Baked Ranchero Eggs with blistered Cheese and Avocado-Lime Cream

Yesterday was one of those days I was really floundering around trying to decide what to make for dinner. As I mentioned earlier, taking meat off our diet for 21 days has really thrown a kink in my meal ideas. I casually picked up a cook book I had borrowed from the library, and then…. IT HAPPENED! Dinner hit me right across my face, in form of a mouth watering picture. Now we really had a problem. It was only 3.30, but I was ready to have dinner! What was I going to do for the next two and a half hours? After I wiped the drool of my face and talked myself out of adjusting all my clocks a couple hours forward and making my family eat a REALLY early dinner, I settled down and twiddled my thumbs till 5 PM.

The cook book I had picked up from the library is one that I have been waiting on for over a month, and I am so excited to have my hands on it. It is the new cookbook: the Smitten Kitchen cookbook by Deb Perelman from the Smitten Kitchen blog. She has a fantastic blog, and I could not wait to see what the book had to offer. I quickly went to work putting sticky notes on all the must try recipes. Conclusion: Her book did not disappoint! I’m not big into buying cookbooks, especially ones that I can borrow from the library. I find that I usually will borrow a book, but can only find 2 or 3 recipes that are compelling enough for me to try. This one is totally different. I have at least 10 sticky notes. I am going to HAVE to buy this book. The pictures are beautiful, and the ingredients are easily accessible, and the combinations fun and exciting, yet unfussy. I highly recommend it.

Back to dinner. I’m really loving the idea of breakfast for dinner these days. I used to be all hard core against doing that, but truth be told, I love brunch. Now I can get away with having brunch food for dinner, which works great for my kids, who never met an egg they didn’t like. I tried to stay pretty true to Deb’s recipe, but I did make a couple substitutions based on what I had on hand. I used pickled jalapeno, which are much milder, since that was all I had. I also used colby-jack cheese instead of all jack. The last thing I did different was to mix my lime and sour cream with a smashed avocado, since I had one on hand that I wanted to use up. It all came together without a hitch, and dinner was delicious. We used 9 eggs, which was enough for dinner, and packed lunches. Please don’t let the break down of the cooking steps discourage you. Start to finish, it took me no more than 35 minutes.

Enjoy. I can’t wait to blog about some of the other recipes in the book.

Recipe from The Smitten Kitchen cookbook by Deb Perelman

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Ingredients

Ranchero sauce:
1 Jalapeño
3 cups (28 OZ can) whole Tomatoes- I used 2 14 oz fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
1 large garlic clove, crushed and peeled
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
15 oz can ( or 1 3/4 cups) cooked black beans (optional)
Crispy Tortilla Strips:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 small (6-inch) corn tortillas
Salt, to taste
12 large eggs
1 1/4 cup shredded Jack cheese – I used a Colby-Jack mix
Garnishes
2 Tablespoons lime juice (from 1 lime)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Avocado (my addition. She used a 1 cup sour cream in original recipe)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 Tablespoons green onions
Make the ranchero sauce:
Preheat oven to 450 Degrees F. Taste your jalapeño for heat. Some are hotter than others. Based on that, determine what amount to put in your sauce.
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Toss the jalapeno, tomatoes, onion, garlic, some salt and pepper in the blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a 12-inch oven proof skillet and add beans (if using them). Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, or until it has reduced slightly.
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Make the tortilla strips:
While the sauce simmers. brush a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cut the tortillas into 1/2 inch wide strips, and arrange them on the oiled tray. Brush the tops of the strips with the other tablespoon of oil, and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 3-6 minutes, or until they are brown and crisp, turning over once if needed. Remove the strips from oven.
Turn the oven dial to broil to preheat.
(Please don’t be like me.. I totally forgot about my strips, thus the charred deep brown).
Make the cream:
Mash up an avocado. Add half cup of sour cream, and the lime juice. Add salt to taste.
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Cook eggs:
Once the sauce has thickened slightly, remove the pan from the heat, and break the eggs across the surface of the sauce. distributing them as evenly as possible. Return to the heat, cover the pan, and simmer eggs gently in the sauce for about 10-12 minutes, until the whites are nearly but not completely opaque (you will finish cooking them in the oven). Sprinkle the surface of the tomato-egg mixture with cheese, and broil until the cheese is bubbly and a bit blistered- just a few minutes.
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To serve:
Garnish with a dollop of the avocado-lime cream, broken-up pieces of tortilla strips, and cilantro (I threw in green onions too). Serve immediately.
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Devotion For The Day:

Reading from Proverbs this morning made me think of this verse. 2nd Timothy 3:16 says “all scripture is God-breathed, and is useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking and training in righteousness“. I can’t help but think of Proverbs as a book written by my loving coach to instruct me on how to live a free, fulfilling, purpose driven life. My Heavenly Father and Coach is trying to teach me how to avoid the common pit falls that lie waiting ahead of me. I think of it as a loving instruction letter, and boy is it packed with wisdom as practical today as it was the very day that it was penned. Thousands of years later, this advice is solid, having been tested by many before me. God’s word is alive, and active. I truly believe that.

