Breakfast

Easy Egg & Pepper Sandwich

Life has been pretty uneventful for the Starving Artist of late, what with the broken leg and all. As a result I've got very little to share, other than this amazingly simple and delicious Egg & Pepper Sandwich. It's been my go to comfort food the last few weeks, and I think you'll like it too.

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Ingredients

  • 2 Ciabatta rolls
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • Fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 garlic clove minced

Directions

  1. Toast the Ciabatta buns if desired, then cut the bell peppers and onion into strips and set aside.
  2. Next, crack the eggs in a mixing bowl, then add the Romano cheese, salt, pepper, and basil, then whisk.
  3. Now, heat a nonstick pan on the stove over medium heat. Add the oil, peppers, and onions, and cook until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and remove from heat.
  4. Finally, add the egg mixture to the pan and return to the heat. Lightly scramble, fold, then serve on your Ciabatta rolls.

Bangers & Mash

The Starving Artist is now 50 years old, and he still smirks every time he says "Bangers and Mash." I first encountered this dish in the late 90's while on a business trip to London. It was a dream trip. Shakespeare at The Globe Theatre, waving to the Queen on her birthday, a full day at the Tate Museum of Modern Art, and a photo with a statue of Lord Baden Powell – the founder of the Boy Scouts. As a side note, I did do a little business. But the highlight of the trip was bangers and mash. It's true, stick-to-your-ribs comfort food, and it's stuck to me since the first plate I had. It's my fondest memory of England and it's practical, orderly lifestyle. You can't improve on the flavor, but I swear England, you can improve on the name.

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon oil
  • 8 sausages of choice
  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Peas

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the sausages and cook, turning, until browned as much as possible, and cooked through. Cook time will differ depending on sausage size. Mine take around 8 minutes. Remove sausages onto a plate, then turn the heat down to medium.
  2. If all is going well, you'll have about 2 tablespoons of fatty oil left in the skillet. If you have less, add a bit of butter or oil, then add onion and garlic, and cook until golden brown – around 4 minutes.
  3. Now, add the flour and mix, then add about 3/4 cup of beef broth, mixing into the onions so it becomes a sludge. Once sludgy, add the remaining beef broth and mix until combined.
  4. Simmer, stirring, until the gravy thickens but is slightly thinner than you want – it will thicken more as you serve it. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve sausages and onions with plenty of gravy over mashed potato, with peas on the side.

Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch Cookies

Someone once told me that the sound Rice Krispies make is actually Morse code for "grow the hell up and make an omelette." These days, I've pretty much given up breakfast cereals and embraced a "coffee for breakfast" lifestyle, and I'm way too lazy to make an omelette at 6:00 a.m. But on rare occasions – especially during the holidays – I develop a sweet tooth, and start craving sugar in the morning. Since I'll never put sugar in my coffee, these Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch Cookies are my solution.

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Ingredients

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour (sift before measuring)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 & 1/2 cups Cap’n Crunch cereal

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix brown sugar with butter and whisk to combine, the add the peanut butter and whisk until well mixed. Whisk in the egg and the additional yolk, one at a time, then whisk in the vanilla. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
  4. Next, add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture, mixing until just combined. Add cereal, mixing until evenly distributed. Be careful not to overmix or overcrush cereal. Refrigerate dough for at least 20 minutes.
  5. While your dough chills, preheat oven to 325 degrees, with racks in lower and upper thirds. Line two half-sheet baking pans with parchment paper. Form the dough into balls about the size of whole walnuts. Roll each in the cinnamon sugar mixture before placing 2 inches apart on baking sheets.
  6. Finally, bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until edges are light brown and centers are still soft; don’t overbake. Immediately transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Let cool before serving.

Freezer Breakfast Burritos

It's said breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so maybe that's why most of my days start off in a ditch. I rarely eat breakfast. But in the immortal words of Bob Dylan, "the times, they are a change'n." Don't get me wrong, I'm still the same starving artist who's barely motivated enough to make a cup of coffee in the morning, but I do occasionally plan ahead, and that's what I've done here by cooking late night, when I'm all hopped up on wine and the excitement of a print that's coming along nicely. Now, and for the rest of the week, all I have to do is crawl out of bed, pull a burrito from the freezer, and pop it in the oven. By the time I'm out of the shower and dressed, I can pretend a cute redhead made me breakfast.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups frozen tater tots
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 links breakfast sausage, casings removed
  • 8 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (16-ounce) can refried beans
  • 8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. Cook tater tots according to package instructions, then set aside.
  3. Now, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks. Drain the excess fat, reserving 1 tablespoon in the skillet.
  4. Next, add the eggs to the skillet and cook, whisking, until they just begin to set. Gently whisk in the half and half, and season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until thickened and no visible liquid egg remains, about 3-5 minutes, then set aside.
  5. Finally, spread beans down centers of the tortillas, then top with tater tots, sausage, eggs, cheeses, tomatoes, and cilantro. Fold in opposite sides of each tortilla, then roll up, burrito-style. Place, seam sides down, onto the prepared baking sheet, cover with foil, and bake until heated through, about 12-15 minutes.
  6. Serve immediately, or like your favorite starving artist, wrap each burrito in aluminum foil and toss in the freezer
  7. To reheat, either microwave for 4-6 minutes, turning halfway, or bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Chorizo y Papas Breakfast Burger

Oh, of course you're a vegan. That's no surprise, but you kept it to yourself longer than most. I've rarely met a vegan who didn't declare it before we finished shaking hands. Sorry, but the mere thought of that lifestyle has me dreaming of steak. No meat – and thus no burgers – is bad enough, but seriously. No sausage? No eggs? No cheese? No milk on my cereal? Holy cow! What's your breakfast like? Let me tell you about mine. I just ate an amazing Chorizo Breakfast Burger. Ground beef and chorizo mixed to form a deliciously grilled patty, topped with hash browns, a fried egg, cheese, and a nice spicy mayo. Every non-vegan food group was well represented, and I loved every single bite. Sorry I can't share with you. I'd offer you a tofu lettuce wrap with sustainably grown and locally sourced sprouts, but that's crazy. Just like the flavors in my breakfast.

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound fresh Mexican chorizo
  • 1/2 pound 90% lean ground beef
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup packaged shredded potato hash browns
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 slices pepper jack cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns, lightly toasted, for serving
  • Bibb lettuce, for serving
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and thinly sliced, for serving
  • 4 fried eggs, for serving

Directions

  1. Mix together the chorizo and ground beef with your hands until combined.Divide into four patties about 1" thick.Combine mayonnaise, hot sauce, lime juice, salt, and pepper, and set aside
  2. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.Divide the potatoes into fourths, and roll into a ball.Press each ball down in the pan into patty shape and cook, about 6 minutes per side, until brown and crispy.Transfer to paper towels to drain.
  3. Add another two tablespoons of oil to the skillet.Cook the patties, flipping once, until cooked to desired doneness, about 12 minutes for medium rare.Place 1 of slice cheese over each burger and cook until the cheese is melted, about 1-2 minutes more.Serve on hamburger buns with spicy mayonnaise, hash brown patties, lettuce, and sliced avocado.Top each burger with a fried egg just before serving.