Breakfast Tacos

Delicious breakfast tacos done right - The EGGIf you live in Texas than you know all about the Tex-Mex staples… Breakfast Tacos and Queso. Sometimes they can even be served together, but both stand strong on their own. I have friends (ok one friend) who considers Queso a suitable meal for dinner… Her husband does not agree. Personally, I have an interesting relationship with both of these foods. Although I was not raised in Texas and did not arrive until I was 18, I still feel as though I have always known about them. It’s sort of similar to nobody every having the “sex” talk with me, I just always knew where babies came from… I’m weird I know. Anyway, when it came to Queso I was unaware of the geographic disconnect until my aunt came to visit me and was amazed at the thought of melted cheese in a bowl suitable for chip dipping. Like I said, I thought everyone just knew about it. I was further stunned when I went home for Christmas and my uncle brought Queso as an appetizer. I remember everyone crowding around in awe and him explaining how he mixed Velveeta and ground beef together to make a clogged artery waiting to happen. The only thing I could think of was, “Well fist of all you made it wrong… Where’s the Rotel?”  You wouldn’t think there was a way to screw up melted cheese, but trust me there is. Breakfast Tacos are definitely along the same lines. While the name is pretty descriptive (one would imagine its a tortilla filled scrambled eggs and such), it still is not common on the west coast and is definitely possible to do wrong. Texas is by far the best place to get Breakfast Tacos, specifically Maria’s Taco Express in Austin, but that’s just my humble opinion. I think I make a pretty mean breakfast taco as well, but again that’s just my not so HUMBLE opinion.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped (color is not super important – use whatever you have on hand or prefer)
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 plum tomato, seeded, and finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. thinly sliced cilantro leaves
  • 8 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 slices of bacon (or whatever meat you choose, sausage, chorizo, etc.)
  • Avocado (optional)
  • Salsa/Hot Sauce (optional)
  • Cheese (optional)

Directions

  1. Cook bacon and chop bacon (I cook mine in the oven at 400 degrees – Add bacon to cold oven and cook for about 20 minutes)
  2. Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, jalapeño, and tomato, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until soft.
  3. Reduce heat a tad – (don’t want to burn the eggs)
  4. Add cilantro and chopped bacon to the egg mixture and add to the pan, folding eggs over in large curds occasionally, until cooked through.
  5. Serve on warm flour tortillas with plenty of fixings (avocado, salsa, hot sauce, cheese, cilantro, etc.)

NOTES: To warm tortillas perfectly wrap them in a damp dish towel and heat in the microwave for 3-4 minutes at 50%. 

EGG Signature

Basic French Toast

French toast is by far my favorite breakfast food of all time. In fact, it is a strong contender for my favorite food in general. When I was little my Grandpa Roger would make it for me every time I visited him. I loved going to his apartment on the weekends. It was a nice little escape from the stressful day-to-day of a 9-year-old. To this day, every time I eat french toast I think of him. Needless to say, I have eaten a lot of french toast in my day. Enough to know what I like and what I don’t like. You would think that somebody that knows exactly what kind of french toast they like would know exactly how to make it, but french toast is harder than you think. There are so many factors: The type of bread you use; How much milk you add to your egg mixture (custard); Do you use cinnamon and vanilla; How long you let the bread soak in the custard; How long you cook it for and on what heat level; How evenly your skillet cooks. The variables are endless and each yields different results. So to the drawing board I went, to try to figure out my favorite french toast method. I experimented with many different techniques and think I have settled on one that I am happy with.

We are not fancy bread type people, so I tend to use basic wheat sandwich bread, because it is what we have in the house. I am more of a thin crispy bread, sightly “overcooked” kind of french toast person rather than a thick soggy/wet french toast girl, so I don’t let the bread sit in the custard for too long. I start with cooking it on the stove until it is a nice even golden brown on both sides, and then I add it to the oven to get and even crisper crust, while maintaining just the right amount of moisture in the center. I also love cinnamon, so sometimes I can be a little heavy-handed in that department. It can be hit or miss, depending on the stove and pan performance and my level of patience, but overall it is the closest I have gotten to the delowcious french toast of my childhood. When it comes down to making it, really I just eyeball everything, which is another reason I get different results each time. But if I had to come up with a recipe, this is what I would say:

Ingredients

  • Whole wheat bread
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup milk (Sometimes a little more, because I eyeball it and don’t like my french toast super eggy)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon (If I was being honest, I probably use an entire tablespoon.)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (A little goes a long way, so be careful!)
  • Butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat eggs in a bowl large enough to dip bread into. Add milk, cinnamon and vanilla and mix together.

Dip bread into mixture and let soak for 5-10 seconds. Flip and repeat.

