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Persimmon Cranberry Parfait

A simple persimmon parfait made with granola and yogurt. Nothing fancy, just good.

 

Next time you get a craving for something sweet and healthy, delicious and easy to make, give these Persimmon Cranberry Parfaits a try.  They’re nothing fancy but they definitely will make you feel like you’re eating something fancy.  Fresh persimmons and dried cranberries are heated in orange juice and a splash of liquor, then layered with yogurt, granola and a few chopped nuts.  A delicious little treat in less than 15 minutes!

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Southwestern Migas (Scrambled Eggs, Green Chile and Tortillas)

Southwestern style migas is a dish that consists of scrambled eggs, green chile, and fried corn tortillas

 

Migas (Spanish for “crumbs”) is one of those dishes that is different in different countries.  In the southwest, migas is a simple scrambled eggs dish with, at the very least, some fried corn tortillas (the “crumbs”) and chile pepper. Southwestern migas and Tex-Mex migas are basically the same dish with a variety of possible ingredients. Sometimes you’ll see additional ingredients like onions, cheese, tomatoes, chorizo or avocado.  Here in New Mexico, you’ll still find different versions of migas, but the one constant is, yes – you know what it is – New Mexico green chile.

Today I’m sharing the southwestern style migas I have been making for years.  I normally fry my own tortilla strips but have been known to use store bought tortilla chips, especially when I’m hungry and I don’t want to spend the time frying the tortillas. The ingredients and process for migas are simple and the final dish goes great with a side of beans, Spanish rice, or potatoes.  The migas below are being served with leftover Roasted Fingerling Potatoes.  If you feel like jazzing the eggs up even more, I’ve provided you with a list of additional ingredients or toppings.  Experiment, have fun, and eat well.

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Atole – My Cold Weather Smoothie

In New Mexico atole is toasted blue corn flour used to make a hot drink

 

Atole (uh-TOL-ay) is little different in different countries, but in general it is a hot masa-based beverage normally served for breakfast.  In northern New Mexico atole refers to toasted blue corn flour use to make a beverage of the same name.  The atole is cooked with water and milk into a thick beverage or an even thicker porridge and then sweetened to taste.  In Mexico, atole is a similar beverage made with toasted masa (hominy corn flour), a sweetener (usually piloncillo), cinnamon and vanilla. Add chocolate and you have a drink called champurrado. Both atole and champurrado are the traditional drinks for the Mexican holiday Dia de Muertos or the Day of the Dead.  However, because it is a hot beverage, atole is normally drank during cold weather, but by some people, year round.

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Chile Relleno Egg Quesadilla

A tortilla sandwich with scrambled egg and chile relleno

 

We’ve been roasting up a lot of little batches of green chile since around the first of August and with every batch, I’ve been making a quick and easy snack with some of the roasted chiles.  Our favorites have been green chile and eggs in some form or fashion.  A couple of years ago, I shared one of the easiest things to do with green chile and eggs and that was to just scramble some eggs and top them with chopped green chile.  I also shared my tortilla egg sandwich, the go to breakfast or lunch when I just don’t want to figure out what to make.  This year I’m sharing a Chile Relleno Egg Sandwich which is a combination of those two dishes, sort of.

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Green Chile Sweet Potato Hash Browns

Sweet potato hashbrowns with green chile, cheese, and an egg

 

Everybody loves Sunday Brunch whether it’s at home or going out. On those Sunday’s when you go out, where’s you favorite place?  Ours is, and always has been, the Frontier Restaurant in Albuquerque.  It’s a funky place occupying half a city block directly across the street from the University of New Mexico. We don’t go often because it’s very crowded on Sunday mornings, but when the college is on break, it gets slow and relatively quiet – perfect for Sunday brunch. When we go, we invariably get the same things – Bobby gets the Huevos Rancheros with Red (chile sauce) and I get the Western-style hash browns with an egg.  The Huevos include 2 eggs, beans, and red chile on corn tortillas with a freshly made flour tortilla for $6.59.  The Western-Stye hash browns are a LARGE stack of hashed brown potatoes, piled with chopped green chile and cheese, all for the bank busting price of $3.10!  With the egg, tack on another $1.35 for a total of $4.45.  Two delicious, plentiful meals for less than $12 and because it’s self-serve, there’s no tip.  On the way out, we grab a dozen freshly made flour tortillas, still warm, for $2.99. So if you’re ever in Albuquerque and want to get a cheap and delicious New Mexico meal with GOOD chile and a VERY interesting atmosphere, stop by the Frontier.  It will definitely be a meal and an experience to remember. To learn more about the Frontier Restaurant, read Gil’s Thrilling (and Filling) review.  He obviously has spent as much time there as I have.

