On Tuesday night, I had made Mexican Stuffed Shells courtesy of You Are What You Eat or Reheat, and blogged about it. Apparently, though, my fiancé didn’t think I drove home the point of the true deliciousness. I mean, I’m not quite sure what else I can say. It’s meaty, cheesey, and delicious. It’s a nice variation from typical stuffed shells, and I really think it’s a fun alternative to a more “common” dish. Now don’t get me wrong, good ole Italian stuffed shells are delicious as well. But if there’s anything you know about me from this blog, it’s my love for Mexican/Spanish food. So seriously, you need to make these. Now.
In keeping with the Mexican/Spanish food trend, I decided to make a Santa Fe Breakfast Bake for dinner on Thursday. Yes, breakfast for dinner! Growing up I was never a big breakfast fan. My parents would coax me into eating dessert for breakfast, just in order to get something in my system before school. That meant a Little Debbie brownie, an Entemann’s chocolate eclair, chocolate milk, etc. I would only eat pancakes if they were filled with chocolate chips, waffles were used for ice cream sandwiches, and you could forget about eggs. Come college, though, I discovered the wonderful world of brunch – veggie stuffed omlettes, fried and over-easy eggs with cheese on bagels, hash browns, and all those other fun (and filling, aka bad for you) breakfast deliciousness. My fiancé is a huge breakfast fan, and he’s really added to my tolerance for it. I definitely need to be in the mood for breakfast, but I’ll at least give it a shot, without it being coated in chocolate.
So, when I found this recipe on Sweetly Serendipity’s blog, I immediately added it to my to-make list. While there was an egg recall, thankfully the eggs that I bought were okay. So I figured it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take advantage of my a-o-k eggs. Of course, being the spice fiend that I am, I added not one, but two diced habanero peppers to this dish. Oh yes, it was spicy. I also got a package of spicy Bob Evans breakfast sausage, since, you know, you aren’t doing it right unless your gut and mouth are on fire.
Earlier in the day I double checked the recipe to see how much time I’d be spending in the kitchen. It’s only then that I saw the dreaded words “chill overnight.” Whoops! That definitely didn’t happen. I’m always afraid when I’m making an egg dish they won’t be fully cooked. So, I left them in the oven for about 5-10 minutes longer than suggested, and it turned out perfectly! Unfortunately, that pushed our dinner time to about 9:45pm. We ran 8 miles after work, and then by the time we got home (there was some traffic from Rutgers’ first football game) and I started with everything and it cooked, we were finishing up just in time to watch Jersey Shore.
Speaking of running, my fiance and I are officially signed up for the Disney Half Marathon in January!! We’re both super psyched, but nervous. It conveniently falls right in the middle of an already planned vacation there with a group of friends, so we felt like we couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I’m not looking forward to starting a race at 5:50am, but it’ll be cool to run through Epcot and Magic Kingdom. I’m hoping to have a pair of compression socks by then, so I can at least enjoy the rest of the trip! We’re doing our own training plan this time around, upping the mileage a bit, and starting earlier to make sure it’s as easy of a run for us as it can be. Once we get back, we’ll have a little break and then it’ll be time to gear up for the second annual Rutgers Unite Half Marathon!
But back to my breakfasty dinner. This thing was awesome. It called for 8 tortillas, but I think I only probably wound up using 2-3 burrito sized tortillas. The recipe suggest to use corn tortillas, and I would definitely agree. I used your average Chi-Chi brand torillas, and while they were delicious, they were a bit soggy after cooking. Of course, for me, adding the spicy sausage and habaneros brought it to another level that was greately appreciated by both myself and my fiancé. Aside from those minor tweaks I stuck to the recipe, and we have lots of leftovers! So much that we each brought a big portion for breakfast at work on Friday, and will probably have it for breakfast on Saturday morning as well. Since it suggests you chill over night, I think this would be a really great dish to have for a brunch, etc. You’re able to prepare it the night before, so you can focus your attention on the things that need to be made the day of instead. I can picture this working really well with some veggie sausage as well.
Santa Fe Breakfast Bake
– Serves 4-6 –
1 pound pork sausage
1 cup salsa
1 cup canned black beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
8 corn or flour tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips
1 cup shredded mexican-style cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
2 egg whites, beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
Sour cream, guacamole, salsa (all optional, but recommended!)
1. Brown sausage in a large pan, and drain grease, if any. Combine salsa, sausage, beans, and corn, and set aside.
2. Place one-third of tortilla strips in a lightly greased 11×7 baking dish.
3. Top with 1/3 cup cheese and one cup salsa mixture. Repeat layering with one-third of tortilla strips, 1/3 cup cheese and remaining salsa mixture, ending with remaining tortilla strips.
4. Whisk together remaining ingredients except green onions. Pour egg mixture over tortilla strips; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover with foil and chill overnight.
5. The next morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove dish from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
6. Keep covered and bake for 20 minutes. Then, uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes or so until the top is lightly golden.
7. Serve with salsa, sour cream, and/or guacamole, and some scallions for garnish.