Tag Archives: Eggs

Nopalitos con Huevos (Nopal Cactus with Eggs)

food-1200Living in Texas my whole life, it’s little surprise that I love Mexican food. However, because I live in Texas, I have Mexican food readily accessible, and it’s not often I really cook a lot of it at home. Not real, authentic Mexican food, anyway. I’ve had a Diana Kennedy cookbook in my collection for years, and rarely tried a recipe from the book. So there it sat, gathering dust, and not getting the love it deserved.  I decided that it was time for a change…time to crack open that book!

One of the first recipes I marked with my “must make soon” sticky note was the Nopalitos con Huevos recipe. Why? A friend of mine the other day was talking about nopalitos. The conversation went something like this:

Friend: I’m excited about lunch, I have nopalitos!

Me: Nopalitos? What are those again?

Friend: Cactus.

Me: Oh, yeah. I think I’ve seen those before at the store. What do you do with them?

Friend: I’m eating them cooked with eggs. My grandma is making them.

(side comment – my friend’s grandma is an amazing cook. Every Christmas, she makes tamales, and I kid you not, they are the best tamales in the world. And she makes some darn tasty enchiladas too!) 

Me: Interesting. I wonder what they taste like!

Friend: You should totally try to make them!

And so…here we are! Nopalitos, or nopales, are the pads of a Prickly Pear Cactus. Yes, cactus. (You have to wonder how, exactly, some guy came to decide to actually eat something that has spines on it. Must have been really hungry. But I suppose you could pose that same question about a lot of the foods we eat.) You can find either the whole pads or even prepared nopalitos (already cleaned and chopped), at Mexican/Latin grocery stores. I found mine at Fiesta, a Latin supermarket here in Texas. If you can only find the whole pads, you will have to peel and remove the spines (wear a thick glove!) and chop. Learn more about nopalitos and the cleaning process here: http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/nopalitos.htm. Me, I bought them already prepared. I’m usually not a huge fan of convenience products, but bypassing the task of removing spines seemed worthwhile in this instance.

As for the other ingredients, Mexican chorizo is fresh (not cured), spiced sausage. It is usually made from pork. I wouldn’t suggest substituting Spanish chorizo in this recipe, as Spanish chorizo has an entirely different consistency. If you can’t find Mexican chorizo (which is also available at a Mexican/Latin grocery), you can use bacon or another breakfast sausage as a substitute, or omit it entirely. Cotija cheese is a Mexican cheese that is dry, crumbly and pleasantly salty. This is also found at Mexican/Latin groceries, or you could substitute another cheese, such as feta, or even Monterey Jack. They will change the flavors a bit, but I imagine it will be just as delicious.

I’m sure there are many, many variations of this recipe. Mine is a variation of Diana Kennedy’s. I added chorizo, and used jalapenos instead of serranos.

6 oz Mexican chorizo (if you need this recipe to be gluten-free, check the label. You could substitute sausage if need be.)

12 oz nopalitos, cleaned and diced

1 large tomato, unpeeled, diced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1/3 c white onion, finely chopped

1-2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

4 large eggs

 

8 corn tortillas, warmed

4 oz cotija cheese, crumbled

¼ c cilantro, chopped

 

Heat a large saucepan to medium-high. Remove chorizo from casings, crumble, and brown. Remove chorizo from pan and set on paper towels to drain. Drain most of the oil from the pan. Add nopalitos, tomato, garlic, onion, and jalapenos to pan. Cover the pan and cook over medium flame, shaking the pan from time to time, for about 25 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste, and add chorizo. Break the eggs into the nopales and stir until set.

 

Spoon egg mixture into warmed tortillas, topping with cheese and cilantro.

 

Serves 3-4.

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Filed under Eggs, Gluten-Free, Main Dishes

Avgolemono (Greek Lemon and Egg Soup)

food-993So now that you’ve made Angel Food Cake, what do you do with all those leftover egg yolks, exactly? Well, I wondered the same thing. A really dense omelet? Nah. Ice cream? Well, for the past few days it has been 35-40 degrees and raining, so I’m not exactly craving ice cream. I got to searching, and this soup was a perfect, easy solution. Not to mention it was something that was very inexpensive, and I had all of the ingredients at home already. Sounds like the winner!

