Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia

I am breaking my ‘there has to be at least 1 local ingredient’ rule to include this dish.  It is one of our favorite simple, basic entrees.  Whenever we haven’t had fish in a while, and I feel the need to give Cam a real shot of protein, I know I can turn to cornmeal-crusted tilapia and have him (and the rest of us) down a good meal.

2015/01/img_8962.jpgWe used to have a farm-raised tilapia operation about half an hour from my house, but that is not where the fish we can buy comes from. Tilapia is a fairly bland fish, but the texture lends itself perfectly to the cornmeal crust and light frying.

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Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia

1/2 cup finely ground, yellow cornmeal

2 Tbsp flour

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 Tbsp chili powder

dash cayenne pepper

Kosher salt

4 tilapia fillets

Olive or safflower oil

Directions

Combine the cornmeal, flour, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and salt in a shallow bowl.

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Rinse the fish and dredge in the cornmeal mixture.

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Heat a thin layer of oil in a heavy skillet.  When the oil is hot, place the dredged fish in the skillet and fry till cooked, about 3 minutes per side.

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Serve and enjoy!

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Serves 4.

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe | Tags: | Leave a comment

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Crunchy Apple Slaw

I had planned to make this for dinner, but forgot to set up the crock pot before I left the house for the afternoon.  By the time I realized it, it was too late to make it for dinner that night.  So, I put it up to cook when I got home and set it to cook that evening.  I prepared it up through shredding the chicken, put the chicken in the sauce and let the flavors mingle even more overnight.

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This is not a necessary approach, it works just as well as a ‘normal’ slow-cooker dish.  One benefit though, was the ability to remove the excess fat from the reduced sauce before reheating, making it just a tad healthier. But oh, it was just as delicious.

And, I can’t say enough about how good the apple-cabbage slaw is!

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I could have made nice, neat sandwiches, but I wanted an overflowing, messy, ewwy gooey sandwich that I would need many napkins for…

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Yum!

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Crunchy Apple Slaw

Slightly adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

Ingredients: 
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup apple jack
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
3 Tablespoons light molasses
3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2lbs chicken breasts (locally raised)
Buns/rolls

For the Crunchy Apple Slaw:
2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
juice of 1/2 lime
salt & pepper
3 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
1 large Granny Smith apple, thinly chopped

Directions: 

Combine ingredients from ketchup to pepper in a large crock pot then whisk to combine. 

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Add chicken halves then cover completely in sauce and cook on low for 4-6 hours, or until chicken is very tender. If the sauce does not fully cover the chicken, every couple of hours, spoon some sauce over the chicken.

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Remove 2 cups cooking liquid and transfer to a saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat slightly and let bubble and thicken, about 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, shred chicken with 2 forks then return to crock pot with remaining liquid and stir to combine. 

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For the Crunchy Apple Slaw: In a large bowl whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, lime juice, salt and pepper.

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Add cabbage and apples then toss to combine.

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Place shredded chicken on top of bottom buns then top with reduced sauce (unless you have mixed it all together like I did, and again, I made my sandwich overflowing, you don’t need to).

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Top with Crunchy Apple Slaw and serve. Enjoy!

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Serves 4 – 6.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Apples, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Sandwich | Tags: | 2 Comments

Pumpkin Spiced Chocolate Chip Cookies

More cookies…good cookies…pumpkin cookies!

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I decided to make three versions of this cookie – plain chocolate chip, pecan and walnut. All three were a hit! My 5 year old downed the plain chocolate chip, one daughter the pecan, her friend the walnut, and another daughter loved them all.  I send care packages back to school with each of them and still had plenty to last us a week at home.

 Pumpkin Spiced Chocolate Chip Cookies

slightly adapted from Pumpkin Spiced and Iced Cookies by Nestle

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
  • 2 large eggs (locally raised)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped nuts – pecans or walnuts (optional)
  • VANILLA GLAZE (recipe below)

PREHEAT oven to 375° F. 

