May 28, 2012

Breakfast for Dinner? Yes, please!

This isn't just for dinner, of course, but it does work in a pinch! One day last week, I had not been to the grocery so the cupboards were bare!  After having a very busy day, all I really wanted to do was relax. I certainly didn't want to leave the house and go to a restaurant for dinner! So, what to do?  Make breakfast, of course!  

Don LOVES a good breakfast with eggs, potatoes, bacon, and toast, so I knew he wouldn't be disappointed!  I always start the potatoes first, as they take a little time to get soft the way the hubs likes 'em.  I gathered what I needed...

Eggs, potatoes, onions, garlic, bacon, cream cheese, salt, and pepper
and got to work!  I always like to have everything right on hand - especially when making something like this that moves along quickly.  First I cubed the potatoes. I used Yukon Gold potatoes - they are my absolute favorite potato! ...and what I happened to have on hand. I recommend cubing 1.5 to 2 potatoes per person.  For some reason I used 3 here - I guess I thought the hubs was going to be extra hungry!

Then I diced up 1/2 of an onion - that looked good for the amount of potatoes I was making. I also minced up 2 garlic cloves - I LOVE garlic! I heated a skillet on medium-high heat and placed a thick slice of bacon in the pan to render the fat.  

Once my bacon was cooked on both sides, and I had a good amount of fat in the pan, I added the potatoes. It is critical you DON'T move the potatoes for 3 minutes!

  If you move them around right away you are going to leave a lot of potato in the pan, and they won't have that nice crispy stuff on the outside.. I learned that the hard way!  So leave them alone for 3 full minutes!  To busy your hands you can sit on them, or make them useful and pull that bacon out of the pan and chop it up.  You can also crack the eggs into the non-stick pan you will use to cook them so they will be ready to go - do something! Just don't touch those potatoes!  Did I get my point across? Great!  Now that 3 minutes is almost up, go ahead and salt and pepper them to your liking. I used about 1/2 teaspoon salt for this amount of potatoes.  I normally would used fresh cracked pepper, but I was fresh out (GASP!), so I used ground pepper - it worked!

Now that the 3 minutes is up you get to stir those potatoes!  I know it's been driving you crazy to just let them sit in the pan without stirring them, so go ahead and knock yourself out. Stir those beautiful potatoes and see how wonderfully crispy they are!  HINT - if you go to stir them and they are sticking to the pan - your heat is too low! Turn it up and let them sit another minute or so. They will release when they are ready to be stirred!  How's that for smart food - it tells you when it's ready (sort of).

Now you get to add the chopped bacon, onions and the garlic. Stir them for about a minute or two.  Then turn the heat down to mid-low and let those potatoes cook until they are as soft as you like 'em.  You'll be busy making the eggs, but you'll want to stir the potatoes occasionally during this time.

Now that the potatoes are going nicely, you can start on your scrambled eggs.  For the eggs I start with a cold, dry sauce pan. I use a non-stick pan for scrambled eggs to make clean-up a snap. Eggs really like to stick to my stainless steel pans, and I really DON'T like cleaning them up, so I purchased a chemically safe, non-stick pan just for making scrambled eggs!  Go ahead and crack your eggs in the cold, dry pan. I also add a tablespoon of butter for every 3 eggs I use. I made 6 eggs this night, so I used 2 tablespoons of butter. DO NOT ADD SALT YET!!  Eggs are one of the few things you want to salt AFTER they are cooked

Now that you have your eggs and butter in the pan, go ahead and turn on the heat to mid-high.  Start whisking your eggs - every once in a while check on your potatoes and give them a stir.  

Keep whisking your eggs... and stirring your potatoes

When your eggs start to thicken, you want to take them off the heat for 20-30 seconds and keep whisking while utilizing the heat in the pan.  Then go ahead and put them back on the heat - all the while keep whisking.  You will move them on and off the heat until they are fully cooked. Removing them from the heat every so often will help keep you from overcooking the eggs - no one likes to eat rubbery eggs - yuck!  Once your eggs are sufficiently cooked...

Pop your toast in the toaster, and remove the eggs from the heat. Add in 1 ounce of cream cheese. Stir that around to incorporate and then salt and pepper your eggs to your liking.  I sometimes like to add fresh chopped basil too, but on this night I made a Chimichurri Sauce (see recipe below - you can make up ahead of time)  Go ahead and plate up the eggs and potatoes with the toast and add some chimichurri sauce either on the side or, go ahead and be bold, and put it right on the eggs! Yummmmmm

I opted to eat just eggs and toast with the chimichurri sauce, so here is a pic of my plate

Chimichurri Sauce

1 cup (packed) fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup (packed) fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt

Puree all ingredients in a blender or a food processor. Transfer to a bowl, cover and let sit at room temperature until ready to use. You can make this up a couple hours before if you like.

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