Melt butter in a hot skillet set to medium-high and place bread into skillet. Let brown on each side (about 2-3 minutes – depending on your skillet and how brown you want your bread) and then place directly on the oven rack (or on a backing sheet with a cooling rack placed on top of it) and let cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove and serve immediately.

Notes: What I love about the stove to oven method, is that you can cook in bulk much easier. Make all your french toast on the stovetop and then add them to the oven at the same time so they can be served piping hot all at once! The only thing worse than soggy undercooked french toast, is cold crispy french toast.

  • Recipe Yields: 4-5 pieces

Egg in the Hole

Last summer my cousin, Tyler, made me this awesome breakfast called Egg in the Hole. Sounds a little bizarre and possibly a little perverted if you have “that” kind of mind, but don’t worry, there is nothing dirty about this recipe. Basically, it is a piece of bread with a hole cut out of the center, filled with an egg served over easy. It seemed simple enough to make. I mean come on, if my 19-year-old male cousin can pull it off, I think I can handle it. With a little practice, it has turned out to be a huge success in the Grasso household. The Hubby requests them every weekend for breakfast. My favorite part about this recipe is using the extra cut out piece of bread to make a little piece of jam covered toast on the side. No need to be wasteful!

Ingredients

  • Whole wheat bread (one piece per serving)
  • Eggs (one per serving)
  • Butter
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions

Turn on the oven broiler.

Cut a hole out of your bread about 3 inches in diameter. (You can use the top of a small glass or a cookie cutter if you have one.) Lightly butter each side of the bread. and place in a heated skillet set to medium high. Brown one side and flip.

Crack egg inside the hole. (Be careful not to break the yolk.) Sprinkle a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper over the egg. Cook until bread is browned underneath and egg whites are almost cooked through.

Place in oven until reached desired doneness. I like my yolk a little gooey, almost solid, and the Hubby likes his yolk a little  more on the runny side. Everyone is different, but no matter how you make it, it turns out delowcious!

Notes: As I say with many of my projects and recipes, have fun with it. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter if you are making them for someone you love, or even a pumpkin or christmas tree shape for special holidays. Get creative, the hole does not always have to be round!

Homemade Pizza {in Singapore}

Homemade Pizza ~ via The EGGEureka! I found fresh basil in Singapore! I had heard rumors that you could find it at stores such as Cold Storage, but I am a Fair Price shopper. It’s locations are more convenient and for the most part it tends to be less expensive. The only problem is only certain Fair Price’s carry the different ingredients I love. The Jurong Point Fair Price has amazing french baguettes. They are better than the stuff I find at some grocery stores in the states, no joke. The Clementi Mall Fair Price has a good fruit selection and now the Jurong East Fair Price has fresh basil. Slowly but surely, Singapore is becoming more and more livable. Unfortunately, as we discover the tricks that make living in another country easier, we simultaneously start to miss home, family and friends more as well. However this pizza I made for lunch today makes it all a little more bearable… I call it food therapy, which can me dangerous, so be careful now. Emotional eating is never good, but if you are going to do it, why not soothe your woes with something fresh, healthy and most of all delowcious. I know what you are thinking, “Elizabeth, pizza is not a healthy food.” Yeah, yeah yeah, I know. Not usually, but this time it is different. I made my pizza on a whole wheat tortilla, used a minimal amount of cheese (just a sprinkle to lightly cover the sauce), garnished it with fresh veggies (tomatoes and fresh basil) and seasoned it with garlic powder and crushed red pepper. The thin crispy tortilla lowers the normal high carb count of pizza and makes it more like an italian tostada. The garlic powder and crushed red pepper add tons of flavor without tons of sodium. And I don’t have to tell you what the veggies do. Unless I am missing something, nothing about that screams bad for you. In fact, it all seems pretty healthy.  Here is how I made my margarita tostada…

Ingredients

  • 1 whole wheat tortilla
  • 1 tablespoons of preferred pizza sauce (spaghetti sauce will work)
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
  • 4 red grape tomatoes (cut is 4ths)
  • 4 yellow grape tomatoes (cut in 4ths)
  • 8 fresh basil leaves (chiffonade)
  • 1 handful of grated Italian cheese mix
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

  1. Spread sauce over tortilla.
  2. Sprinkle with garlic powder to taste.
  3. Cover with cheese.
  4. Add crushed red pepper. (I like to add the red pepper before I cook my pizza. It really brings out the flavor.)
  5. Scatter  sliced tomatoes on the tortilla.
  6. Sprinkle with fresh basil.
  7. Drizzle olive oil over top.

Place pizza directly on the middle oven rack and cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until tortilla has reached your desired crispiness.

