Food Hero

Emergency Dinner: Huervos Rancheros and Roasted Veggies by Rachelle
September 22, 2009, 6:46 am
Filed under: Breakfast/Brunch, Main Dish, quick fix, Rachelle Mee-Chapman | Tags: , , , , ,

huervos rancheros and roasted vegggies

I threw two parties this weekend: one for 15 11 year olds, and another serving dinner and dessert to 25 folks. Needless to say, I did NOT feel like cooking again come Monday night.

Alas, the children, they demand to be fed.

I had a bunch of leftover cornbread and wanted to make Katy’s Huervos Rancheros with Chorizo to go with it. But I didn’t have the right ingredients.  So this is what came up instead. I bet you could do something like it with what you have on hand as well. Here’s the un-recipe:

Roasted Veggies: Put a couple halved, seeded bell peppers cut side down on a baking sheet. On the other half of the sheet put a row of asparagus. (I snap the ends. Some people peel.) Drizzle the asparagus with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast at 375 until the asparagus are bite-tender. Set aside. (They are fine room temp.) Keep the pepper in there until the skins blister slightly. Remove peppers and cool until you can just handle them. Pinch off the skins and discard. Slice.

“Emergency” Rancheros Sauce: In a skillet or saucepan heat olive oil. Sautee a some onions (I used green) and a couple cloves of crushed garlic. Add a can of stewed tomatoes (mine had peppers in it). Add 1/2-1 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp chili powder. Adjust to taste.

Scramble up or fry some eggs and serve the whole feast with corn tortillas, chips, rice…whatever you have on hand. Have Yum.


Sweet Potato Hash with Poached Eggs by Katy K
May 15, 2009, 2:05 pm
Filed under: Breakfast/Brunch, Katy K | Tags: , ,

IMG_2642I love to cook this for brunch when I have time on a weekend morning or for a light dinner in the summer.  I think I like it so much because it combines some of my favourite vegetables – onions, sweet potatoes, and red pepper with one of my favourite ways to eat potatoes – breakfast hash. The garlic and thyme are a nice addition to the flavors of the sauteed vegetables and sausage. I found this recipe in the January 2006 issue of Shape magazine in an article about lowfat and easy breakfasts.

Serves 2

1/2 Tblsp olive oil
1/2 a medium onion, diced
1/2 a cooked sweet potato, diced 
1/2 a red bell pepper, diced
1 precooked chicken sausage
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
2 poached eggs

Peel a sweet potato and slice crosswise into 1/2 inch slices. Cook a little in simmering water until they can be pierced by a fork but aren’t thoroughly cooked, about 10 minutes. Cool off and dice. Heat some water and allow to simmer for poaching the eggs a little later.  Heat olive oil a frying pan over medium heat, cook diced onion, red pepper, sweet potato, and sausage over medium heat until starting to crisp and brown.  I let the veggies and sausage sit and cook for a while and then toss a bit  with a spatula instead of stirring them frequently. A lot of steam has to be released from them before they start to brown so patience is the key.  

When the veggies are close to being the way you like them slip the eggs into the simmering water and turn off the heat. Allow the eggs to poach for 5 to 10 minutes depending on how well you like them done. I put the eggs in the water directly from the eggshell but you can put the egg into a cup or a large spoon and lower into the water gently. While the eggs are cooking, add the garlic and thyme to the hash and stir to cook for a few minutes. Divide the hash between the two plates. Remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon, drain, and place on top of the hash. Season salt and pepper and garnish with some chopped parsley. Obviously you can double this recipe and then you won’t even have to use fractions of vegetables.  The only thing is that I’ve never done the 4 serving version and I wonder if the hash would cook better in 2 batches – I’m not sure.  Any way you slice it, this is a pretty sweet way to start your day.

Stir-Fried Eggs with Shiitake Mushrooms by Katy K
February 24, 2009, 1:50 am
Filed under: Breakfast/Brunch, Katy K, quick fix | Tags: ,


The next time you are in the mood for something a little different at breakfast time try Stir-Fried Eggs with Shiitake Mushrooms. This dish is delicious and a little exotic. The aroma is wonderful. It is a slight modification of a recipe in Low Carb 1-2-3 by Rozanne Gold. This interesting cookbook consists entirely of three-ingredient recipes for all times of a day but I added a fourth ingredient to this breakfast. Stir-frying shiitake mushrooms in toasted sesame oil lends a more substantial “meaty” element to simple scrambled eggs. I top it all with some sliced Canadian bacon because I think the tang complements the flavours and makes it more of a meal – but you can always keep it vegetarian if that’s what you like. Rozanne Gold calls this dish suave.  According to the dictionary this adjective means “having a sophisticated charm”. I quite agree.

