Tag Archives: cast iron skillet

Yesterday’s smashed potatoes? Today’s potato pancakes!

I love do-overs. In this context, when I say do-overs, I mean taking one day’s leftovers and creating a completely different meal with them. Anyone can heat leftovers up in the microwave. A do-over takes some real thinking though.

These potato pancakes are one of my favorite do-overs by far. One morning, I was scrounging through the fridge looking for something to eat for breakfast and this recipe was born.

Potato Pancakes 1

Start with leftover smashed potatoes. Of course, ours are dairy free. Maybe about two cups worth. If you have more and want more pancakes, just up the rest of the ingredients as well.

Potato Pancakes 2

Next I chopped up half of a white onion and half a poblano pepper for a little zip. You could switch this up by adding scallions, chives, any type of pepper, or red onion.

Potato Pancakes 3

In a large mixing bowl, to the smashed potatoes add: one large egg, three-quarters cup of flour, one-quarter cup of non-dairy cheddar cheese, the chopped onion and poblano, salt and pepper. To make these vegan, you could use a tablespoon or so of canola oil to replace the egg.

Potato Pancakes 4

Mix until well combined and they no longer stick fast to your hands. If needed, add more flour.

Potato Pancakes 5

Take a meatball size amount of the potato mixture and form pancakes. As you can see, this recipe made six decent sized pancakes.

Potato Pancakes 6

While getting the pancakes ready, my favorite cast iron skillet was on the stove. Heating in the skillet, over medium heat, is a small amount of canola oil. I like canola for this because it doesn’t change the taste of the potato pancakes.

Potato Pancakes 7

Drop the pancakes carefully into the skillet. Don’t cramp the skillet! If you do the pancakes will be greasy. In my nine-inch skillet I fried up three at a time.

Potato Pancakes 8

Once you drop them into the skillet do not move them for three minutes! Allow the pancakes to get nice and browned and then flip.

Potato Pancakes 9

After cooking an additional three minutes remove the potato pancakes to a paper towel lined plate while you cook up the remaining three. This will absorb any of the excess oil.

Potato Pancakes 10

These would be delicious and flavorful if you stopped and ate them right here! You could also add some sour cream and it would be like eating a crispy loaded baked potato.

Potato Pancakes 11

For me? Sriracha is the perfect topping! Gives them a little additional kick and also makes for a nice plate. No need to wonder what to do with those leftover smashed potatoes anymore.

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Egg Stuffed Avocado

I first came upon the idea for this dish somewhere, but must admit I have absolutely no recollection as to where. Flipping through the pages of a magazine? Maybe. Watching TV? Maybe. Surfing the net? Maybe. I just don’t know. What I do know is that this breakfast/brunch dish is simple, healthy and delicious!

Egg Stuffed Avocado 1

Start with two avocados. One of my absolute favorite foods! So rich, creamy and nutritious. Cut the avocados in half and remove the pit.

Egg Stuffed Avocado 2

Hollow out the avocado halves to make room for the egg and place them into a well seasoned cast iron skillet. If you do not have a cast iron skillet, any oven safe skillet or even casserole dish would do. I just look for any excuse to use my favorite cast iron skillet.

Egg Stuffed Avocado 3

Next, season them well. I used some sea salt, fresh ground pepper, red chili flakes and nutritional yeast. This is where you can get creative. Use any combination of seasonings you and your family like.

Egg Stuffed Avocado 4

Crack one large egg into each avocado half. Make sure to hollow out enough of the avocado to make room for the egg, or you will have some spillage like I did here! No worries though, they were still absolutely delicious.

Egg Stuffed Avocado 5

Top with some non-dairy cheese. I used Daiya cheddar, but this is another chance to get creative. Use whatever cheese you have available.

Egg Stuffed Avocado 6

Place them into a preheated 425* oven for fifteen-twenty minutes until the eggs are cooked and the cheese is melted. I served them all by themselves, but with some nice home fried potatoes would be good too!


Sunday Breakfast: Huevos Rancheros

The inspiration for this dish came from Melissa d’Arabians show Ten Dollar Dinners on Food Network. To see her original recipe, follow this link: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/melissa-darabian/huevos-rancheros-recipe/index.html

Since then, I switched it up to make it dairy free and played with the ingredients to make it my own. This is a quick and easy breakfast that you can make over and over and never make it the same way twice! Also, one of the nice things about this recipe is that is just as easy to make for two or ten people.

