Thursday, April 14, 2011

Breakfast: It's not just for breakfast anymore. (Updated)


Sometimes it can be the soup of the day.

The other day at work, I was trying to think of some sort of new soup I could come up with to possibly do for the soup of the day. They already have a bunch of decent recipes, but sometimes you just want something different. Plus, I just like being able to play around with food, especially when I'm not the one buying it. So, out of the blue an idea popped into my head for some sort of 'breakfast' soup- the original idea involved hash browns (with bacon, onion, and green pepper) eggs, biscuits (or pancakes) and maybe a touch of maple syrup to finish things off. Then I was thinking maybe skip the maple syrup and use salsa instead- sort of a southwestern feel to it or something. I'll admit, at first glance they both sound a little weird, but that's how new, great recipes are made: you play around with your food and do weird stuff to it. Mix flavors that you wouldn't necessarily think would go good together (soup/breakfast). So anyway, today I made a small test batch, and ended up skipping both the salsa and the maple syrup (though I'll probably try them both out later when I make more). And the result? It was excellent! I was actually kind of surprised. It sounded pretty good in theory, but when I actually started making it, I got a little nervous. Then again, since I was at work, using work's ingredients, I didn't really care.

Naturally I don't have a recipe, but thankfully I made a small enough amount today that I was able to somewhat keep track of what went in it. No photos, either, but I'm hoping to get one or two when I make a larger batch next week. Here's the rundown-

2 medium baked potatoes
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 green bell pepper
1/2 a large onion
5 strips of bacon, diced
3 cheddar biscuits
3-4 slices of American cheese (y'know, to class things up)

(the following amounts are approximate)

1 Tbs garlic powder (I prefer granulated, but restaurants seem to like the powdered stuff better for some reason)
1 Tbs black pepper
1 Tbs dried thyme
2 Tbs Cholula hot sauce
2 qts chicken stock

Fry up the bacon in a large soup pot until it's mostly done. Add in the pepper and onion (diced, or whatever) and cook for a few minutes more. Add the eggs and scramble it all up. When that's ready, toss in your spices and Cholula. (This is probably a good time to add the cheese, too, even though I waited until after I added the chicken stock). Mix all of that up good and then add the chicken stock, and the baked potatoes and biscuits (just coarsely crumbled with your hands. Leave the skin on the potatoes, too; no need to make more work for yourself). Let it get hot and simmer for a minute, then blast it a couple times with an immersion blender.

And that's how it went down today. As I was making it, I realized I should probably add the biscuits and potatoes first and blend those up with the stick blender, and then add the veggies and bacon, but in the end it turned out alright. As far as those biscuits go, this being a restaurant, we use premade frozen ones (which aren't that bad, really. These ones, anyway), but if I was going to make this at home or whatever, I'd definitely make mine from scatch. But for amounts purposes, those restaurant biscuits are small, and I figure two are about equal to one that you'd make yourself. I hope to have a more expanded recipe for this next week, one that includes trying it out with maple syrup, and salsa (but not together) as well as photos. I took one today with my cell phone, but it wasn't anything, so it's not going up.



Apparently the boss didn't like the stuff at all when he tried it the following day, so he dumped it out. Dang. So I probably won't be making any more of that at work then, and since I have none of the stuff on hand (yet) to make it here at home, it might be awhile before pics are taken. But dammit, I liked the stuff, and I do want pics for here, so I'm going to go out and buy the stuff to make it again, I just don't know when. Sometime.


Ok, so I went out and bought the stuff to make it here at home. Well, most of the stuff. I forgot the onion and pepper, but did remember to pick up the maple syrup. And I don't have Cholula, so I used Valentina instead (awesome stuff, by the way). So here's my updated recipe, and review-

1 medium baked potato
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 strips of bacon, diced
2 biscuits
2 slices of American cheese
Shredded sharp cheddar (couple ounces or so, I didn't really measure it)

(the following amounts are approximate)

2 Tbs or so minced fresh garlic
2 Tbs Valentina hot sauce
1 Tbs Italian seasoning
1 tsp black pepper
2 qts chicken stock

Ok, so putting it all together is basically the same thing as the original. I didn't have any Thyme, so I used some Italian seasoning that I have instead (it's got all the usual players in it- thyme, basil, oregano, etc... all that stuff).

So, to be honest, I liked the first batch better, even though it's basically the same thing. Maybe it was the onions and peppers, or maybe it's just because our bacon at work is just really, really good (it's made by Hormel, which is what I bought today, but the stuff I got still wasn't as good, even though it was their 'Black Label,' whatever that's supposed to be). Overall, it's a pretty good soup, but really, it just tasted like a spicy, potato-and-bacon soup. So... not really worth the extra effort of adding in the eggs and biscuits. And even though it was pretty good, it's not something I'd rave about to all my friends and talk about selling on the street from a mobile food truck, like I do with other things I've made (tacos). But that's ok, they can't all be winners, right? Plus, I've got a couple more things coming up that I think are good enough to rave about and sell from my food truck (which I'm totally hoping/planning to do).

P.S. I did try it out with the maple syrup, because, well why not? It was... different, as you might imagine. At first it almost kind of tasted like some weird instant oatmeal or something, but then it kind of seemed like it tasted like what you'd imagine it would have tasted like if you'd used sweet potatoes instead of regular ones (which I almost did). Anyway, stay tuned- better things ahead.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

This is totally on my to-do list for the blog.

Justin Bieber look-alike tries to make a grilled cheese sandwich, while drinking.

I actually had this great idea awhile back to do alcohol reviews here on the blog- mostly beer, some wine, maybe some occasional harder stuff. But since I don't really know critic-speak, I figured the reviews would be kind of boring ("It's good, you should buy it," or, "It tastes like turpentine mixed with piss; don't buy it.") - unless I was writing the review of the alcohol while drinking it. Then it might be could get a little interesting. But I quickly found out that that gets a little expensive, since I was mostly interested in reviewing decent quality beers, not the cheap, mainstream crap that everyone's already familiar with. So then I figured maybe I'd start out with the good stuff, then switch over to some cheaper stuff to stay just intoxicated enough to actually be able to write a review. It didn't really work out. I was always either too sober, or too drunk. But I'm not giving up! Sometime this summer, I'm hoping to get myself a video camera, for the times when I come up with something decent in the kitchen but absolutely cannot work out a recipe for it- I figure I can always film myself making it, that way I can at least show people what it was I did, even if I can't work out an actual recipe for it.

And since I'll be having a friend help me out with the blog this year too, we can film ourselves drinking and cooking and reviewing different boozes.