I have never tried this soup prior to creating it here at home, although I had heard of it and could imagine the creamy feel of it in my mouth. After reading a bit about it, many also add cooked chicken to this soup, and some make it with whole eggs rather than just egg yolks. But the core ingredients are the same…chicken broth, eggs, and lemon. It’s a tasty, simple dish that’s perfect as a first course, or as I did, an accompaniment to a big salad.

This recipe is based off a recipe from Barbara Kafta’s “Soup: A Way of Life.” I found it through epicurious.com, although a book entirely devoted to soup sounds intriguing…I might just have to seek that out!

6 c chicken stock

1 c orzo

12 egg yolks

2/3 c fresh lemon juice

Zest of one lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Chopped fresh parsley

 

In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Stir in the orzo and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks, lemon juice, and lemon zest together in a large bowl.

When the rice is tender, slowly ladle half of the hot broth into the yolks to temper them, whisking constantly. (this is done to prevent curdling of the eggs) Whisk the egg yolk mixture into the broth and place over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, just long enough to thicken the soup. Do not boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle fresh parsley over and serve. Makes 6 servings.

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Filed under Eggs, Gluten-Free, Soups

Angel Food Cake

food-1012The other day, when I visited Jacob’s Reward Farm to pick up my order of fresh eggs, Cindy proposed an idea to me. What if we got together and created an egg recipe collection to share with the egg customers? My first thought was “Wow, that sounds cool!” and then, immediately, my second thought was “Egg recipes? I don’t have hardly any egg recipes. Uh oh…” I mean, I eat eggs, I love them! But I don’t have any recipes, I pretty much just throw stuff together in the morning, bleary-eyed and clutching my cup of coffee. I have a few variations on the “eggs for breakfast” theme, but it’s so routine to me that in my mind, they aren’t recipes. So, needless to say, as excited and flattered as I was (Cindy asked me to help with a recipe book!!! How exciting is that?), I was a bit nervous as to what to do!

But as I got to brainstorming, I realized that first of all, sometimes those recipes that I just “throw together” are those that might benefit everyone the most! And second of all, I was being too narrow-minded. I use eggs in non-breakfast recipes! Duh…I just wasn’t thinking. The first “recipe” that came to my mind, once the gears started turning, was angel food cake.

When I was little, I didn’t like cake all that much. I know what you’re thinking…a child that doesn’t like cake? What is wrong with that child!?!? But boy, I loved angel food cake. For my birthday every year, my mother would bake me an angel food cake. Sometimes plain, sometimes with a lemony glaze, and sometimes with marschino cherries throughout the cake itself. Simple, not too sweet, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. And it’s almost like it’s not bad for you…as far as cakes go, this one is relatively low-calorie and low in fat. Not health food, exactly, but it’s enough for me to justify eating a big, fat piece!

So here you go, a sneak peek into the Jacob’s Reward Farm egg recipe collection (that is not the official name, by the way…we haven’t gotten that far!). This recipe is based off of my mother’s angel food cake recipe and one I found from Alton Brown. It is best with fresh eggs, as they will separate easier. Save the egg yolks for another dish…they should keep for a day or two in the fridge. I’ve heard you can also freeze them, although I have not tried.

1 3/4 c sugar (I used turbinado sugar, as it was all I had in the house)

1/4 t salt

1 c cake flour, sifted

12 egg whites, room temperature

1/3 c warm water

1 t almond extract

1 1/2 t cream of tartar

 

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 

In a food processor, spin sugar about 2 minutes until it is superfine. Sift half of the sugar with the salt and the cake flour, setting the remaining sugar aside.

 

In a large bowl, use a balloon whisk to thoroughly combine egg whites, water, almond extract, and cream of tartar. After 2 minutes, switch to a hand mixer. Slowly sift the reserved sugar, beating continuously at medium speed. Once you have achieved peaks that are stiff, but not dry, sift enough of the flour mixture in to dust the top of the foam. Use a spatula fold in gently. Repeat this process until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.

 

Carefully spoon mixture into an ungreased tube pan. Bake for 30 minutes before checking for doneness with a wooden skewer. (When inserted halfway between the inner and outer wall, the skewer should come out dry).

 

Cool upside down on cooling rack for at least an hour before removing from pan.

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Filed under Baked goods, Dairy-Free, Eggs