While it’s not every day I have the time to cook anything fancy at breakfast, sometimes Sundays afford me the luxury of brunch at home. This recipe is really tasty and if you’re having company it’s impressive AND easy to make.
The Great Plains Omelet
Serves: 2 to 4
6 slices Canadian bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces—(I used the vegetarian kind which works just as well!)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup (about 1) Yukon Gold potoatoes, diced
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds & membrane removed, minced
5 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 scallions, chopped
4 ounces sharp cheddar, diced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Add butter to an 8-inch oven-proof sautee pan over Medium heat. Add the potatoes and onion. Cook until the onions start to brown and the potatoes is tender but firm, about 10 minutes. Tossing occassionally.
Add the jalapeno pepper and Canadian bacon, and cook for 60 seconds.
In a medium bowl beat the eggs, milk, salt and pepper together with a fork. Stir in the scallions and diced cheddar.
Pour the egg mixture over the potato. Place the pan in the oven until the eggs are almost cooked in the middle, about 20 minutes.
Serve hot directly from pan.
I love this recipe for a number of reasons but most of all it's because it is so simple to make. The crisp, bright green asparagus adds great contrast in both texture and colour. The mushroom-cheese sauce pools just perfectly in the pasta shells, creating little flavour pockets that burst every time you eat another mouthful. The pepperiness of the Boursin cheese reminds you that this isn’t your kids’ mac ‘n cheese—but still wraps you in the warm blanket that only comfort food can provide.
Pasta Shells with Baby Bella Mushrooms, Asparagus, and Boursin Sauce
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound baby bella mushrooms, sliced (alternately: use portobello mushrooms, stems removed, sliced)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
5 1/2 ounces pepper Boursin cheese
1 pound asparagus
3/4 pound medium pasta shells
In a large frying pan, melt the butter with the oil over Medium heat.
Add the mushrooms and salt, and cook until the mushrooms are tender and browned, about 8 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
Add the chicken broth and cheese and bring to a simmer while stirring.
Snap the ends off the asparagus and discard. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until almost done, about 6 minutes. Add the asparagus until both are done, about 4 minutes longer.
Drain. Toss with the mushroom-cheese sauce.
Hidden Valley Ranch recently introduced some new flavours into their already popular lineup of Ranch dressings. I had a chance to test out their Classic Cheese Ranch and Spicy Ranch dressings at home this week. Hidden Valley has always had a delicious and creamy ranch dressing and I was interested to see if they could carry that over into some new flavour profiles.
I thought a great way to try out these new dressings would be in one of my all-time favourite recipes: Southwestern Chopped Salad. I simply split all of the ingredients into two and made a tame version of the salad for the kids with the Classic Ranch Cheese dressing while opting for the more adventurous Spicy Ranch dressing for the adults. Dressings carry quite serious consideration in our household. If my kids like them it means they're eating more vegetables and choosing healthier snack options. If they don't like a dressing, there's no talking them into eating it...which in turn means there's no talking them into eating vegetables.
Well, the great thing is my kids loved the cheesy and creamy salad I made with the Classic Ranch Cheese dressing. My oldest, Emily, asked if she could have it with some vegetables for lunch the following day—definitely a two-thumbs up review. The Spicy Ranch that the adults ate has a great balance of both spicy and red peppers, making for a really zesty addition to our salad. A bit more of a grown-up version on a classic.
Southwestern Chopped Salad