COMBINE flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy.Beat in pumpkin, eggs and vanilla extract.

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Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chips and nuts.

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Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets.

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BAKE for 15 to 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Drizzle or spread with Vanilla Glaze. Enjoy!

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FOR VANILLA GLAZE:
Combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract in small bowl; mix well.

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Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Categories: Dessert, Kosher, Recipe | 1 Comment

Cumin-Lime Cole Slaw

Central Delaware is the home to some very  tasty cabbage.  There are a few weeks a year when it is not to much fun to ride your bike past the fields of cabbage, breathing in the aroma; but once the crop is harvested, the cabbage can be enjoyed through the winter.IMG_8837.JPG

Cole slaw was one of my father’s signature dishes for our summer barbecues.  He would use the hand crank slicer and slice the cabbage, grate the carrots, and make a creamy sauce.  Honestly, I preferred eating the fresh cabbage to the creamy cole slaw, but everyone else loved it.

I prefer cole slaws with vinaigrette style dressings. So I couldn’t resist trying this Bobby Flay recipe with a lime-cumin vinaigrette.  And…it was so very tasty!  A definite new addition to my meals.

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We had this tonight as part of a funky little dinner, a winter version of my dad’s barbecue – hot dogs, cole slaw, and roasted brussels sprouts.

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Cumin-Lime Cole Slaw

Slightly adapted from Bobby Flay’s Cole Slaw with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette

3 carrots, peeled and shredded

1 medium head green cabbage, shredded (locally grown)

1 red bell pepper, shredded

1 red onion, thinly sliced

1/3 cup fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 cloves garlic, chopped (from the garden)

Few dashes hot sauce

1/2 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper

Directions

Combine carrots, cabbage, pepper and onion in a large bowl, mix together.

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Place lime juice, cumin, garlic, hot sauce and olive oil in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

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Toss the vegetables with the dressing and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Enjoy!

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Serves 8.

Categories: Carrot, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Sticky Date-Nut Bread

I have a love affair with dates.  My favorites, of course, are the ones I get in the Middle East, but there are some really good dates to be had that are grown in California.  I tasted some fantastic dates at the farmers market when I was in Sonoma County this summer.

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Now there is no need to do anything with these wonderful dates except eat them, I would never use them to cook anything with.  But, the ones I can get at my local grocery store are good, but not nearly as good; so they are fair game for cooking.

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So, in what feels like an homage to my Californian friends and relatives, I added some California red walnuts to the California dates.

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This is probably my favorite bread I have made so far. Even my daughter who does not like dates loved it.

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Sticky Date Nut Bread

From Food Network Magazine

1 1/2 cups chopped dates (Californian)

1 1/4 cups hot apple cider

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts (Californian)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick butter

3/4 cup light brown sugar

2 eggs (locally raised)

2 tablespoons molasses

1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides; coat well with cooking spray.

Soak dates in hot apple cider for  20 minutes.

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Meanwhile, whisk flour, walnuts, baking powder, nutmeg and salt.

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Brown butter in a saucepan over medium heat, 5 minutes; let cool.  Then whisk with brown sugar, eggs, molasses and vanilla.

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Add the dates to the wet ingredients.

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Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

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Pour batter into the prepared pan.  

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Bake 65 to 75 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool 1 hour, then remove the loaf from the pan and transfer to a rack to cool completely.

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Categories: Bread, Breakfast, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Maple Thyme Glaze

Time to finally finish off my garden sweet potatoes. A sad but satisfying feeling. I used any potato that even hinted at being big enough and we still only had enough for a half recipe.IMG_8748.JPGThese almost didn’t make it to the dinner table. Roasted sweet potatoes are one of my favorite side dishes, the maple thyme glaze took it to a whole other level. IMG_8752.JPGThere is not much more to say about these, except that I can’t wait to have them again!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Maple Thyme Glaze

slightly adapted from The Science of Good Cooking by the Editors of Cook’s Illustrated

