Sunday, October 4, 2009

"something stronger to start off the day"

Yesterday's brunch... Tortilla Egg Cups, Black Beans, Swiss Chard
Yesterday's song...
"Bloody Mary Morning" Willie Nelson We just got back from an AMAZING and decadent brunch at
Moonshine with a good group of friends. I truly love this place, and if it were socially acceptable I might go every Sunday and just eat plate after plate of broccoli rice casserole and white chocolate bread pudding.

I love brunch. It really is such a forgiving meal. I especially love a large scale brunch with lots of friends and plenty of time. Had I never heard of brunch before, it might go something like this:

"So let me get this straight- there are eggs cooked 4 different ways? Oh, wait 5 ways...I just spotted the deviled eggs. Is that an espresso bunt cake right next to the salad? Now that you mention it, it does seem like a good idea to get some pancakes with my biscuits and gravy and sweet potatoes. And you'll bring me a drink with...hold and tomato juice and Tabasco?? I'm sold."

Seriously, you could never get away any of that at just a plain old breakfast, and certainly not lunch. At brunch, though, everything just seems to fit together. Willie knows what I'm talkin' about.

Some time ago, a few good friends of ours organized a brilliant pot luck brunch at their home. We ate outside, each contributing our own special item. I brought baked cheese grits (even then my love for polenta was guiding my decisions.) The standout of the brunch (other than the cheese grits, thank you very much) was egg cups, made by a friend whose aunt operates a bed & breakfast and provided her with a version of this recipe. I've made them numerous times since then, and yesterday I think I hit the nail on the head...just the right cooking time, a nice assortment of ingredients, and a lovely crunch.

There are several reasons I like this recipe so much. The first is that the result is very cute and looks nice on the plate. These are also perfect to make for a group- it takes just as much effort to make 4 (like I did yesterday morning for the husband and myself) as it does to make 24. And finally, I love the versatility of these puppies. After I'd been making this recipe for several months, I ran across a similar and delicious baked egg recipe on 101cookbooks that uses pita bread instead of tortillas. They are good with just about any filling, from peppers to mushrooms and spinach. I can imagine them being quite tasty with veggie sausage (or real sausage, omnivores) if you wanted something a little more hearty.

One last thing...I make these different every time; it all depends on what I have in my fridge. This recipe is what I came up with yesterday, and it was a very tasty combo. Also, a note about the cooking time. My husband tends to get a little grossed out by runny egg yolk, so we cook ours all the way through.18 minutes or even just a smidge longer is perfect for us, but it took me several times of cooking these to get it just right. If you like the yolks a little oozy, I recommend checking the whites with a toothpick after about 12-15 minutes. As long as those aren't runny, you're ready to eat.

Tortilla Egg Cups

3 flour tortillas, quartered- (in my opinion, corn get too crunchy. But be adventurous with flavored flour tortillas-this time, I used multi grain.)
6 eggs
about 2 tablespoons chopped marinated tomatoes
1/4 onion, chopped
5 or 6 mushrooms, chopped small
1/2 bell pepper
1 large garlic clove, diced
shredded parmesan
shredded cheddar
salt & pepper
olive oil

salsa for serving

Heat a bit of olive oil in a medium skillet. Saute onion and bell pepper for a few minutes until they start to soften, then add mushrooms and garlic and saute until all vegetable are just cooked. Remove from heat and stir in tomatoes.
Prep a regular size muffin pan with some non-stick spray. Overlap 2 quarters of a tortilla in the bottom, point ends down, so they form a cup.

Place the following in the cup:
about a teaspoon of vegetable mixture*
one egg (don't beat)
shredded parmesan & shredded cheddar

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes, depending on how done you like your eggs.
Serve with salsa.

*I like to cook my beans in the same skillet with the leftover vegetable mixture. Less dishes and less waste is always a good thing!


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