Huevos Rancheros 1

To start, the tortillas of your choice. In our house, this translates to whatever tortillas I happen to have in the freezer. The tortilla of the day today is a six-inch flour tortilla.

Huevos Rancheros 4

Coat the tortillas with extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Very carefully press the tortillas into a large muffin tin to make little cups.

Huevos Rancheros 2

The ingredients always vary depending on what we have on hand. Today, I took six strips of this gorgeous thick cut peppered bacon and cut it into small pieces. This could be sausage, ham, mushrooms, even greens. Whatever you are in the mood for.

Huevos Rancheros 5

Into my favorite cast iron skillet to brown. Once all the fat is rendered and the bacon is browned nicely, remove to a paper towel lined plate and drain the grease from the pan.

Huevos Rancheros 3

Rinse and strain one can of pinto beans. This can basically be any can of beans you have in your cupboard. Black beans, kidney beans, or pigeon peas would work just as nicely.

Huevos Rancheros 6

Into the skillet go the pinto beans to make the filling for the tortillas.

Huevos Rancheros 7

Add the bacon back into the skillet as well. Can I just say, at this point, the house smells phenomenal!

Huevos Rancheros 8

Also add in one can of unsalted diced tomatoes. Using unsalted diced tomatoes instead of flavored ones allows you to control the sodium levels in your dish. Since I used the bacon, I didn’t add any other salt to the dish. Next add in a few tablespoons of your favorite salsa and/or hot sauce. Stir well to combine.

Huevos Rancheros 10

Scoop several generous spoonfuls of the bean mixture into each cup. You want them to be filled about three-quarters of the way. Crack one egg into each cup. Into the oven they go! Bake for about six minutes until the eggs just start to set around the edges.

Huevos Rancheros 11

Pull them out of the oven and top with non-dairy cheddar cheese. Daiya is the brand of choice in our house, but feel free to use what you have. Of course, if you are not dairy free, cheddar or monterey jack cheese would work well here. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and back into the oven they go.

Huevos Rancheros 12

Eight minutes or so later, the edges of the tortillas are nicely browned and the eggs are cooked through. Adjust the time based on how you prefer your eggs. For very loose yolks six to seven minutes would work. For harder yolks, let them go nine to ten minutes.

Huevos Rancheros 13

Be very careful with this next step! Lift the individual cups out onto your plate. They will be hot! Also, you do not want to break them. Top with a small amount of dairy free sour cream. Of course, regular sour cream would work as well. I served them along side the leftover bean filling today. No need to let all that yumminess go to waste!


Cauliflower Skillet

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So….we just had this for dinner tonight and enjoyed it so much I couldn’t wait to share it!! This recipe started as a Cooking Light Best Low-Fat Main Dishes recipe (They called it Baked Italian-Style Cauliflower) and I adapted it to make it dairy free and spice it up a little. Thanks to Cooking Light for the inspiration!

I started by heating my eleven inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat on the stove top. While it was heating, I chopped one large yellow onion and two shallots. Also, peel four cloves of garlic. A tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil goes into the skillet, and once it is warm add the onion and shallot. Saute until they begin to get tender, three to four minutes. Using a garlic press, add in the garlic and saute another minute or so.

While the veggies are sauteing, cut one large head of cauliflower into florets. I used my dutch oven, with a steamer insert to steam the cauliflower until fork tender. About six minutes. We like our veggies on the crisp side. If you like them softer, steam a little longer.

Next add eight ounces of lean ground sirloin into the skillet with the onion, shallots and garlic. This could very easily be made Vegan by just eliminating the sirloin. Season well with fresh ground sea salt, black peppers and crushed red pepper flakes (I deviated from their quarter teaspoon to at least one teaspoon maybe even two). For the first few minutes, leave the beef alone so that it caramalizes nicely. Then stir to crumble. Allow the beef to brown well, ten minutes or so.

Once the beef is browned nicely and seasoned well, add in four ounces of rough chopped kalamata olives and twelve ounces of marinara sauce. I would reduce the sauce to eight ounces if you left out the sirloin. Stir well to combine and turn down the heat. Simmer over medium-low.

In the meantime, preheat the broiler in the oven to high.

By now, the cauliflower should be steamed nicely. Transfer the cauliflower into the skillet and mix carefully to combine well. Make sure that the cauliflower is nicely coated with the sauce mixture.

Sprinkle a half-cup each of panko and nutritional yeast that have been combined over top, and put under the broiler until browned. Keep any eye on it so it doesn’t get overbrowned, approximately four minutes. By this point my house smelled fabulous and I couldn’t wait to eat!!


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