3 pounds sweet potatoes, ends trimmed, some peeled, some not, and cut into 3/4″ thick rounds (from the garden)

2 Tbsp canola oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted (locally made)

1/2 tsp dried thyme, crushed (from the garden)

Directions

Toss potatoes in large bowl with oil, salt, and pepper to taste until evenly coated.IMG_8748.JPGLine rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with vegetable oil spray. Arrange potatoes in single layer on baking sheet and cover tightly with aluminum foil.IMG_8749.JPGAdjust oven rack to middle position and place potatoes in cold oven. Turn oven to 425°F and cook potatoes 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk maple syrup, melted unsalted butter and thyme leaves together in a small bowl.IMG_8750.JPGRemove baking sheet from oven and carefully remove top layer of foil. Return potatoes to oven and cook until bottom edges of potatoes are golden brown, 15 to 25 minutes.IMG_8751.JPGRemove baking sheet from oven and brush with half of the maple syrup glaze. Flip slices over and brush with remaining glaze. Note: I found it easiest to slide the potatoes in foil off the baking sheet, reline it with what was the top sheet of foil and then flip all the potatoes over onto the clean foil, they seemed to come off more cleanly this way). Continue to roast until bottom edges of potatoes are golden brown, 18 to 22 minutes longer.IMG_8752.JPGRemove from oven; let potatoes cool 5 to 10 minutes; transfer to platter and serve.IMG_8753.JPGEnjoy! Serves 4 – 6.IMG_8754.JPG

 

Categories: Recipe, Sweet Potatoes | 3 Comments

Tah Chin (Persian Rice with Chicken, Saffron & Yogurt)

I first had Tah Chin on my first trip to Iran over 10 years ago. We were going on a picnic and this was the delicious dish that was brought along to feed the crowd.

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So, when I returned to the states, I quickly searched for a recipe to make Tah Chin here.  I have adapted one form Farsinet.com.  It became a favorite of all my daughters, who renamed it “eggy rice”.  It was always a happy mealtime when eggy rice was on the menu.

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I made this tonight with local chicken and eggs. My oldest is home; and since I had only been referring to what I was making as Tah Chin, she let out a exclamation of delight “Oh, THIS is what you were making!” Even 5 year-old Cam, who claimed he didn’t really like it, devoured a large portion (note – he doesn’t eat things he doesn’t like).

Tah Chin (Persian Rice with Chicken, Saffron & Yogurt)

Adapted from Farsinet.com

2 lbs chicken (boneless is easiest)

1 lb basmati rice

1 1/4 cups plain yogurt

1/2 tsp saffron

2 large onions, thinly sliced

3 eggs (yolks only)(locally raised)

1 Tbsp canola oil

salt & black pepper

Directions

Wash the rice and soak in warm water (with added salt) for 2 hours. Drain the water.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Fry the onions in oil until slightly golden.IMG_8031.JPG

Wash and pat dry the chicken and fry in onions until color changes (not necessarily browned).IMG_8032.JPGAdd some water and bring to boil. Turn heat down and let boil slowly until cooked, adding more water if needed.IMG_8035.JPGRemove the bones, if necessary, and shred the chicken.  Mix in most of the onions.IMG_8039.JPGWhile chicken is cooking, cook the rice in a pot of salted water until just al dente, it should still be a but too firm to eat. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process, drain again.IMG_8030.JPGGrind the saffron with a bit of salt, then dissolve in half a cup of hot water.IMG_8034.JPGBeat the yogurt until it is smooth. Add saffron, salt, pepper and egg-yolks to the yogurt and mix very well.IMG_8036.JPGPour several spoons of oil and several spoons of the yogurt mix into a non-stick pot. Add a thin layer of rice and flatten using the back of a spoon.IMG_8037.JPGAdd a layer of chicken on top followed by another layer of rice.IMG_8040.JPGAgain flatten the rice. Spread several more spoons of the yogurt mix on the rice.IMG_8042.JPGContinue the layers until chicken, rice and the yogurt mix have been used up. Add some more water on top. Put the lid on and cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat.IMG_8176.JPGPlace the pot in an oven, cook for 1 hour.

