Love for leftovers

May 9, 2018

Leftovers to look forward to: Fried rice.

Sometimes, it just all comes together.

I had the asparagus, corn and shrimp from the previous post. I had white rice from the other night’s less-than-spectacular orange chicken.

I always have eggs. One can do a helluva lot with eggs.

I sauteed some ginger and garlic in canola oil, tumped in the rice. Broke it all up and got it coated with the oil. Added about half the corn/asparagus/shrimp mixture. Splashed it with some soy sauce, some mirin, some sesame oil. Boom. Quickie fried rice.

Dished that up, and fried a couple of eggs; over the top they went.

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That’s egg porn if I’ve ever seen it. Yummmmmmm!

When one has fresh asparagus, one enjoys it in a variety of ways. One of my favorite ways is dressed, very simply, with a couple of over-easy eggs.

This stuff is simplicity in itself. You prep some asparagus; break the woody bottoms off the stalks, peel the bottom two or three inches. Toss them in a medium hot skillet with a pat of butter and a splash of olive oil. Saute them until they start to blister, shaking the skillet periodically to turn them over. Scoop them out when they’re just crisp-tender, and slide them on a plate. Add a bit more butter to the skillet, if you need to, and fry yourself two eggs.

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The faces of breakfast

April 26, 2018

Oh, hello, there. I used to hang out here some.

I used to cook some, in fact. And perhaps I will again. There just hasn’t been a huge amount of cooking at Chez Keyboard of late, in large part because I’ve been busy and gone and here and there and elsewhere and haven’t had my mind in the kitchen.

I have, however, cooked a couple of breakfasts. Well, I cooked one, and assembled t’other. Both were good, one was healthy, one likely less so. They both hit the spot, on different days.

There was this one:

The big ol’ breakfast

And this one:

Healthy breakfast. Can’t load up on fat every day.

Depending on the day, sometimes I’ll lean toward one, sometimes toward t’other. I got up hungry one morning, by virtue of not having eaten much the day before, and cooked the big ol’ breakfast of hash browns, eggs and bacon, with a slice of whole grain toast. It was pretty damn excellent, and spurred by the fact I’d bought a bag of frozen hash browns (the plain shredded kind, thankyouverymuch, none of your peppers and onions stuff, here). I just shook some out into a hot skillet with oil, salted and peppered them, let them cook a bit, kinda gathered them into a pile, and flipped them over. They didn’t stay real cohesive, but enough so they made a good nest for a couple of over-easy eggs, fried in the same hot oil, so the whites got a little crispy and the yolks stayed runny.

Bacon was the precooked that I nuked to warm, and the toast came off a loaf of King Arthur multi-grain that I’ve addressed before.

It was a fine breakfast, and tided me over until nearly dinnertime.

At the other end of the extreme, there were yogurt and granola and fresh fruit. I’ll gravitate to that a good deal more now that we’re about to get into fresh fruit season (there are Arkansas strawberries, already, and I’ll get some this weekend!). I keep homemade yogurt on hand most all the time, and make my own granola, and the breakfast was brought to¬† you by Aldi, which offered me blackberries for a buck for an 8-ounce clamshell package, which made two breakfasts. I bought two of them.

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Cold day odds and ends

April 15, 2018

A hearty brunch for a chilly, lazy day.

It is frigid outside, and I ought to be in the kitchen, which is something I haven’t done a lot of this week.

However, I am also lazy, and comfy on the couch, so I am not in the kitchen. Although I’m about to get in there in a bit, to make an old standard for dinner, with which I’ll entertain you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em later on.

There has not been much cooking at Chez Keyboard this week. I made a pot roast when friend Kate was visiting. It was a good pot roast. You’ve seen pot roast, I’ve described pot roast. It was another one. Only difference was the addition of some sauteed mushrooms I had hanging about in the fridge, which did not hurt it one little bit.

There have been a couple of hastily assembled breakfasts and lunches, and one good brunch, which was earlier today, because I was a heathen and did not go to church (see above re: lazy).

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This quiche, y’all…

March 12, 2018

Just waiting for a bite!

This is as good a quiche as you can make. I swear.

I tend to err on getting mine on the too-eggy side; if you’re going to do that, start it in a skillet, finish it in the oven, and call it a frittata. A true quiche is a savory custard, one in which eggs are used as a thickener for the dairy. And the custard is a vehicle for enshrouding whatever deliciousness you feel like putting inside it.

In my case yesterday, it was tasso ham and Gruyere cheese. Pretty basic quiche, but pretty wonderful.

For any who may not know, tasso is the Cajun answer to country ham. Except it’s not really ham, which is a pig’s hind leg; tasso comes from the shoulder. The meat is cured only briefly, then rubbed in Cajun spices and hot-smoked, and then generally used in seasoning other dishes.