Cut in 4’s and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Grilled Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

Let me start off by saying, grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are possibly the most amazing sandwiches since the invention of sliced bread, which is fitting since sliced bread is one of the 3 very important ingredients necessary for its existence. With that said, there really is no recipe when it comes to making this sandwich. You basically make a PB&J and then grill it the way you would a grilled cheese. It is pretty phenomenal and a must try. It gives the american staple sandwich a little something extra that you would never expect. By toasting the bread, melting the peanut butter and warming the jelly, it almost becomes a dessert. And who would not want dessert for lunch or even dinner for that matter? However, there is one rule you that you must abide by when making this delowcious sandwich. DO NOT skimp on the ingredients. I don’t care if you are a lotta peanut butter and a little jelly person, or a lotta jelly with a little peanut butter person. In this scenario you are going all out with both. The more the better my friends, so load her up and throw another sanny on the grill, because Mama’s hungry!

Easy Asian Stir-Fry

When we go out to eat in Singapore our options are pretty much limited to Chinese, Indian, Thai or Malaysian. I pictured home cooked meals to be just that, a reminder of home and an escape from all of the curry and steamed rice. However, home cooked flavors and ingredients are not only hard to come by, but pretty darn expensive. So bring on the soy sauce and sesame oil, because they are dime a dozen. This next recipe is simple and easy, but packs a ton of delowcious flavor. Sure it’s Asian flavor, but it’s still good. Plus it looks pretty, if I do say so myself. Kudos to me!

Ingredients

Stir-Fry:

  • Chicken (or whatever protein you prefer)
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 carrot, cut into chips
  • 2 bell peppers (1 red, 1 yellow)
  • 1 cup mushroom
  • 2 broccoli stalks, cut into crowns
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • ½ cup of red wine
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

Marinade/Sauce:

  • ⅓ cup dry cooking sherry
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil (use chili sesame oil for a kick)
  • 1 tablespoon of teriyaki marinade/sauce (optional)
  • ¼ cup scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

Directions

As a Marinade:

Cut chicken into strips and marinate for 2-4 hours. ( I marinated mine overnight and it was quite flavorful. Possibly a little too flavorful, but it was still good)

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink in the middle, about 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove and keep warm.

Cook the veggies in two separate batches. Olive oil to pan and and add mushrooms. Allow to cook for 2 -3 minutes until the juices are released and then add onions, garlic and salt. Allow to brown. Deglaze pan with red wine. Remove from heat.

In a separate pan add bell pepper and clove of garlic to 2 tablespoons of olive oil and let cook for 2 minutes. Add broccoli, carrots and ginger. Cook to preferred tenderness.

Add chicken and mushrooms/onion mixture back to the pan and pour in remaining marinade and heat through.

Serve over steamed white rice, or brown if you prefer.

As a Sauce:

If you’re skipping the protein, throw sauce in over your veggies right before you’re ready to take them off the flame. Just enough time to heat through. This makes sure the sauce doesn’t just burn off during cooking.

Serve over steamed white rice, or brown if you prefer.

Notes: Add more garlic and ginger if you want a little more kick. Sometimes I add some Habanero peppers for some spice. You can also add some pineapple if you want a sweet and spicy flavor or mushrooms to add an earthy flare. Feel free to add veggies in whatever order you want them cooked. I like my onions and bell peppers pretty well done and my broccoli and carrots pretty crisp, so I used the above order, but adjust to your liking. You can even toss them in all at once if you are looking for a meal that is babysitting free. 

Goat Cheese and Red Pepper Stuffed Chicken Breast

I love this recipe! It is healthy, cost friendly, super simple to make and delowcious, but I think my favorite part is that it is all mine. I made it one night when I was searching the internet for chicken recipes. I feel like I am always looking for new and fun chicken recipes that satisfy the taste buds. I stumbled upon a recipe for chicken stuffed with arugula and goat cheese. I got very excited, because I had just purchased some goat cheese due to a craving, so this would be perfect. One problem, I didn’t have any arugula. So to the drawing board I went. I decided to saute some onions and red pepper to replace the spicy arugula and it was a huge success. Not only did I love it, but the Hubby gave it 2 thumbs up. However, I think he would prefer his on the lighter stuffed side. He likes goat cheese and red peppers, but he definitely does not love them like I do. Here is what I did…

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts, tenders removed, breasts pounded thin
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Half a yellow or white onion, sliced thin
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin (or roasted red pepper)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 oz of soft goat cheese broken into small pieces
  • 2-3 tablespoon butter
  • Olive oil
  • Wooden toothpicks

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat the oil on medium high in a large pan. Sautee onions and red pepper and cook for about 10minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Be sure to not let the garlic get too brown.

