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    Entries in cheesy goodness (30)


    That's How Breakfast Rolls

    After all that pizza mayhem, I’m somewhat pizza’d out. That being said, I still had half of my pizza dough in the freezer. As I mentioned in that particular post, it wasn’t as chewy as I’d have liked for a pizza crust, but it still made fantastic bread. I wasn’t about to just let it go to waste, so what could I use it for? Well, we have a bakery here called Great Harvest.  They actually have lots of franchises all over the country, but they have a very mom and pop, local feel about them. You may remember the name from back when I did my version of their Mazurka Bars. Well, some of their locations make what they call Breakfast Rolls. Think the shape of a cinnamon roll, but savory rather than sweet, with egg, potato, and bacon. Well, mine have bacon in them. I’m not entirely sure what the meat product is in theirs. That’s not a criticism, I just really don’t know what the little pink bits of “meat” are. Their rolls are fantastic, and I love being able to drop in and pick one up on the go. They’re so good, in fact, that they inspired me to make my own version.

    Here’s what you’ll need: 

    • ½ of this dough recipe
    • Potatoes – diced and cooked until soft
    • Bacon – cooked and crumbled
    • Grated cheese
    • 1 egg 

    This is a great recipe because you can pretty much make everything in advance and then just throw it together, or roll it together, as the case may be, whenever you feel like it. I made pan fried potatoes to go with dinner one night, and bacon for breakfast one morning. I just made sure to make extra and put it aside for my rolls. So, first up, you need to roll out your dough into a rectangle. Something like 15 inches wide is what you’re shooting for.

    Scramble an egg with a teaspoon or so of water and lots of freshly cracked pepper. Seriously, go heavy on the pepper, you won’t regret it.

    Brush it on the dough.

    Be sure to liberally cover every inch. Unlike the butter you would use on cinnamon rolls, the egg acts as glue, so you don’t need to leave a border.

    Spread the potato and bacon around, this time leaving a half inch or so on the top and bottom.

    Cover that with grated cheese. I used a combination of extra sharp cheddar and Colby jack.

    Then, just roll the whole thing into a long log.

    Pinch the seam together with your fingers.

    Slice the log into 12 equalish pieces. I like to make the ends bigger because they are smaller around.

    Grease a 9x13 pan. I saved the grease from cooking the bacon and used that, but if you prefer, you can just use butter.

    Place the slices into the pan and press them down a bit to help them spread.

    Cover the pan with a damp towel and allow them to rise. It will probably take something like 45-60 minutes. They’ll be nice and puffy and their edges should be touching.

    While they’re rising, preheat your oven to 350°. Bake the rolls for 30-35 minutes. When they’re done, they’ll be nice and golden, and the cheese will be bubbly and well…

    Using a spatula, loosen the rolls and make sure they haven’t attached themselves to the pan, then dump them out onto a cooling rack.

    It’s not entirely necessary, but I rubbed the entire surface with butter to make them tender and shiny. I highly recommend it.

    If you eat them while they’re warm, they’ll be gooey, cheesy, deliciousness with bits of tender potato and crispy, salty bacon.  Drooling yet? 

    With the leftovers, allow them to cool completely, then place them in ziplock bags and pop them into the freezer. They reheat beautifully in the microwave. They are a seriously fabulous breakfast that you can just grab and go.

    Thank you, Great Harvest for the inspiration, and for providing them whenever I don’t happen to have any in the freezer or don’t have the time and/or motivation to make my own.     


    Mexironi and Cheese

    Although I’m pretty sure this dish probably falls into the casserole category, since Hubby and Seeley are both casserole-phobes, I will avoid using the dreaded c word.  To be fair, I think cans of crap thrown into a dish and baked, ruined that word for a lot of people.  Call it what you will, it’s easy and tasty, and that’s what matters. 

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    • ½ lb. pasta
    • ½ lb. ground beef
    • ½ onion, diced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon cumin
    • 1 cup diced tomatoes
    • 2 Tablespoons green chilies  
    • 4 oz. cream cheese
    • 1 cup grated cheese
    • 2 Tablespoons sliced green onions
    • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
    • ½ cup water 

    Since this recipe uses half of a lot of things (½ lb. pasta and meat, ½ of an onion, ½ can of tomatoes and green chilies, and ½ pkg. of cream cheese) it is very easily doubled.  It makes quite a lot, though, so just be sure you have a large enough vessel for it.

    First up, get your pasta boiling.  Cook it according to the package directions, minus 2 minutes, then drain it and rinse it with cold water.  You want it to be a little underdone because it will soften up more during the baking process.  I used one called mezzi rigatoni, which is basically half length rigatoni, but any large-ish pasta will work.  Next, place a tablespoon of oil and the onion in a pan over medium heat. 

    Sprinkle on ½ teaspoon salt, and cook the onion until it’s translucent, then add the garlic. 

    Cook that for another minute or two, and then add the ground beef. 

    Break that up with your spatula as it cooks.  When it’s browned, sprinkle on the chili powder and cumin.  (I use extra lean beef, but if you use something with a higher fat content, you’ll want to drain any excess rendered fat first.)

    Stir that in and add the tomatoes. 

    After those come the chilies. 

    Stir that all together then reduce the heat a bit and pop a lid on for about 10 minutes.  Stir every couple of minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn. 

    During that time, cut your cream cheese into cubes.  After the 10 minutes, turn off the heat and add the cream cheese. 

    It will slowly melt as you stir it in.  (I know, it doesn’t really look that pretty at this stage, but trust me, it gets better.)

    Add ½ cup grated cheese along with the green onions and cilantro.  Because cass… I mean dinners like this… are meant to be easy, I used pregrated cheese.   

    Once all of that is incorporated, it’ll be a bit on the thick side.

    Stir in ½ cup hot water.  There, that’s better. 

    Add your cooked pasta.  Oops.  See what I mean about a large enough vessel.  Imagine if I had doubled it. 

    Stir that together.  Somehow I managed it without making too much of a mess. 

    Pour the whole thing into a buttered baking dish.  A 9x13 works great. 

    Spread it around and cover with foil.  Now, at this point, you can go ahead and bake it, or you can make it ahead of time up to this point, refrigerate it, and continue on from here when you’re ready.  Preheat the oven to 350°.  Bake, covered, for 25 minutes.  (if it’s been refrigerated, add 10-15 minutes)  Uncover, and sprinkle on the remaining half cup of cheese. 

    Back into the oven for 15 minutes.  By then it should be nice and bubbly and just starting to brown on top. 

    Sprinkle with a bit of fresh cilantro and dig in.  Even if you have casserole haters in your family, give this a try.  I bet they’ll like it.  Hubby even had seconds! 

    What was the best/worst casserole you grew up on?