Word of caution. A little bit of tasso goes a long way. I probably had six or seven ounces of it. I diced it all up and put it in the quiche. About half that much, and diced smaller, would have likely been plenty.

But if you don’t have tasso, that’s fine. Plain ham works fine, as does bacon, as does shredded pork barbecue. As would most any kind of shredded up meat.

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Another gluten-free breakfast

November 13, 2017

Here’s a bread-free breakfast with a twist.

You really don’t NEED bread for breakfast.

Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing much better than a hot, fluffy biscuit, dripping butter, cozying up to a pile of scrambled eggs, a scoop of pear preserves, and three or four slices of thick cut bacon, fried perfectly crisp. Unless it’s a thick slice of challah, soaked in egg-and-cream and fried in butter, the best French toast on the planet. Or a piping hot bran muffin, or a muffin bursting with fresh blueberries, cut open when it’s so hot it’ll scorch your fingers, and a copious quantity of butter applied. Or a puffy, golden brown Dutch Baby, hot out of the oven.

I love breakfast breads, and I have a fair number of them in my repertoire. But I also have a kid with celiac disease, and I love her, too, so I try to cater toward her need for things that don’t have wheat gluten when she’s here. And, I’m sorry, but I’ve yet to find anything in the realm of gluten-free breads that worth a diddly-damn.

Fortunately, said child loves her some corn, in most all its iterations. Corn tortillas make a fine breakfast burrito, and do well scrambled up in some migas. And grits? This kid can eat her weight in grits. Always has been able to.

So this morning, I brought out one of my stable of gluten-free breakfasts, tweaked it a bit, and she gave it her seal of approval. Me, I’ll tweak it next time, but it wasn’t bad, not at all.

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Tortilla breakfast

November 12, 2017

OK, so it fell apart. It was good. Especially with oranges.

It’s been years since I made a tortilla, but I was in the notion for one recently, so I made it.

Child B is here, and she’s gluten intolerant, so I have to think a bit when it comes to breakfast goodies for her. I was contemplating latkes Friday morning, but that was more trouble than it was worth. And somebody had posted on the food forum about making a tortilla. And I thought, “Yeah. That.”

So I set about doing same. Truth be told, it was probably as much trouble as making latkes, but, hey, the flavor profile was what I wanted.

I peeled four potatoes, sliced them thin and boiled them in salted water for a few minutes, until they were barely soft. I drained them, and layered them in what started out as a nice spiral in the pan.

Which, by the way, was the 10-inch Lodge carbon steel skillet I bought back in May. Finally got those suckers seasoned. I love them. Get you some.

Layer 1, potatoes and proscuitto.

Anyway. I put a layer of potatoes, and then I added half of the proscuitto that I’d cut into strips. Put another layer of potatoes, and added some more proscuitto. I let them cook on medium heat until they’d started to brown on the bottom. Then I beat up four eggs with a little half in half, added in some paprika and a cup and a half or so of grated romano, and poured that over them.

Note to self. Use six eggs next time. Four was a bit skimpy.

Leave that skillet alone! Let those eggs cook!

The key at this point is to leave the damn skillet alone. Let the eggs cook, undisturbed, until they start to look set around the edges. Then, gently, push the edge of the tortilla¬† away from the edge of the pan, tilt the pan, and let the uncooked egg run into the gap. Do that all the way around the pan, and then leave it alone some more. You’re still on medium heat, here. It’s gonna take a LONG time to burn.

Once there’s no more liquid egg lingering around the surface, get a plate. Carefully slide your spatula under the tortilla to loosen it all over, then tilt the pan and slide it out onto the plate. Put a little more oil — not much — into the skillet. Invert the skillet over the plate, and, with hot pads in both hands, grab hold on each side and flip that sucker over. If all goes as it should, the uncooked side of the tortilla will wind up in the pan, and you’ll have a lovely browned surface looking at you.

Browned yum, right there. Would look better with more eggs.

Let that side cook for another 3-4 minutes, and slide it back out onto the plate. Let it cool for just a minute or two, and carve it into wedges. If I hadn’t been too skimpy on the eggs, it would have retained some structural integrity and made a nice wedge.

Like a quiche, these things are great an hour or two later, at room temp, so make it whenever you please. With some fruit and a muffin, it’s a pretty classy brunch. It ain’t a bad breakfast on its own.

When you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em are in the notion for something different for breakfast, try this. There’s no reason you can’t customize it the way you want; change up the meat, change up the spice, add some onion or other veggies, change up the cheese. Just don’t skimp on the eggs.