Sunday, February 18, 2007

Breakfast of Champions

Monday to Friday, I am not a breakfast person. I have no morning appetite, and my body enjoys the two-meals-per-day, no-snacks rhythm.

But weekends are another matter.

I like to wake up slowly, drinking tea and listening to NPR, and I like to have a real, cooked breakfast. My husband has an unerring routine of which I d0 not take part, so I cook my own single-serving breakfast.

My current favorite is a breakfast pizza (see picture) that I invented all by my myself.

I like it because it is fast, because I can put whatever I want on it, because baking an egg makes it perfect and beautiful, because I do not have to mess around with making pizza dough, and because there is almost no cleanup--the cast iron pan is basically clean at the end since it is protected by tortilla.

Here’s my recipe:

1 cast iron skillet (essential!)
2 rashers bacon
1 flour tortilla
1 tomato
1 green onion (scallion)
other vegetables (as available and desired)
1 egg
Sliced or shredded cheese of choice
Seasonings of choice

1. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. (Yep, it’s HOT.)

2. Partially cook two rashers of bacon.

While the bacon starts to warm and sizzle, assemble the pizza. You really do need a cast iron skillet. This is essential because (a) you can shove it into a 500-degree oven with no worries and (b) it conducts the heat in such a way that you get a nice, crispy pizza crust.

3. Place a floured tortilla (frozen or thawed—I keep my tortillas in the freezer) into the cast iron frying pan. No oil needed. A burrito-sized tortilla fits perfectly into my 10-inch Lodge skillet. Do not use low-carb tortillas—for some reason, they do not crisp up like ordinary tortillas (?).

4. Slice a tomato and arrange slices on the tortilla. Leave an empty spot in the middle of the tortilla. You an add other vegetables also--I usually sprinkle sliced green onion, add some avocado if I have any, etc..

5. Crack an egg into the empty well in the middle. The tomatoes and other things that you’ve pout on the tortilla should keep the egg form oozing out.

6. Drape the two rashers of bacon around the egg.

7. Sprinkle all of it with sliced or shredded cheese. Season as you wish with red chile, black pepper, etc.

8. Stick it all in the oven and cook until the egg has baked (but the yolk is still runny!). This can take between 5 and 10 minutes, depending on how quickly you’ve made the pizza and how fast your oven preheats. I shove the pizza in even if the oven isn’t fully pre-heated and check it after five minutes.

9. The pizza should easily lift out of the skillet—the tortilla should be crisp, the cheese melted, the egg white firm.

Et voila!

Another recipe I tried for the first time this weekend comes from the just-arrived April 2007 issue of Cuisine At Home*: the chipotle bacon breakfast sandwich with tomato avocado salsa.

Despite being named to the Lake Superior State University 2007 List of Banished Words (for the vacuous reason that Midwesterners have, apparently, just discovered it and have made it ubiquitous), chipotle--a smoked jalapeno in a wonderful hot vinegary sauce--is a favorite flavor of mine. I’ve been buying chipotle in adobo sauce since I first moved to New Mexico, and it does wonderful things when added to mayonnaise and soups.

This sandwich also led me to new territory: glazing bacon to add flavor. Wow! Chipotle-glazed bacon is beautiful, especially when crunched with cheesy egg and a creamy tomato-avocado salsa.

*While their recipes are not always exciting, I respect this publication because it is entirely ad-free and has useful photos of techniques which are sometimes new.


Mom said...

Dad and I enjoyed these breakfast pizzas this weekend. On Saturday, I left them in too long, although they looked sunny. An over-baked egg looks runny, but tastes hard boiled.

Today, I got the timing right. I used whole wheat tortillas, which were perfect. It is only way I have used these that did not result in cardboard texture. Crisp, almost cracker-like.

Thank you.

Femminista said...

Glad you tried them! Yes--whole wheat works really well; low-carb really doesn't. The same idea can make a quick dinner vehicle for certain leftovers. :)