Chinese Breakfast Burrito

Chinese Breakfast Burrito

Here’s a quick breakfast: veggie Egg Foo Young (with julienned broccoli stalk, chopped red onion, baby bella mushroom, and napa cabbage) with gravy, fresh napa cabbage leaf and a touch of Chili Garlic sauce, all wrapped in a moo shu shell.

Microwaved, from egg foo young prepared last night, and ready in 5 minutes!

Scrambled Egg with Tortilla Strips and Portabella Mushroom

Scrambled Egg with Tortilla Strips and Portabella Mushroom

Here’s a typical sort of quick breakfast that I make… especially since plain scrambled egg is *boring*.

First, cut one or two corn tortillas into strips (maximum length about half the diameter of the tortilla) and crisp these in olive oil in a pan, then remove from heat.  Saute sliced baby bella mushroom, perhaps with some garlic, salt and pepper, and place those aside as well.  Prepare one or two scrambled eggs as you like; here I mixed in about 1 T. of kyopoolu sauce; I’ve mentioned this red pepper, eggplant, and garlic-based sauce in a number of earlier posts.  Lastly, mix the ingredients together and top with cheese if you like:
A great way to add taste and texture to boring old scrambled egg!

I learned to add crisp corn tortilla strips to scrambled egg from my Mexican sister-in-law. :-)

Chorizo & Chips Huevos Rancheros

Chorizo & Chips Huevos Rancheros

I’m not a “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” kinda guy. I don’t often eat breakfast, owing to the fact that I start the day later than most of you. :)
But, if I’m not going to have lunch, a big breakfast is in order.

Here’s one of my huevos rancheros variations.
(Triple-Decker Huevos Rancheros is my pièce de résistance.)

This morning, to serve just myself, I fried 3 sliced multi-colored small potatoes in canola oil, seasoned with salt & pepper and minced garlic at the end, so as not to burn the garlic.
Making potato chips in a pan is a bit tedious, but a texture somewhat crisp is achievable; use a big pan on medium to medium-high heat, and arrange the potato slices so that they don’t overlap much, and flip them periodically. A very thin, metal spatula works well.

A mild, mexican (uncooked) chorizo.

Meanwhile, I fried 3-4 oz. mild mexican chorizo, crumbling it as it browned. While both the chips and chorizo drained on paper towel to soak excess oil, I scrambled 2 eggs in the chorizo pan, and stirred in a bit of sour cream and chives when the eggs were done.  Adding a cream or sauce to scrambled egg, just when done, lowers its temperature immediately to help prevent overcooking.

I served it topped with hot sauce and chopped chive.
How is it?  It’s hard to beat potatoes, eggs, and sausage for breakfast… or lunch. :)

Huevos Rancheros with Mild Chorizo & Garlic Potato Chips

P.S. If breakfast were a country, this would be its flag:

Flag of the Republic of Breakfast

St. Paul Sandwich


St. Paul Sandwich

Here’s a great sandwich that I had this morning instead of a typical breakfast sandwich: the St. Paul Sandwich; it’s essentially a hamburger made with an Egg Foo Young patty instead of a beef patty.  I was introduced to this sandwich on the public television program, “Sandwiches That You Will Like” some years ago.
Despite its name, the sandwich originated in St. Louis.

To prepare, first make the egg foo young like in my earlier recipe; this time I used leftover chopped Easter ham, thinly sliced napa cabage, and chopped baby bella mushroom.  (I used 4 “large” eggs for 3 patties.)

I served the patty with sauce on a small bun (another Easter leftover), topped with some julienned carrot and a bit of onion, a leaf of napa cabbage, a couple slices of roma tomato, and mayonnaise.

This is a tasty and unique sandwich for any time of the day, but it’s quick to prepare for breakfast or lunch from leftover egg foo young; the patties with sauce will keep for a day or two in the fridge and reheat well in a microwave.

Vegetable Pulao with Egg

Vegetable Pulao with Egg

This is the first dish that I’ve made from a fellow WordPresser’s blog, since I started my blog last month, specifically from this recipe: Vegetable Rice Palao.

This is a great vegetarian dish with a combination of spicy (especially with the quite hot Indian chili powder I had) and sweet (with the raisins, sweet corn, and carrots)!

I had most of the ingredients on hand, except I used a quality garam masala rather than cardamom and whole cinnamon; I put two star anise pieces in as well.  Also, *gasp* I didn’t have basmati rice, so substituted rinsed jasmine rice instead.  I cut the recipe to 2/3 (i.e., 2 cups uncooked rice, but the suggested amount of vegetables, raisins, and cashews), only because it’s quite a large quantity and I meant to eat this as a standalone meal, so I wanted a slightly higher ratio of vegetables to rice.  The suggested pairing with Egg Curry sounds great, but I was being lazy so just made some hard-boiled eggs, and buried them in the pulao to add some more protein to the dish after removing it from the heat.

