Enchiladas, Part II

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I shouldn’t even consider a re-made of my most successful post, especially since it involves a recipe from my amazing mother, but I can’t help myself. Enchiladas are so beautifully versatile, it would be like sticking with one kind of pizza for the rest of your life (home made pizza recipe coming up soon– stay tuned..). And no one is that foolish, right?

I know my mother will forgive me. She’s a real bro like that.
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Shakshuka

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Never heard of it? Neither had I. But that is one of the many beauties of the internet— visual aids that provide us with the pretty pretty pictures we need in order to become interested. “This book has no pictures. Ergo, this book is a waste of space.”

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Shakshuka is a popular Israeli dish that has North African-roots. Eggs are poached in a spicy tomato sauce and served with pita. I saw some variations during my research that got creative with the vegetables and various cheeses, but overall: this is very, very easy and delightful. Most people have the basics on hand– canned tomatoes, eggs, onion, garlic, etc, so if you’re interested in a simple, healthy breakfast option, then I advise you to keep reading.

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I’ve been dabbling in homemade ricotta recently and found it to work beautifully in shakshuka. Some of it sort of melted into the sauce, but big chunks remained intact and were perfect for scooping up on the bread. My intention was to share this batch of cheese with my neighbors, but…that isn’t going to happen. Piggie has taken over my body and won’t let the concept of generosity interfere with my cheesy feeding frenzy.

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Shakshuka

3 T olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced fine
2 anaheim peppers, diced fine
2 carrots, diced fine
2 t paprika
1 t cumin
2 T tomato paste
2 28-oz cans crushed tomatoes
1 t sugar
2 t salt
pepper
7 eggs
1 c ricotta cheese (feta would also be quite nice)
flat leaf parsley
pita (or naan) for serving

In a large cast iron skillet or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high. When hot, add the oil. Toss in the onion, garlic, pepper, and carrot, and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add spices and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until reduced– about 10 minutes. One at a time, crack the eggs into a ladle. Push the ladle into the sauce to create a hole for the egg, turning it out into the sauce. Do this for all 7 eggs. With sauce on a low simmer, cover and cook 10-15 minutes. Add cheese a few minutes before eggs are set (sprinkle over the top– don’t mix in). Eggs may be a bit soft, but they will continue to cook in the sauce. Turn off heat and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with warm pita (I wanted garlic naan instead, which was great) and enjoy!

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Tomato and Balsamic Frittata

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I just ate half a bag of cheese crunchies. Which emptied the contents completely, because I did the same thing last night this morning. This is why, people. This is why I’m not allowed to be alone with tasty treats. They call to me. I actually hear little powdered-dairy voices echoing in my head saying things like “You know you want it” and “Everything tastes as good as skinny feels” and “Just cave already! Eat your feelings! Nom!” And yes– they actually do get angrier the longer I hold out, until I cave under the pressure and eat THE WHOLE DANG BAG.

But moving on from crazy town and into actual, adult conversation….

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I had to do something healthy for myself after the cheese debacle (I did donate a bag of brownies to a neighbor and trashed the rest of the crunchy population residing in my cabinets), so dove into my vegetable drawer and came up with something that didn’t make me feel like a teenage headcase mourning over the loss of a bag of potato chips. Pathetic!

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Tomato and Chard Frittata

2 cups cherry tomatoes, washed
1 shallot, diced fine
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
1 t salt
pepper
1 T olive oil
2 c roughly chopped chard
4 eggs, beaten with 1 T milk
1/3 c shredded or chunked Parmesan Gouda or Cotija or goat cheese
1/4 c fresh basil, sliced thin

In a large bowl, combine the shallot, garlic, vinegar, salt, and pepper and mix well. Cut the tomatoes in half and add to the bowl. You can use larger tomatoes, but you will need to seed them or else there will be too much liquid in the pan. Toss the mixture and set aside to marinate for up to 1 hour. In a large pan heat the oil over medium-high and add the tomato mixture. Cook for a few minutes and then add the chard, stirring to cover everything with the vinegar. Cook this down for a few minutes, or until the liquid is reduced to a syrup-like consistency. Do not over cook– no longer than 5-7 minutes. Add the beaten eggs and turn heat down to medium-low. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the eggs are mostly set. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and cover for another 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from heat, sprinkle with the basil, and serve immediately. Great with garlic toast!

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