Bacon, Egg, and Alouette Sandwich

Monday nights are rough, ok?

Look, I’m not going to pretend that I love Mondays or Monday nights. I’m tired, we go back to work/school, and by the time I walk through the door all I want is a glass of wine and a corkscrew lobotomy.

Monday also means I’ve likely not hit the store in a week and will forget to put in a pickup order until the only available time is 8 pm. We all suffer for my lack of organization, but the Biggin suffers the most. You’ve never heard of a child more tortured and abused than this child that has to eat breakfast for dinner. My GOD, can you imagine the horror?

He doesn’t like bacon, and this bread is weird, and only the eggs are edible.

I do make perfect fried eggs.

A Sort of Sandwich, for one:

  • 2 slices of thick cut bacon
  • 1 egg
  • Alouette Garlic and Herbs spreadable cheese
  • Fresh baby spinach
  • A hunk of baguette, sliced in half

Over-Roasted Brussels Sprouts:

  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, ends nipped and sliced in half
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Ranch seasoning from a packet mix, we’ll say 1 tsp

I like to cut my slices of bacon in half. They fit in the frying pan better and cook more evenly. I also prefer my bacon sort of floppy and half cooked. To each their own.

I obviously cooked enough bacon for 4 people and then used the whole pan of grease for my eggs. Fried eggs aren’t good in butter, don’t use butter, use grease. Salt and pepper your eggs, we aren’t animals.

If you’ve always been too much of a snob to try Alouette spreadable cheese, then I’m here to take you down a peg or three. It’s delicious. LSH and I occasionally eat nothing but some hunks of baguette with the Garlic and Herbs cheese for dinner. It’s perfect when the kids are away for a night and nobody wants to wash a pan.

The Brussels sprouts go into the air fryer for 8 minutes at 400. These sprouts are over-roasted, not oven-roasted. The outer layer gets completely browned and the ranch seasoning gives them a little kick.

You don’t have to make elaborate meals every night of the week, but you also don’t have to eat the same boring thing over and over. There is always enough in my pantry and refrigerator to put something interesting together in 15-20 minutes. The kids might complain, but who told them they were allowed opinions? Not me.

– Lin

Teppanyaki Steak & Fried Rice

Griddled goodness.

We use our Blackstone Griddle twice a week, at least. I talked the Husband into buying us one before the Great Ice Storm of 2021™️ blew in. We luckily didn’t lose power, but I spent a lot of time outside making fried rice just to get away from everyone. I have perfected this stuff, and it’s GOOD.

This griddle is uhhmazing and Im obsessed with it. I think that it’s the best cooking appliance I’ve picked up so far, and I have A LOT of cooking appliances. You can cook breakfast, lunch, or dinner on a single flat surface for a crowd, and then scrape it clean in under a minute. Cleanup is extra easy since they make these little aluminum pans that fit into the drip tray.

True genius.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs sirloin steak
  • 6 tbsp butter, divided
  • 4 large eggs
  • Salt
  • Garlic Pepper
  • Yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cups of jasmine rice, cooked and cooled
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Heat your griddle over medium high on your left side and medium to medium low on your right side. Put down 2 tablespoons of butter on the cooler side and start your chopped onion to softening. Season with salt and pepper blend. You’ll want to use griddle spatulas and a scraper so you can pretend you’re at a Japanese teppanyaki restaurant while you poorly flip the onions around. The kids won’t be impressed, but you’ll feel accomplished.

Note: I season every new ingredient dropped on the griddle with salt and garlic pepper for this meal. Lawry’s makes a great garlic pepper blend that’s easy to find, but I’m currently using Penzey’s Florida pepper mix because it’s good on literally everything and I’m addicted.

Get yourself one of those cute condiment squeeze bottles for your avocado oil and lay a few lines across the hot side of the griddle. Drop your sirloins on when the oil heats and season them up.

The onions should be quickly softening and browning by now so add your rice into the pile and spread it out with your spatula. Season with salt and pepper mix, and add 2 tablespoons of butter to melt in. Shake 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil across the rice (the sesame oil is super fragrant so go easy). Mix the rice up well and let it sit to crisp up.

Squirt a little oil down for the eggs and crack them onto the griddle. Salt and pepper them and let them cook up sunny-side. Check your steaks and flip them if they are ready for it, and season the other side of your meat. Your eggs should be almost ready at this point (I like my yolks jammy) and you can slide them on top of the rice mix. Use your spatula to start chopping the eggs into the rice and mixing everything up. When the eggs are finished cooking and the rice seems crispy, scrape it all into a large bowl.

Grab a knife and slice the sirloins into small pieces on the griddle. Add the last two tablespoons of soy sauce and butter. Do that fun double spatula thing with the sirloin and flip everything around to mix it up. Add to the top of your rice and dish it all out.

The kids go nuts for fried rice and while I don’t use a lot of extra veggies in mine, they’re at the very least getting some extra protein from the eggs. If I have enough wine next week I’ll have LSH record me “showing off” my griddle fried rice and spatula skills.

-Lin

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Peak Cajun Cookery.

Gumbo is the state cuisine of Louisiana, a tradition for thousands of southern families, and something to throw punches over if someone tries to add trash ingredients to your mix.

Okra, filé powder, tomato, eggs, and roux. These are important choices that can shatter a southern family if one member goes rogue and starts throwing sacrilegious items into the pot. We don’t use okra or tomato in ours, and my dad is the only family member that adds filé in his bowl. We’ve argued over scratch roux vs. jarred and just what is it about eggs that makes dropping some into a simmering pot of gumbo transform it into the best thing you’ve ever eaten.