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Chipotle Grits with Feta Cheese

A bowl of grits with chipotle peppers and feta cheese

 

Before I tell you how chipotle peppers ended up in grits, I have a question for you. What are three things that you absolutely can not run out of?  Running out of any one of these three things would be devastating.  Do you have them?  I would be willing to bet that the first item is toilet paper. No one wants to run out of toilet paper and believe me, having used the pages of a Sears catalog when I was a kid visiting the grandparents, toilet paper has no substitute. :)  O.K. so TP is number one.  What about the next two items?  In this house those items are milk and green chile.  Well, guess what I ran out of a couple of weeks ago?  Green chile!!! Yep – you read it right. I ran out of green chile.

I was planning on making Grits and Green Chile and had already started the grits, when I went to pull some green chile from the freezer. There was none to be found.  UGH!  So what’s a girl to do?  You know how it is – once your family expects one thing, you better come up with something just as good if not better. Rummaging through the pantry I found a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, so decided to give them a try in place of the green chile.  Instead of cheddar cheese, I went with feta which turned out to be the right decision.  What a delicious bowl of grits!!!  I’m not going to to say it was better than grits and green chile, but it certainly turned out to be a fabulous substitute.  We’ve had it twice since and I still haven’t bought any green chile. I think that might convince you as to how good this is.

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Apple Pecan Crepes with Cheddar Cheese

Crepes with sauteed apples, toasted pecans, cheddar cheese and maple syrup

 

If somewhere in the human genome there is a gene for a sweet tooth, then my family has it! We always had desserts and sweets to nibble on when I was growing up and we all still need that little bite of something sweet after each meal. One of my favorite sweet treats that my mama use to make, and one I still love today is taking a piece of apple pie, topping it with a big slice of cheddar cheese and putting it under the broiler until the cheese melted all over the pie. Mama’s apple pies were already delicious, but when she added the cheddar – I was in heaven!

These Apple Pecan Crepes with Cheddar Cheese kind of remind me of that pie, but are quite a bit lighter in calories and texture.  The crepes themselves are delicate and delicious, and folded into the crepes is some grated cheddar cheese.  The apples are gently sauteed in butter, topped with cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a touch of maple syrup, then placed on top of the crepes.  Pecans, chopped and toasted to enhanced their flavor are sprinkled on top, followed by a drizzle of warm maple syrup.  Now if that doesn’t get your mouthwatering, then nothing will!

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Southwestern Pileup

PileupSW4_Web

 

This Southwestern Pileup was originally shared with my good friend, Swathi of the Zesty South Indian Kitchen who invited me over to share one of my southwestern dishes. The Southwestern Pileup is a delicious, spicy and hearty dish that one can find on the menus of many New Mexican restaurants. However, it is so easy to make, that I make it a lot at home for both brunches and suppers.  It’s extremely versatile in that you can change it up to fit your mood. You can add meat or go meatless, use pretty much whatever vegetables are in your crisper, and top it with with your choice of chile or salsa.

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Thai Tea Apricot Smoothie

Thai Tea Smoothie with Apricot and Mango

 

Now that it’s spring I’m really focused on getting last year’s produce out of the freezer to make room for this year’s. A couple of weeks ago I used some of the corn and a roasted bell pepper in my Braised Red Chile Chicken and Vegetables, and then finished off the roasted bell peppers in the Roasted Bell Pepper Cheese Spread.  For several weeks I’ve been working on the abundance of frozen apricots from last year’s prolific crop.  One of the things I’ve been making is the smoothie:  apricot smoothies, apricot banana smoothies, apricot peach smoothies and my favorite – Thai Tea Apricot Mango Smoothie.

Several weeks ago I came across a simply delicious Thai Iced Tea recipe over at my friend’s blog  – Wok with Ray.  I immediately ran out and bought a one pound bag of Thai tea, the smallest size bag the Asian market sold.  With all that tea Bobby and I have been able to mix up our afternoon tea time with Chai tea and Thai tea as well as play around with other uses for Thai tea. When developing this smoothie, I went with the orange color of Thai tea and selected apricots and mango as the fruits.  What a delicious way to get your vitamins and morning caffeine all in one drink.

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