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    Entries in bacon! (8)

    Tuesday
    Nov012011

    the morning after

    Migas is apparently one hell of a hang over food. It's quite handy too that it's made from a bunch of leftovers.

    It apparently originated in Austin, Texas, but has spread to the surrounding area. And it's so fabulous a meal that I've decided to spread it even further. And while it is a handy morning after breakfast, it's also good to have for dinner before the drinks begin.

    Migas typically starts with day-old tortillas, chopped and fried in oil, but if you don't have fresh tortillas, or if you're really not in the mood to deal with the extra step, tortilla chips (particularly the broken up ones in the bottom of the bag) will work just fine. Just as leftover pico de gallo will work in place of spending time chopping onions and jalapenos first thing in the morning.

    Holy hell, I am lazy.

    Sometimes I even surprise myself.

    Migas

    What You Need

    • 2-3 fresh corn tortillas
    • 2 tbsp peanut oil (or some other oil with a high smoke point)

    OR

    • 1/2 c broken pieces of tortilla chips

    -

    • 1/2 jalapeno
    • 1/4 onion
    • 1/2 tomato
    • cilantro

    OR

    • about 1/2 c of pico de gallo

    -

    • 4 eggs
    • 1/4 c milk or cream
    • bacon, ham or sausage
    • 1/2 c cheddar or monteray jack cheese
    • more cilantro if you have it

    What you Gotta Do

    If you're feeling up to the extra step, and have fresh tortillas handy, chop them into pieces. Shape isn't that big a deal, but they should be relatively small. Bite sized. 

    In a shallow pan over medium high, heat the oil until is starts to shimmer, then sprinkle in the tortillas. Fry them until they're golden then fish them out of the oil and set them on some paper towels while you do more stuff.

    If you're using fresh veggies, now's the time to chop them. Diced fairly small. If you've got pico de gallo (or salsa, in a pinch) leftover from last night's festiviites, you can hold onto it for now.

    Drain most of the oil from the pan. Or, drain it all and replace it with bacon fat.

    If you're using fresh veggies, you're going to want to sautee them in the fat for a bit. Just enough to take the crunch off.

    While those are cooking crack the eggs into a bowl and add the milk or cream.

    Beat them together until they're starting to get a little foamy. Or, until you decide you're too tired to keep beating them, which ever comes first. Depends on how hungover lazy you are.

    Pour the eggs into the pan with the veggies. If you don't already have veggies in the pan, add them now.

    The reason you don't have to pre cook the pico: pico de gallo uses a combination of lime juice (acid) and salt to break down the cell walls of the veggies. This is a similar process to what cooking does. Same thing happens in ceviche, which I do not recommend for breakfast while hung over.

    Add the meat now too. I had ham, but whatever your fave breakfast meat is will work.

    Stir this all around until the egg is mostly set.

    Sprinkle on the tortillas.

    And then the cheese.

    Turn the heat off and cover the pan so the cheese will melt.

    While the cheese is melting, warm up the rest of the tortillas (I layer mine with damp paper towels and nuke em for a few seconds), and mash the leftover beans. This step is of course optional, but a pretty typical way to serve migas.

    Yes, I had tortillas, and yes I still used the chips. I did say "if you're really not in the mood to deal with the extra step." I wasn't in the mood. Well...

    Serve your migas with warmed tortiallas and beans, and some seriously strong coffee.

    What's your favourite morning after food?

    Friday
    Sep162011

    Boston Baked Beans

    Well, I made the move to the Boston area, so now that we’re settling in, it’s time for me to learn how to make the regional specialties, right?  First up… Boston Baked Beans.  I didn’t bother to actually look for a recipe.  I mean, it’s beans, not rocket science.  That being said, I have no idea what special ingredients Bostonians traditionally use, so I just used what sounded good to me.  Am I sounding a bit like Seeley this week?  Perhaps she’s rubbing off on me. 

    Anyway, here’s what you’ll need:

    3 – 3 ½ cups Great Northern beans
    2 cups diced bell pepper
    2 small onions
    2 Tablespoons minced garlic
    7 slices of bacon
    1 cup tomato sauce
    1 can diced tomatoes
    ½ cup dark brown sugar
    2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    1 Tablespoon molasses
    1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    1 Tablespoon hot sauce
    ½ teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon pepper

    The first thing you want to do is soak your beans.  Well, so much for sounding like Seeley.  Personally, I think beans should be soaked.  All it takes is little bit of planning ahead, and it makes the actual cooking of them so much easier.  So, inspect your beans, removing any that are discolored and anything that’s not a bean.  Then place them in a large pan and cover them with cool water. 

    Make sure there’s a good 2 quarts or so of water, and plenty of room for the beans to grow.  Sprinkle in 1 teaspoon of baking soda.  The soda helps get them ready for cooking, and is also supposed to help with gas.  I’m a little skeptical about that last part… we’ll see. 

    Cover the beans and leave them overnight.  The next day, drain the water off and give the beans a thorough rinse. 

    Pour the beans into a large pan.  If you’re using the same pan you used for soaking, wash it before putting the beans back in.  Pour in 7 cups of water and bring it to a heavy boil.  You’re going to get lots of foam on top. 

    Don’t panic.  It’ll go away on its own.  Boil the beans for about 3 minutes, then lower the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for an hour.  Check on them every 15 minutes and make sure they haven’t dried up completely and stir them to keep them from sticking or burning on the bottom.  My beans were very soft at that point, but if yours aren’t, keep simmering them until they become soft, adding water if necessary.  When all is said and done, they should be nice and soft, and there should be very little water left.  Only about a cup will remain in the bottom of the pan.  If you have more than that, just pour some off.

    While the beans are cooking, you can use that time to do some of your other prep work.  First, dice up your peppers, onions, and garlic.  When I cut into the red pepper, it was moldy inside (wtf?) so I ended up using just green and yellow.  You can use whatever combination you like, just end up with a total of about 2 cups. 

    Next, slice up your bacon into ¾ inch pieces.  Throw it into a hot skillet with a tablespoon of oil. 

    You don’t want to cook the bacon all the way, just long enough to render off some of the fat.  Remove it from the pan and place it on a paper towel lined plate.

    Allow the pan to cool down just a bit before adding your veg so that you don’t get spattered with hot oil.  Throw them into the pan and sprinkle with a bit of salt. 

    Once again, we’re not going to cook these all the way.  You just want to sweat off a bit of the moisture.  Once that’s been accomplished, set them aside and return to your beans.  When they’ve finished cooking, add the brown sugar, tomato sauce, tomatoes, vinegar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt and pepper. 

    Stir gently until they are well distributed and the beans are evenly coated.  Stir in the onion and pepper mixture, and pour the whole thing into a baking dish. 

    A glass 3 quart pan worked perfectly for me, but as you can see, it was a close call.  Cooking it on a sheet pan is definitely a requirement in cases like this.  It ensures that your oven will stay clean.  Sprinkle on the bacon and place the whole thing into a preheated 325° oven. 

    Bake it for 2 – 2 ½ hours, checking every 30 minutes to make sure it’s not burning.  When it’s done, it should be nice and brown on top, and will be bubbling away. 

    Give them a good 15 minutes or so to cool down, then serve them however you like them.  Perfect for a meal on a cold evening, or a side dish anytime. 

    So, Boston Baked Beans have been conquered, what comes next?  Boston Cream Pie?  Boston Clam Chowder?  What special dish is your home state known for?           

     

     

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