Pound the breasts thin to make them thin enough for rolling. To do this place a piece of plastic wrap over the chicken breast. Use the smooth side of the meat pounder to pound the piece thin.

Season the chicken pieces with EVOO, and salt & pepper. On a clean work surface lay cutlets flat, smooth side down. Layer with pieces of goat cheese and onion, pepper and garlic mixture. Starting with the narrowest ends, roll up the chicken cutlets into a tight roulade and seal with toothpicks to keep from unrolling.

Place the chicken roulades in the same pan and brown on all sides.

Transport chicken to a lightly oiled casserole dish. (To ensure I had enough flavor, I added 2 tablespoons of butter to the dish as well.) Place in the oven and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. (Don’t be too afraid about overcooking the chicken a little. The cheese and butter will really help keep the chicken moist. Focus more on making sure the chicken has cooked though the entire roll. If pounded evenly, it should not be a problem.)

Remove from oven and cover dish with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. After the chicken has set, remove toothpicks and serve. (If your chicken was wrapped tight enough, you can slice into rounds and serve for a beautiful presentation.)

  • Source: My Recipes
  • Prep Time: 15min
  • Cook Time: 20min
  • Total Time: 35min
  • Recipe Yields: 4 servings

Notes: As you can see I tend to stuff my chicken pretty thick. I am big goat cheese, onion and red pepper fan, so my roulades tend to look more like burritos. I served my stuffed chicken with Roasted Paprika Parsley Potatoes and some broccoli from the Barefoot Contessa.

My 7-Eleven Layer Dip

This is my version of the seven layer dip. You have many different options when it comes to this recipe. To be exact, you have 11 different layers that you can jazz up and personalize with a little time and effort and really make it your own. You can also make it super simple with all store-bought ingredients, or you can pick and choose which layers you’ll use and which you’ll lose. Below I have listed my ingredients for both the store-bought and the homemade version.

Ingredients

  • 1 can refried beans (16 oz.)
  • 1 can chopped green chilies (4.5 oz.)
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (8 oz.)
  • 1 container sour cream (16 oz.)
  • 1 lime, zested
  • McCormick Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 1 jar salsa (store-bought or homemade)
  • Chipotle Guacamole (or store-bought guacamole)
  • Pico de gallo (or store-bought, or even 1 large tomato, diced will do)
  • 1 can (6 oz.) sliced black olives
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • Cilantro
  • 1 pkg shredded Mexican cheese

Directions

Prepare Ingredients:

    • Make pico de gallo (or 1 large diced tomato).
    • Make guacamole (or don’t and use store-bought guac).
    • Mix sour cream with McCormick’s Taco Seasoning, lime zest and lime juice.
    • Heat olive oil and stir in beans and green chilies.
    • In the same pan, pour in drained black beans and cumin.

Start Layering:

    1. Layer bean mix into 7″ x 11″ serving dish
    2. Layer nacho cheese
    3. Layer black beans
    4. Layer guacamole (homemade or store-bought)
    5. Layer salsa (homemade or store-bought)
    6. Layer sour cream
    7. Layer shredded cheese
    8. Layer tomato (or pico de gallo)
    9. Layer green onion
    10. Layer black olives
    11. Layer cilantro

Notes: I tend to leave out the black bean layer and sometimes I add 2 cans of refried beans if I want a little extra bean thickness. It’s up to you. Play with it and make it your own. Also, don’t forget to serve dip with a sturdy chip. The last thing you want is failed broken soggy chips left in the dip bowl. 

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Ingredients

  • 2-3 chicken breasts (or store bought oven-roasted whole chicken)
  • 1 bottle (12 oz) Franks Buffalo Wing Hot Sauce
  • 16 oz tub Philly Cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 jar (12 oz) Maries Chunky Blue Cheese dressing
  • 2 cups shredded Swiss or cheddar cheese (or combination of both)

Directions

Cook chicken then shred with a fork. Can be boiled, grilled or oven baked. Doesn’t require a lot of seasoning as the other ingredients make the dip quite flavorful.

In the following order, layer the ingredients in a baking dish:

  1. Chicken
  2. Franks Buffalo Wing Hot sauce
  3. Softened cream cheese
  4. Marie’s Chunky Blue Cheese dressing
  5. Top with shredded cheeses

Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until desired cheesyness. Serve with tortilla chips, crackers and/or celery sticks.

Notes: I have also heard of people coating the backing dish with cream cheese and then mixing the Blue Chees, Hot Sauce and Chicken seperately before placing it in the backing dish… Either way works, because it all melts together in the long run.

  • Source: Me
  • Prep Time: 10min
  • Cook Time: 1hr
  • Total Time: 1hr 10min
  • Recipe Yields: Party Size