Hmm, in hindsight, that’s probably too many changes to a desi chick’s recipe, but that made it fun for me; perhaps I have a problem following directions. :-)

Even with the reduced amount of rice, I got 6 full servings, some of which I served to friends with raita and garlic naan (Trader Joe’s).

Raita ingredients, stirred together:

  • greek-style plain yogurt, 16 oz.
  • cumin powder, 1/2 t.
  • garam masala, 1/2 t.
  • garlic, 3 cloves, dry roasted and minced
  • carrot, 1, peeled and finely julienned short pieces
  • cucumber, 1, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
  • onion, 1, small yellow, minced
  • tomato, 2/3 can, fire-roasted, diced
  • saffron (perhaps 6 threads)
  • fresh lime juice, from one lime (or add progressively to taste)
  • salt (to taste)

Vegetable Pulao with Egg and Raita

Egg Foo Young

Egg Foo Young

Here’s a simple Chinese classic for breakfast, or anytime, and a welcome alternative to an omelet or the same old scrambled egg.

Egg foo young always reminds me of my father, long passed-away.
When I was a child, my parents weren’t adventurous with food, but once in a while we’d get take-out Chinese food and I recall them always getting a box with egg foo young in gravy.  My dad didn’t believe in delivery, so it was always a treat to ride with him to pick up the food.  (This was probably also a welcome respite for my mom waiting at home.)  My dad had developed a rapport with the restaurant owner, and they would joke and laugh.  This often resulted in something extra for free and I was intrigued by their friendship and tiny bit of human color and cultural diversity in the midst of our whiter-than-white part of the midwest.

Anyway, I never order egg foo young when I’m eating out now, so it’s possible that I haven’t had it in decades – until this afternoon.

For this dish I made two servings of the following ingredients: eggs (4, beaten, with a touch of salt and pepper), whole bean sprouts, finely chopped scallion, chopped baby bella mushroom, and finely shredded napa cabbage.

Mix those ingredients in a bowl, measure out a half cup per patty, and poor slowly into a generous amount of hot canola oil, between 1/8″ and 1/4″ deep, in a fry pan over medium-high heat.  Immediately use a fork to pull the egg at the edges toward the center, so that the patty doesn’t spread too thin.  Cook perhaps 2 minutes, then carefully flip the patty over and cook the other side likewise, until the egg and ingredients are cooked in the center.  Remove patties and drain on paper towels.  I made 2 patties at a time, for a total of 4 patties.

Meanwhile, prepare a sauce or gravy in a separate pan;  combine a stock (1/2 cup, e.g., from water and chicken bouillon granules), brown sugar (1 t.), soy sauce (~1 T.) hoisin sauce (~1 T.).   Heat this mixture, stirring to dissolve ingredients, then add corn starch slurry; to thicken sauce, heat just to a boil while stirring then remove from heat.

I served each patty atop a bed of pea shoots, then topped it with sauce and scallion greens.

Leftovers?  No problem – make a St. Paul Sandwich!

Here are some recipes I consulted:


Italian Sausage Frittata

This Frittata was prepared in a cast iron skillet, so that I could finish it in the oven.  Additional ingredients were: Italian sausage, mushroom, garlic, bell pepper, spinach, fresh basil, oregano, fennel seed, red pepper flakes, cheddar and parmesan-reggiano cheeses.

Earlier today I watched this rather pedantic, condescending cooking show, “Food for Thought with Claire Thomas.” While she’s beautiful and quite possibly a wonderful person, I found it annoying; even the name of her blog: “The Kitchy Kitchen?” Ugh.
Anyway, here’s a video clip from the show: Farmer’s Market Frittata (sic).

I hadn’t made a frittata before, so here it is. Take that, Claire Thomas; thanks for teaching me something.

Here’s her recipe for reference:

Skillet Pizza Potatoes and Fried Egg

Skillet Pizza Potatoes and Fried Egg

This morning I made “pizza” potatoes with sliced red potatoes and lots of favorite pizza toppings (strips of salami, red onion, mushroom, olives) and spices (oregano and fennel seed) and fresh vegetables (tomato, pimento and other peppers)… topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano, red pepper flakes, and a bit more oregano. It was quite nice and now the house smells like pizza! :-)

Scrambled Egg with Kyopoolu

Scrambled Egg with Kyopoolu

Food pantry essential of the day: Kyopoolu

(or Kiopoolu or Kyopolou, a.k.a. Ajvar). It’s a relish from the Balkans made of bell pepper, eggplant and garlic. You can buy a red pepper variety, from Bulgaria, for ~$2 a jar at Trader Joe’s where they simply call it “Red Pepper Spread,” i.e.,

Here I made scrambled egg with Kyopoolu stirred in at the end – perhaps a tablespoon per 2 eggs. It’s delicious (resulting in a sort of sweet version of the Iranian dish mirza ghasemi), but I also love it on panini, as pizza sauce, mixed into hummus, etc.

I usually make my scrambled egg like Chef Gordon Ramsay’s Sublime Scrambled Eggs.  Rather than creme fraiche, I usually add a bit of sour cream and/or Kyopoulou or tzatziki (sans cucumber).