|Eggs and tomato sauce, a slightly strange but delicious breakfast|
I'm sorry this post is a little late this morning. Last night I went down the street to a friend's birthday cookout, promising myself I'd be in bed by 11 ready to get up at 7 and work my tail off today. I put a lot of things on my to-do list yesterday evening. In order of priority, today's tasks were:
1. Work work - not gonna go into detail because y'all don't wanna hear about that. But there's a lot of it today.
2. Cook and write today's Friday Breakfast post
3. Housework - mainly cleaning the kitchen, which is disgusting right now. Whitney and I are having dinner guests tonight, so this absolutely must get done.
3. Grocery store - see above, must get done. Unless my guests want to eat Tasty Bite lentils or eggs.
4. Long run - it's 68 and sunny, sunny, SUNNY! For pure utility, I almost put this last, but I think I need it for my sanity.
5. Laundry - bane of my existence.
Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans. I stayed out till 1 and slept till 7:30. When I woke up, the only thing I wanted was coffee, so I just got straight to work. I know you all were sad when, after spending the first thirty minutes of work reading and replying to emails, rearranging stacks of paper on your desks, and making the trip down to Starbucks, you return to your computer and see none of the following things:
1. the 40-day vegetarian (1) in your Google Reader
2. my face on your Facebook newsfeed (by the way, the status messages will promptly cease when this blog goes kaput).
3. a tinyurl from me on your twitter feed (unlike Facebook status updates, these will certainly not cease).
4. no breakfast post on www.the40dayvegetarian.blogspot.com (although per the stats, it looks like very few people access my blog this way).
Can you tell I'm in an anal-retentive, list-making mood today? Sincerest apologies.
But back to the matter at hand. It's Friday....I'm working from home....FRIDAY BREAKFAST! I can't believe this is my fifth breakfast post!
Too bad the only thing I wanted this morning was coffee. So I put on a very large pot of coffee, put in some laundry, and turned on my computer. Alright, #1 and #5 in progress! When my appetite finally came around, I really wanted some runny, over easy eggs, and a side of crispy toast to soak up all the goodness. But I knew that I had to give you something interesting since I was late with the post today. I don't have much in my fridge (see #3), but I do have a can of tomato paste leftover from that chickpea nightmare/dream come true (I still am going back and forth as to whether it was a success or failure), so I want to use that at some point before it goes bad. (I absolutely despise wasting food, or letting it go bad and having to throw it out.)
I also felt a weird nostalgia for Spain this morning. I get this every once in a while, and because I can't afford to buy an $800 plane ticket every time I feel the urge, I normally just look at old pictures from my time there and ressurect an email chain with my amigas Valencianas (+ Jason) full of references to Cacao Sampaka, botellons in Plaza de la Virgen, and our Valencian frenemy, a weird dude named Fade. When I really miss Valencia, I make Spanish food. Normally this is tortilla espanola or dates wrapped in jamon iberico. I tried making paella once but it was so bad I almost cried. (It was good, but nothing like what I had there. Something in the water...)
My madre cooked the most delicious Spanish food, but sometimes she got lazy and we would have huevos for dinner, one way or another. One of my favorite lazy meals was arroz a la cubana, a 15-minute dish of boiled white rice and an over easy egg (or two), topped with tomato sauce. I know it sounds gross, but mixing it all up together is so. freaking. tasty. The first time I ate it though, I gagged a little. It was the weirdest mixture of flavors and textures. But a few bites in, I discovered that it all really works together, and made up my mind to lick the plate clean, if necessary. Like I've said before, don't knock it till ya try it (twice).
I could have subbed grits in for the rice to make it a morning-appropriate dish (yes, I know tons of people around the world eat rice for breakfast), but I just decided to leave it all out and dip a crusty piece of sourdough (thank you, Whitney) in on the side. So it's really not arroz a la cubana, but I knew it would work because I remember seeing similar dishes here and here. I made the tomato sauce from the tomato paste I had, but canned tomato/pasta sauce would work just fine. (I made this sauce all by myself, and it was pretty good, but if anyone has any suggestions to making a great tomato sauce from tomato paste, please let me know!) I ate the final product directly out of the cast iron skillet (Sorry Mom, I know you must be cringing.)
Arroz a la cubana-inspired Eggs in Tomato Sauce
2 tablespoons onion, chopped finely
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic (about one clove)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3-4 tablespoons water (1/4 cup or a little under)
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon basil
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Heat a bit of olive oil (just a teaspoon or two) in a small skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and garlic and salt and pepper. Saute until onions are translucent.
2. Add tomato paste, 3 tablespoons water, Italian seasoning, basil, and S&P, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the paste. Cut heat down to low. Let simmer 7-10 minutes. Adjust seasoning and add an additional tablespoon of water if necessary.
3. Make a well in the sauce in the center of the pan. The hole should be small, but large enough to fit an egg in. This is done by pushing the sauce to the sides of the pan. (The recipe doesn't make a whole lot of sauce, but it does make enough to cover the bottom of the pan.)
4. Carefully crack an egg into the hole. Turn heat up to medium-low, cover, and let cook a few minutes until egg has reached desired consistency. (I cooked mine about 5 minutes, and it was still runny, but a little too done for me.)
5. Eat it out of the skillet or transfer to a plate.
Have a good weekend, everybody. Next week will be my last on the blog, and I'm not even sure if it's going to be a full week, as I'm going home on Thursday night and headed to the beach cottage, sans internet, early Friday. Will keep y'all updated!