Sunday, March 20, 2011

Southwestern Veggie Skillet

I love eating a huge breakfast from a cast-iron skillet. It reminds me of the Short Stop, a funky little train-car diner where we used to get all kinds of fattening, greasy and terrible-for-you foods when we were kids. Many of these foods were served directly in their own iron skillet, so you didn't miss out on a bit of that saturated fat. My version is actually quite good for you (although it's a little higher in fat than something I would eat on a daily basis, it's the good fat, so I suggest you loosen up, particularly if it's Sunday morning), especially when served with a side of Irish steel cut oats cooked with maple syrup, blueberries and strawberries. If I had a cute little diner of my own, I would cook this delicious skillet of breakfasty, potato-ey goodness while back-talking sassily to my customers, chewing gum and wearing a fabulous beehive hairdo with a pencil stuck in it and a paper hat, like Chrissie Hynde in the Brass in Pocket video. But you can feel free to just wear your pajamas.

3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
10 oz. fingerling potatoes, sliced into rounds
1 large onion, halved and sliced
6 oz. button mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 medium zucchini, seeded and diced
2 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts divided
1 cup diced tomato
1 avocado, diced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
hot sauce

Heat your cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, and add potatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add onions, mushrooms and smoked paprika, season with salt and freshly ground pepper, and cook 5 minutes more. Stir frequently, but not too frequently. You want everything to brown.

When it's all getting nice and brown and delicious-smelling, toss in your zucchini, the white parts of the scallions, and the tomatoes. Cook until the zucchini begins to turn golden brown, about 4 more minutes.

Remove from heat, and top with sliced avocado, green parts of the scallions and cilantro. Serve with lots of hot sauce.

Note: You can certainly fancy this simple recipe up in many ways. If you have a nice chile lying around, say a poblano or a jalapeno or whatever, chop that up and add it with the mushrooms and onion. If you wanted to throw some of that nice, melty tapioca cheese on top and run it under the broiler for a minute before adding the avocado, green onions and cilantro, I won't argue with you. Tofu sour cream and/or whatever kind of salsa you have lying around, like maybe some black bean salsa, would be nice. But sometimes simplicity is the thing, and you really don't need any of this stuff. And finally, if you are like my friend Danya, and you eat like a bad-ass paleo cave woman, then you can replace the fingerlings with some diced, blanched sweetpotato.


krupka said...

This was delicious!!

Anonymous said...

so glad you're posting recipes again! missed ya' :-)