My dad has been perfecting his recipe for gumbo for most of my life and we’ve attempted to bully him into competing several times. Gumbo technique is sacred (even in SETX) and I had to bully him into giving me his recipe with several compliments and the help of a heathen brew that consists of cheap gin and Black Cherry White Claw (still not sponsored).

We don’t do gumbo by halves, we spend an entire weekend working it up. Gumbo is best started on Saturday afternoon with a home stock made with two fryer chickens and some limp veg you probably happen to have in your crisper.

This is more important than scratch roux. I said what I said.

You’ll need a big stock pot (people are going to exhaust you with their Magnalite chatter, but it’s not necessary to have one), two fryer chickens ready to go in the pot (clean them up and remove the nasty bits), carrots, celery, garlic cloves, an onion, black pepper, and I usually toss some bay leaves in. Cover your chicken with water and turn it up.

Let everything simmer for 3-4 hours (pull the chickens with tongs and shred them around an hour in) and skim the foam as necessary. Strain the stock and cool in your fridge overnight and skim the grease from the top the next morning. This is a clean gumbo and you shouldn’t have heartburn, even after eating three bowls.

Gumbo Ingredients:

  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs. You’ll also use that chicken meat you pulled from your stock carcasses, so please don’t do anything insane like toss it out.
  • 4 packs of smoked sausage. We prefer Beasley’s as it’s local, delicious, and they make a bomb green onion and jalapeño mix.
  • 2 – 16 oz. jars of Doguet’s roux. Here’s the thing, scratch roux is cool, but we already spent a ton of time making stock and scratch roux tastes exactly like jarred.
  • 5 big yellow onions
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 5 stalks of celery, plus their leaves
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • White pepper
  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Dried parsley
  • Accent flavor enhancer. Just a couple of shakes of msg, it won’t kill you… probably.
  • 3 bunches of green onions
  • 18 pack of eggs
  • 3 qts. Beef broth

Get your perfect, grease free chicken stock out and get your pot started on coming up to a hard simmer. Add your extra beef broth and roux, start with melting in one jar and then spooning in more from the second jar as you taste. Some people prefer really dark and bitter gumbo and others want it lighter. You’ll know when you’ve gone too far because you’ll have to break out a can or two of beef stock you luckily keep on hand to thin it.

Season up your soup base with some salt, parsley, the garlic and onion powders, and your ground peppers. Be careful with the ground peppers and start small. 1/2 teaspoon each of the black and white and 1/4 teaspoon of the cayenne and then taste before adding more. We’re going to doctor the seasonings again later, so don’t panic and pour in an entire jar of salt. Pour yourself a drink and calm down.

Slice your ridiculous amount of sausage into thin rounds and lightly brown it all and drain on paper towels. You’re not charring this stuff, so pay attention and don’t get distracted while fixing another drink. You just want to degrease the sausage a bit and get a little brown color on it. This is not a guideline, if you overdo the browning and end up with charred sausage chunks, you’re gonna have a bad time.

Chop your bell peppers, onion, and celery. Add your veg to the pot and let it simmer for an hour, stirring whenever you come inside to refresh your bev.

Pull out the boneless skinless thighs and toss them into the pot and add your browned sausage as well. I usually hold off until right before egg poaching time to add the rescued stock meat as it’s already pretty broken down. Let your gumbo simmer for about 25 minutes. Your chicken thighs should start to shred on their own when you poke them with the ladle.

A watched pot never simmers, so take this time to finely chop your mountain of green onions. We like to add the onion whites to the pot right as we chop to give them a chance to soften. Save your chopped green ends until you notice your chicken is shredding. Toss in the green onions, the shredded stock chicken, and start adjusting your seasonings. Add more white/black pepper if you need it, but be careful with the cayenne. You might need more salt at this stage, but the sausage likely took care of the sodium levels. This is also the time to do a quick trinity blessing over your gumbo and shake in that Accent while nobody is watching.

Carefully crack all 18 eggs into the pot and let the whole thing simmer right under a boil until the eggs are poached through. Serve over rice, or potato salad if you’re weird.

It’s perfection.

My dad seriously makes the best gumbo. It’s so effing good that we call him The Rouxster as a joke when we try to bully him into entering a cook-off. I forced my husband to doodle the below picture for The Rouxster last week while I tried to talk him into letting me post his secret recipe. I like to think it’s the only reason he agreed, but it was probably the flattery and poorly mixed drinks.

– Lin

The Rouxster at work.

Hangover Breakfast Skillet

Bota doesn’t make a sparkling as far as know, but when you find a bottle of cheap Prosecco in the back of your fridge you squeeze fresh orange juice and eat a French baguette and expensive cheese for dinner.

Hangover Skillet Ingredients:

3 eggs, spend more on the cage-free. They don’t taste better, it’s just more kind to the chickens.
Handful of fresh spinach
A bit of diced onion
Couple of mushrooms, sliced
Chicken apple sausage, sliced
Salt
Pepper
Enough butter to fry the onions up until the smell cures your hangover

Brown your Sausage first, then veggies (onions, then mushrooms, then spinach to wilt), then do the eggs. Don’t shove them around the pan too much or they’ll be gritty and disgusting. Let them set a bit and caress them gently around the pan. Fold everything else in. Drink coffee spiked with Bailey’s to round out your morning.

We don’t “do” plating.

My younger son, The Puppy, ate this like he hadn’t seen food in days. We polished it off together before Darling Husband and The Biggin woke up.

Cheers, Lin