Sunday, February 13, 2011

Brunch: Hash Browns, Scrambled Tofu and Green Chile Sauce

I love brunch- love, love, love brunch. A savored cup of tea, a great magazine, and a lingering morning to really enjoy your breakfast. Hash Browns could very well be my favorite food in the world, with fresh whipped cream coming in second place. But there is an art to making the perfect hash browns AND they must be crispy, fat free is just not an option. Served smothered in homemade green chile sauce and with my special recipe scrambled tofu, you've got all the protein and nutrient bases covered. I also included Vegetarian sausage, fresh avocado, tomato, cultured sour cream, and multigrain toast with this 'ultimate' breakfast extravaganza.

The Best Hash Browns
serves 2-3
2 medium whole Russet or Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 green onion minced
3T Olive oil, Safflower oil, or Coconut oil
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper

Steam potatoes for 10-15 minutes. Potatoes should not be overcooked, they should be slightly undercooked so that they can be grated with a cheesegrater without falling apart.
Heat a skillet over medium heat, add oil of choice to heat up as well. The best skillet is an Iron skillet. An iron skillet makes the crispiest potatoes- nothing compares.Teflon is just gross and toxic, and thin saute pans don't crisp the potatoes as well.
Grate potatoes with a cheese grater.
Add potatoes to heated oiled skillet in a thin layer. Top with green onions and add sea salt and pepper to taste. Cook until bottom of potatoes is crispy- about 5 minutes. Flip once and crisp the other side and cook until this side is crispy.
The trick with perfect hash browns is to let each side get fully cooked and crispy. Don't stir them or bother them at any time. Let them sit and do their crispy magic. They should only need to be flipped once.

serves 2-3
Tofu, is scary and incredibly foreign to many. It carries a certain health nut stigma with it that is hard to shake out of the mainstream headtrip. The key to tofu is in its' preparation. It is a very bland, yet adaptable food which soaks up neighboring flavors well. This recipe is a great introduction to the culinary greatness of the humble soybean curd called tofu. Try it- really- just try it!

1/2 a block of firm tofu, crumbled
1-2T Tamari (or soy sauce)
2 cloves garlic minced
2 cups fresh spinach chopped
2T nutritional yeast
2t curry powder or 1t tumeric powder

In a thick bottomed medium saucepan or skillet add all ingredients. Stir frequently while cooking over a medium low heat for 5 minutes. Scrambled tofu is ready when you smell the garlic aromas being released and the spinach is fully wilted. Swiss Chard or Kale can be substituted for the spinach.

Here in the Southwest, everyone claims to have the best green chile sauce. Green Chile is taken very, very seriously around here. This meatless version begins with a virgin coconut oil roux and uses fresh roasted green chiles. I am asked for this recipe constantly whenever I serve it at my farmers’ market booth. This recipe makes 8 cups of sauce, but can easily be halved to make 4 cups of sauce. I like to make the full batch and smother it on everything for days afterwards. Its’ that good!

In medium saucepan begin making the roux over medium low heat by sautéing the following ingredients:
½ cup Extra Virgin Coconut oil
1 carrot peeled and diced small
¼ cup minced yellow onions

When onions turn glossy, Add:
½ c. flour

Whisk together Roux until it thickens then gradually add 2 cups at time, allowing sauce to thicken slightly in between each addition:
6 cups Vegetable Stock

After all stock is added to sauce, stir in:
2 cups pureed or finely chopped fresh roasted green chiles (with all stems and peels removed) or 16oz frozen ‘Hatch’ chopped green chile defrosted
2t dried oregano
1t sea salt

Let sauce assimiliate on a simmer for 10 minutes. Then take off heat. Sauce is ready use.
It tastes great on enchiladas, tamales, burritos, or even as a salsa for chips to dip in. Enjoy!

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