Ingredients (per serving)

2            eggs
1/2 tsp   toasted sesame oil
3            big shiitake mushrooms
1            slice of Canadian bacon 

img_2581Slice the mushrooms. Fry some Canadian bacon until turning golden and a little crispy in places. Slice the bacon into batons (a little bigger than matchsticks which are a little bigger than a julienne). Mix eggs with a splash of water using a fork or whisk. I think adding a little water to scrambled eggs makes them more tender when they are cooked (more tender than when you use milk, I find). Heat the sesame oil over medium heat in a nonstick pan, add mushrooms and cook until they soften a little, about 2-3 minutes, add some salt and pepper, and continue to cook until soft.  Add the whisked eggs and cook, stirring, until scrambled to the right consistency. Serve on a warm plate with the sliced bacon scattered on top.

Huevos Rancheros by Katy K
December 14, 2008, 9:29 pm
Filed under: Breakfast/Brunch, Katy K | Tags:


A few years ago, I ordered the Huevos Rancheros at Etta’s Seafood restaurant near Pike Place Market (one of Tom Douglas’s excellent restaurants in Seattle) and it was a revelation.  My dining partner commented on the alacrity with which I attacked my breakfast that morning.  Since then, when I have time on a weekend morning (or after a long bike ride), I make a breakfast that was inspired by what was on my plate that day. This has evolved to include Chorizo al Vino, Salsa Fresca, and black beans, along with scrambled eggs and sliced avocado.  The Chorizo al Vino is from a cookbook called Tapas by Penelope Casas.  The Salsa Fresca is adapted from The All-New, All Purpose Joy of Cooking and the black beans are based on the Brazilian Black Beans recipe also in The All New, All Purpose Joy of Cooking. Make as much of each as you want to eat. The Salsa Fresca is enough for 2-3 servings for me. The quantity of the black beans is defined by the can of beans and results in enough for 3-4 servings. As for the chorizo sausages, cook up as many as you can eat!

Chorizo al Vino
Spanish style chorizo (I use a brand called Dona Juana)
white wine

Take chorizo sausage, use a fork to poke holes in it, and put it in a pan with 1/2 its weight in white wine (for 4 ounces of sausage use 2 ounces of white wine). Cover and simmer until the wine is almost gone. Slice the chorizo into 1/4 inch slices and and cook them in the same amount of white wine, uncovered, until the wine is almost gone. The recipe says to serve it in the pan it was cooked in for tapas. I just put it on my plate for breakfast. I keep chorizo in my freezer and this recipe is a good way to thaw  frozen chorizo as well.

Salsa Fresca
1/3  Cup     onion, diced
1/2  Tblsp   lime juice, fresh squeezed 

2/3  Cup      grape tomatoes, diced
1     Tblsp    fresh cilantro, chopped
1     clove    garlic, pressed 
1/4   tsp       (or more) serrano chile, diced 
salt and pepper to taste 

Mix the diced onion and fresh lime juice together and set aside until ready to serve. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and set aside until ready to serve (I think the lime juice mellows the onion). When you are ready to eat, mix all of the ingredients together and serve.  

Black Beans
1/2   Tblsp   extra virgin olive oil
1/2    Cup     onion, diced
1/2    Cup     green bell pepper, diced
1       15 oz   can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4    tsp       ground cumin
1/8    tsp       (or more) red pepper flakes
1/4    Cup      orange juice, fresh squeezed
2       Tblsp   sherry 
salt and pepper to taste 

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat.  Add the onion and green pepper and cook until soft and just starting to turn brown at the edges, add garlic, and cook for 30 seconds. I like to add the garlic near the end of onion-cooking so that it doesn’t overcook, brown, and turn bitter. Add the orange juice and sherry to deglaze a little and then add the beans, cumin, and red pepper flakes.  Cover and simmer until the beans are heated through. Remove the lid and reduce the liquid until the beans are the consistency that you would like them to be.