Here was my Proverb for the Day. It was Proverbs 19. I would recommend that you read them all if you have time, but this were the ones that really stood out for me today.

Proverbs 19:23 A foolish child is a father’s ruin,
    and a quarrelsome wife is like
    the constant dripping of a leaky roof.

Proverbs 19:19  A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty;
    rescue them, and you will have to do it again.

Proverbs 19:20 Listen to advice and accept discipline,
    and at the end you will be counted among the wise.

Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
    but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the Lord leads to life;
    then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower (With Lemon and Garlic)

Happy New Year ladies and gentlemen. I can’t believe that it is more than 20 days into the new year, and I am just now putting in my first post. I assure you this will not be the trend this year. The year started off with some traveling, and between that and colds making their rounds at my house, it’s been a busy few weeks. I’m glad to be settled back in, and I’m pumped to see that this year holds.
We have had an interesting last couple weeks. As part of a 21 Day Fast that we do through our church, my family gave up meat, along with a few other things. We have done this before, but it always throws me for quite a loop when it comes to planning meals. It makes me realize just how dependent I have become on meat, and how much my meals are planned around it. Needless to say there have been some very different dishes experimented this last couple weeks -some more successful than others.. READ Tofu 🙂 If nothing else, I feel inspired to incorporate a lot more meatless meals into our lives, even after the 21 days are over.
It has been really interesting to see this experience through the eyes of my kids, especially the 7 year old who is pretty candid about what she doesn’t like (even though she still has no option but to eat it!). This is one of the dishes that got a big thumbs up from her, so I thought I would share it. We eat quite a bit of broccoli at my house, but cauliflower is one of those veggies that does not grace our plates very often. I have come to truly appreciate what roasting vegetables does to elevate them. I have often told my friends that when it comes to a vegetable, when in doubt, drizzle some olive oil and seasoning, roast at high heat, and you are set. This could not be more true than with cauliflower and broccoli, The best thing about this dish was the nuttiness of the veggies brought out by roasting them. Of course, you can never go wrong with some lemon, in my opinion! I love lemon in almost anything. I always figure that if I’m going to juice a lemon, I might as well zest it too. The oils in the zest make the dish smell heavenly, and taste even more strongly of lemon. If you are timid about the lemon flavor, skip the zest and just use the juice. These veggies are quick to whip up, and are a great compliment to almost anything. We had ours with veggie burgers and baked sweet potato fries.
Enjoy.
Ingredients:
1 Medium Cauliflower head (cut into florets about 1 1/2 inch diameter)
1 Medium Broccoli head (cut into florets about 1 1/2 inch diameter)
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 Cloves of garlic, sliced
2 Lemons (zest the lemons, then juice them)
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
4 Tablespoons grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 500 Degrees F.
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Put the broccoli and cauliflower in a large roasting pan. Drizzle with the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven in the middle rack for 15 minutes, while stirring from time to time to ensure even browning.
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Remove from the oven, and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
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Devotion For The Day:
Yesterday I read a passage of scripture that I have read many times before, but still amazes me. I was reading from Mark 5. It was the story of the woman with the issue of blood.  Jesus was on his way to a man named Jairus’ house to heal his daughter who was very ill. A crowd was following him and pressing in around him.

Mark 5 :25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. At that time, Jesus realized that someone had touched him, and he asked who it was. She fell at Jesus feet trembling, and told him the truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”. 

The most remarkable thing to me is to imagine what kind of faith still holds on, 12 years later. She had gone broke trying to solve her medical condition, not to mention the heartache of crushed hopes every time she tried a treatment avenue that didn’t work. I would imagine that she had sought many “medical doctors” of the time who had promised much, and delivered nothing. Yet this lady had faith to believe that all she needed to do was a simple thing such as touch the hem of Jesus garment. Not for Jesus to have a drawn out special prayer for her, or some other dramatic gesture. She trusted that just touching his hem would be enough to heal her. Just that! And that simple faith is the avenue by which she was healed!

I desire the faith that this woman had. The faith that holds on past many disappointments and still believes that there is a miracle awaiting me if only I can just touch Jesus, the HEALER of all situations.