresh pepper on top, and serve with sour cream and diced avocado, if desired.

Ranchero Sauce

1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 cup chopped tomatoes, seeded
1/2 cup water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced (remove membranes for less heat)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

1. Melt butter in a pot over medium heat. Add the onions, green pepper, and a pinch of salt, and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the cumin, remaining salt, cayenne, garlic, and jalapeno, and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Finally, add the water, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered until thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add the cilantro. Season to taste and cover to keep warm until ready to assemble the huevos rancheros.

Serves 2


11 January 2007

This Rice is Wild

I can't believe it's been a month since my last update! I've been super busy settling in at the new job, and I'm really enjoying it. I had a nice relaxing Christmas with my parents, which involved a lot of movies, reading, and being horizontal. Unfortunately, this was followed by a week of sinus cold that Dave brought back from Edmonton with him. Boo!

When you have a cold, nothing is more appealing than a warm, comforting bowl of soup. Luckily, I recently picked up A Beautiful Bowl of Soup by Paulette Mitchell to add to my ever-expanding cookbook collection. It has a lot of unusual, but delicious-sounding combinations, including the one that appealed to under-the-weather me: Wild Rice Cranberry Soup. I'm a big fan of wild rice, but I had never had cranberries in soup before. Since it was the holiday season, I thought the fruit would add a festive touch -- it did, and the soup was amazing.

Wild Rice Cranberry Soup

3 tbsp butter
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 tbsp flour
3 cups veggie stock
1.5 cups wild rice, cooked
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup milk
2 tbsp dry sherry
salt & pepper, to taste
chopped italian parsley to garnish

1. Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the carrot, celery, onion, and a pinch of salt and cook for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.
2. Add the flour to the pot and stir to combine. Add the veggie stock one cup at a time, stirring thoroughly between additions to prevent lumps. Increase the heat slightly, and cook until soup thickens (5 minutes). Stir in the wild rice and cranberries , reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Stir in milk and sherry, and season to taste. Warm through.
4. Serve in warmed bowls with some parsley and freshly ground black pepper to garnish.

serves 4