Thursday, March 1, 2012

Straight Outta Da Pantry.....

Good morning!  Still freezing my tush off.  We have actually gotten a lot of snow in the last couple of days.  The good people at our school district didn’t see fit to give us any snow days….so Chris and I have been out shoveling/snow blowing.  Really.  I shovel.  I know it is hard to picture, but I do.  It sucks, but I constantly remind myself that it counts as exercise. 

The snowy weather had gotten me to thinking…..what if I actually got snowed in?  Could I still come up with yummy and easy meals, with what I have in the pantry and fridge/freezer?  Or would we be eating ketchup soup? 

 I had posted on my Facebook wall….”What do you always have in your fridge and pantry”?  I was curious to see if what I had in my pantry and fridge was the same as what everyone else has.  While there were some super healthy people out there who had brown rice and such, most of us have the same things….eggs, tortillas, salsa, noodles, spaghetti sauce or crushed tomatoes, etc.  And some of us had a freakish amount of booze.  Even better, it was my sisters.

I wanted to create a couple of meals from those items that would still be really good….and not just noodles and spaghetti sauce.  I set a goal for myself.  I wanted to create two meals, using only what I had already in my fridge, freezer and pantry.  I was not allowed to go out to buy anything for these meals.  I think I did pretty well, if I do say so myself.  These two meals are still easy enough to bust out on a regular workday.  And it isn’t ketchup soup.

Today I will show you my first meal, which is easy Huevos Rancheros.  Huevos Rancheros is a Mexican breakfast that consists of fried tortillas, topped with a red chili like sauce and fried eggs.  I jazzed mine up with some refried beans that I have had in my pantry since last summer, and I actually poached my eggs in salsa that I have had in my freezer since I moved here. 
 And we ate it for dinner, not breakfast.

I used eggs, flour tortillas, shredded cheese, refried beans, butter, oil, salsa, hot sauce and sour cream.  I don’t typically have sour cream in my fridge.  That was more of a lucky break.  But I do always have cheese, eggs and butter.  I also usually have tortillas because I buy a big bag of them, and then immediately forget about them.  This time I found them before they went bad.

If you have avocados, fresh tomatoes, etc…..even better.  And you are a better woman than I.

I started by frying my tortillas in some oil/butter mix.  I like the taste of tortillas in butter, but I needed the oil for frying.  If you just have oil, don’t sweat the butter.

I fried these for about 3 to four minutes a side.  They will get golden and poofy.  Yes, poofy is a technical term.  They teach it in culinary school;)

I’m kidding.  I’ve never been to culinary school.  But you already knew that, right?

I let the tortillas drain on paper towels.  I also sprinkled them with salt.  If it was totally up to me….this could be dinner.  But my family keeps whining about needing protein, and other stuff that keeps you alive.

I spread my tortillas with the refried beans that I had heated up.

I also topped mine with cheese.  If you don’t have cheese in your fridge, this still tastes great without cheese.

I don’t want to brag, but I had authentic Mexican cheese (cotija) in my freezer.  I didn’t use it because I didn’t want you all to feel badly about your lack of authentic cheese;)

My next step is to poach the eggs in salsa.  Did you know salsa freezes wonderfully?  If you bought it in a jar, just put it in something else to freeze it.

To be honest, I don’t even know where this salsa came from….but there it was….sittin’ in my freezer.  I didn’t even know what it was at first.  It reminded me of when I was little and I would ask my mom what was for dinner.  She would say “I don’t know.  We will see when it defrosts.”  Apparently Carol had an aversion to labeling.

Anyhoo, I put a smidge of oil in the pan first.  I really didn’t want the eggs to stick.  I poured in my salsa and brought it to a light boil over medium heat.

I added my eggs, and reduced the heat to a simmer.  I also covered my pan.

After about 5 minutes, I had perfectly poached eggs.

Now this might not be the prettiest meal in the world, but it tasted great.  And more importantly….I didn’t have to go to the store. 

The eggs poached in  salsa are so yummy!  The yolks mix with the spicy salsa, and it really is a great combination.  And who doesn’t like fried tortillas?

I am betting that you all could make this tonight.  I think your family will be impressed.  So impressed that they won’t realize this was a straight from the pantry meal.  They will think you planned this especially for them.  And I won’t blow your secret.  If you pay me $5 a week for the next 5 years.

On Tuesday, I will have another “Straight outta da pantry” meal for you.  Get ready.

Huevos Rancheros

8 tortillas

4 tablespoons oil, divided

1 tablespoon butter

1 can refried beans, heated

2 cups shredded cheese

2 cups salsa

8 eggs

In a large skillet, melt butter into 3 tablespoons oil, over medium heat.  Fry tortillas, one at a time, until golden brown…about 3 to 4 minutes per side.  Drain tortillas on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.  Spread beans, evenly, over tortillas.  Top evenly with cheese.

In another skillet, add salsa to remaining tablespoon of oil.  Bring salsa to a boil.  Add eggs, one at a time to pot.  Reduce heat to simmer and cover.  Cook eggs for about 5 minutes or until set.  Top each tortilla with an egg and additional salsa.

Serves 4

1 comment:

  1. Yum - I made this for dinner tonight I was so inspired. I had everything in the pantry/fridge. Yay!! Thanks for a fantastic easy dinner the WHOLE FAMILY loved!