Wednesday, September 12, 2012
southwest eggs and potatoes
I was blessed to attend school in beautiful Blacksburg, VA (go Hokies!!) for 2+ years. If you've never been to the area, let me paint you the picture. Nestled between the breath-taking Blue Ridge Mountains, this close-knit college community - proudly blanketed in all-things orange and maroon - just may boast the finest combination of endless university energy, homespun family values...and unique hippie flair. Resilient in the face of outstanding tragedies and unstoppable on the football field - there's nowhere else on Earth like it.
What truly gives Blacksburg a part of my heart, though, are the friendships and memories that are forever associated with it in my mind. An epic fondue party...a stellar murder mystery dinner party....my first time shooting discs...a competitive gingerbread house challenge...popcorn-and-a-movie-nights...a hiking trip that ended in a lightening storm...themed dinners...and countless s'mores and Taboo games - those years were filled with the very best of times with the very best of friends.
One of my most beloved memories? Brunch at Gillies. A town favorite and a personal obsession, their food is local, fresh, and just plain amazing. My personal favorite? Their multigrain pancakes...oh.my.lanta. (Full House, anyone?) That being said, I always looked with envy at my friends' plates whenever they would order their egg and potato specials - topped with cheese and/or salsa depending on the preference. My solution? Make this oh-so-yummy-but-ridiculously-simple dish at home. Delicious breakfast AND a palatable reminder of dear memories?? That's definitely a winner in my book...a Hokie win!
Southwest Eggs and Potatoes
Yield 1 serving. Multiply as needed.
2 small or 1 medium red potato(es), scrubbed free of dirt
1/4 medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 tbsp milk
1/3 cup cheese, divided (I love Trader Joe's Jalapeno Monterey Jack Cheese, but many different types of cheese would work)
extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup salsa, slightly warmed in the microwave or on the stove top
1/4 avocado, cut into long strips (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced (optional)
Pierce the potatoes with a knife a few times and microwave on high until cooked through, 2-4 minutes depending on size. Carefully move to a cutting board and allow to cool for 1-2 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, scramble the eggs and milk and a dash of salt and pepper. Stir in 1/4 cup of the cheese. Set aside.
Cut the potatoes into bite-size chunks. Then, in a medium-sized pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and potatoes and simmer until the onions are soft and the potatoes are golden brown, stirring every so often. Salt and pepper to taste. Move the mixture to a plate, and, in the same pan, add the eggs and quickly stir to scramble them as they cook, 30-60 seconds.
Once finished, distribute the eggs over the potato-onion mixture. Quickly top with the remaining cheese and then the salsa. Sprinkle the cilantro over the top and add a side of avocado, if using. Salt and pepper to taste.
Inspired by Gillies