Make some scrambled eggs, slice some fresh avocado, mix the salsa fresca ingredients together, and serve everything on a handsome plate.  Normally, Huevos Rancheros are served with tortillas. I’m not really that into tortillas (or bread, or pasta, or rice – I know – gasp – but I do like french fries – that’s in my heritage), so I eat this dish as is, but you enjoy it as you like it!


Lunchbox Leftovers Apple Muffins by Rachelle
November 16, 2008, 4:53 pm
Filed under: Breakfast/Brunch, Rachelle Mee-Chapman | Tags: , ,



My kids take apple slices to school everyday — and almost as often bring a slice or two back home. Because the apples have browned over the course of the day, my girls don’t want to eat them anymore. But eco-mom doesn’t want to throw them away.


I adpated this applesauce muffin recipe to use shredded day-old apple slices instead. The yogurt makes up for the extra moisture you’d otherwise get from the apple sauce. I grate the apples and put them in a small container in the freezer until I’m ready to make the muffins. They are yum!


P.s. I don’t have a mixer here in Denmark, so all my baking recipes are mixed by hand.


Lunchbox Leftovers Apple Muffins


2 large eggs

1 c packed brown sugar

1 cup plus 3 T unsalted butter, melted

¾ c grated apples

¼ c plain yogurt



1 ½ t baking powder

½ t baking soda

¼ t salt

½ t cinnamon

½ t allspice

¼ t nutmeg

1 ½ c flour



2 T brown sugar

½ t cinnamon sugar


Lightly whip eggs. Add brown sugar and butter, stir until mixed. Add apples and yogurt. Mix in all dry ingredients except flour. Once blended add flour.


Pour into greased muffin tins. Sprinkle with topping. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Cool in pan for ten minutes, then remove from pan and continue cooling on a wire rack. Makes one dozen.



Baked Oatmeal by Rachelle
November 1, 2008, 2:05 pm
Filed under: Breakfast/Brunch, quick fix, Rachelle Mee-Chapman | Tags: , , ,

This recipe is from one of my brother’s in-law, Shane P. I adore it with diced peaches. My daughter Cate doesn’t like baked fruit, so I just sink the diced peaches (or apples, or nectarines) into half of the pan. Eat it straight or in a bowl with a little cream and a sprinkle of brown sugar.

3 eggs, lightly whipped
1/2 c honey
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 1/2c milk
3/4 T baking powder
2 t cinnamon
3 c rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 c raisins (opt)

Lightly whip eggs with fork or whisk. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into greased 8×8 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until the center doesn’t jiggle. Have Yum!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread by Rachelle

submitted by rachelle

Here in Denmark, chocolate chips are a precious commodity. People ship them to us at high postage costs and carry them to us in suitcases. We reduce the amount we put into our cookies, and dole them out into pancakes just four chips per flapjack. When I mention putting chocolate chips into my famous orange-chocolate scones, the Brits in my cooking club look at me askance. Clearly, the love affair with the humble chocolate chip is a uniquely American phenomenon.

That being said, this Chocolate Chip Banana Bread recipe is my favorite thus far. It’s here straight from my favorite cooking magazing, Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food. I’ve included the baking time for muffins below. Have Yum!

1 c mashed banana (3 medium)
1/4c vegetable oil
1t orange zest (how to grate proper orange zest here)
1/2 t salt
1t baking soda
1 c sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2c all-purpose flour
1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 6 cup loaf pan, or a 12 cup muffin tin. (If you use the muffin tin, you will have enough batter to do a 12 mini muffin tin as well.)

In a large bowl, mix bananas and wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients, stirring until just mixed. Add chocolate chips and walnuts.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean: 70-80 min for loaf, 20-25 min for muffin, 12-15 for mini muffins. If the loaf browns too quickly, cover loosely with tin foil. Cool loaf for 12-18 minutes in pan before turning out and cooling completely on a rack.

Tip: Banana bread is best with ‘fresh’ over-ripe bananas. But if you want, you can freeze your soft bananas for later and it will still be nice. Just peel the bananas and freeze them in batches of 3 or 4 in a ziploc freezer bag. To defrost, put the bag into a large bowl and allow them to melt. Pour off some of the accumulated liquid before using, or your batter might be too runny.