When cooked, remove the lid and let cool for a few minutes.

Place an inverted large dish over the pot and turn it over. Tap the pot in order to loosen the contents inside. The contents should fall on the dish in one piece.IMG_8181.JPGCut into wedges to serve.  Enjoy!IMG_8182.JPGServes 4 – 6.

 

Categories: Main Dish, Persian, Recipe | Tags: | Leave a comment

Kale-Turkey Bacon Herb Bread

Quick breads are a big thing in our house, a favorite breakfast food.  Zucchini bread is, of course, the favorite, but there is peach bread, pumpkin bread, blackberry bread, and others.  Recently, I added the fig graham bread and sweet potato pecan bread, and will be trying out a bunch of new breads over the upcoming months (til the zucchini crop comes in again next summer). First up, Kale-Turkey Bacon Herb Bread…IMG_8659 As a savory quick bread, this makes a very satisfying breakfast bread.  It is especially good with eggs,  but is quite satisfying all by itself.IMG_8661.JPG To make sure the kale and bacon stay distributed throughout the bread, add them to the dry ingredients so they get coated with flour.  This will keep them from sinking to the bottom of the batter (a good thing to remember when making any bread with heavier ingredients – note – I forgot to do this with the fig graham bread and the figs all sank to the bottom).IMG_8654.JPG The house smelled great all day after I made this, no candles necessary :).

Kale-Turkey Bacon Herb Bread

adapted from Food Network Magazine’s Bacon-Kale Bread

5 oz kale, chopped (locally grown)

2 Tbsp olive oil, divided

1 large onion, halved lengthwise and sliced

3 strips turkey bacon,chopped (I used maple cured)

6 oz plain greek yogurt

1/2 cup canola oil

2 eggs (locally raised)

1 3/4 cups flour

1 Tbsp sugar

2 tsp fresh rosemary

1/2 tsp dried thyme (from the garden)

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp lemon zest

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp baking soda

Directions

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang on the 2 long sides.  Coat with cooking spray.

In a large skillet, saute the kale in 1 Tbsp olive oil until wilted.  Remove from the pan and set aside.IMG_8649.JPGPreheat the oven to 350F.

In the same skillet, add the remaining olive oil over medium-low heat.  Caramelize the onion and bacon, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.IMG_8653.JPGMeanwhile, whisk together the yogurt, canola oil and eggs.  IMG_8650.JPGIn a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.IMG_8651.JPGAdd the kale, onions and bacon to the dry ingredients and stir to coat.IMG_8654.JPGFold the wet ingredients into the dry.IMG_8655.JPGTransfer to a loaf pan. IMG_8656.JPGCook for 40-50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.IMG_8657.JPGLet cool for 1 hour in the pan. then remove to a wire rack and cool completely.  Enjoy!IMG_8662

Makes 1 loaf.

Categories: Bread, Breakfast, Kale, Recipe | Tags: | 2 Comments

Dragon Bowl with Sweet Potato, Kale, Chickpeas, Avocado & Egg

Sweet potatoes from my garden, yes there are still a few… IMG_8728.JPGI love anything topped with egg, especially roasted vegetables.  Combine that with my new discovery of rice bowls, and you have a beautiful, colorful satisfying base for the egg.IMG_8738.JPGThere are also spiced chickpeas to add flavor and texture. The recipe calls for sprinkling them on top, we all liked them better mixed into the base.IMG_8734.JPGPut it all together, and it was a very happy and healthy dinner.IMG_8740.JPG

Dragon Bowl with Sweet Potato, Kale, Chickpeas, Avocado & Egg

By Daphne Oz Ultimate Dragon Bowl

1 large or 2 medium Sweet Potatoes (peeled and diced in 1/2-inch pieces) (from the garden)

Olive Oil

Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1  14 ounce can Chickpeas (drained, rinsed, dried)

2 teaspoons Dried Cumin

2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika

2 Cloves Garlic (smashed) (from the garden)

2 Cups Leftover Cooked Brown Rice

1 tablespoon fresh Oregano

Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

5 ribs Green Kale (stemmed and chiffonade)

1 Avocado (diced)

4 Eggs (locally raised)

Sriracha (to serve)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a medium bowl, toss the Sweet Potato in Olive Oil, Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper.IMG_8729.JPGSpread on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until tender, about 20 minutes. Set aside.IMG_8735.JPGIn a sauté pan, heat 1/2-inch of Olive Oil over medium-high heat. Add the Chickpeas to the Oil, and fry on all sides until golden brown and crispy, about 10 minutes.IMG_8733.JPGMeanwhile, combine the Cumin and Smoked Paprika in a large bowl with a pinch of Salt and whisk together to combine.IMG_8732.JPGUse a spider or slotted spoon to remove Chickpeas from Oil to the bowl with the spices. Toss to coat and reserve.IMG_8734.JPGHeat a medium cast iron skillet over medium-low heat. Add a few tablespoons of Olive Oil, enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the whole Garlic Cloves and cook until golden and very fragrant. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cloves and discard.

Add the Brown Rice, Oregano, and Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, stirring together, and then raise heat to medium, and allow the Rice to cook undisturbed until it begins to crisp on the bottom.IMG_8736.JPGAdd the Kale and a pinch of Salt, cooking until the Kale wilts.IMG_8737.JPGScoop the Rice out and divide among the serving bowls. Divide the roasted Sweet Potato and Avocado evenly among the serving bowls.IMG_8738.JPGWipe out the Rice pan, place back over medium heat and add another few tablespoons of Olive Oil. Crack the Eggs into the pan and fry to desired done-ness. Season with Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper. Place an Egg in each bowl, and sprinkle the fried Chickpeas over the Egg and serve with Sriracha. Enjoy!IMG_8740.JPGServes 4.

Categories: Kale, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Sweet Potatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

Chile-and-Olive Oil Fried Egg with Avocado and Sprouts

It’s been a busy few weeks with a lot of heavy, rich, fattening foods and way too  much sugar. So I wanted to start the new year with a light, fresh, healthy and very flavorful dinner. I also wanted it to be quick and easy, so, a twist on breakfast for dinner it was…Chile-and-Olive Oil Fried Egg with Avocado and Sprouts.

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I loved this approach to cooking the eggs, they cooked absolutely perfectly, and it was oh, so easy!  The key was to have the oil quite hot before putting the eggs in.

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The recipe is for 2 breakfast servings, for dinner I doubled the serving for my husband.  The relatively light serving was satisfying and a perfect way for me to kick off my return to healthy eating and lighter portion sizes.

Chile-and-Olive Oil Fried Egg with Avocado and Sprouts

by Alison Roman in Bon Appetit Magazine January 2015

1 cup sprouts (I used alfalfa)

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large eggs (raised locally)

Crushed red pepper flakes

2 sprouted grain tortillas 

Hot sauce (for serving)

1 ounce feta

Avocado slices and lime wedges (for serving)

Directions

Toss sprouts with lime juice in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper.

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Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. When oil is hot, crack both eggs into skillet and season with salt and pepper. Oil should be bubbling around eggs from the start. Cook, rotating skillet occasionally, until whites are golden brown and crisp at the edges and set around the yolk (which should be runny), about 2 minutes. Add red pepper flakes to oil and remove pan from heat.

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Meanwhile, heat tortillas over a gas burner until just warmed and slightly charred in spots (or warm in the oven or a toaster oven).
Mound sprouts on tortillas and top with fried eggs. Spoon chile oil from skillet around and drizzle with hot sauce. Crumble feta over, and serve with avocado slices, lime wedges, and

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more hot sauce…Enjoy!

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Serves 2.

 

Categories: Breakfast, Kosher, Main Dish, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

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