Dallas/Fort Worth and Beyond: Eat What You Love

Tag: Breakfast

Coconut Flour Pancakes

Coconut Flour Pancakes

Let’s just cut to the chase here. If you’ve ever tried to blindly create anything with coconut flour, it’s highly likely you ended up angry, frustrated, confused, and most definitely hungry.

REPOST: Texas Breakfast Taco Battle

REPOST: Texas Breakfast Taco Battle

Verify Road Trip’s Breakfast Capital of Texas show was back on the air this week, and we’ve started up the conversation again. So, here’s a repost of the original Breakfast Taco Battle post right before the original air date – with an edit to remove the […]

Day After Thanksgiving Breakfast Muffins

Day After Thanksgiving Breakfast Muffins

It’s getting close to Turkey Day, and that means we have some important planning to do.

We have to plan the seating arrangements to ensure all relatives leave unscathed from the annual table conversation (this year should be super fun), and let’s not forget the critical decision regarding which pair of stretchy pants will be worn after the main meal. However, the most important decision you’ll have to make this Thanksgiving is what in the world to do with your leftover stuffing!?!

Have no fear. I’ve got the hookup thanks to my pals over at Empire Baking Company in Dallas, Texas.omgs-dfw-food-omg-baking-at-empire

Saturday I had the pleasure of hanging out to do a sponsored demo all day at Empire, and I created a recipe specifically for them, featuring some of the ingredients sold at their location. Every Friday from now until Thanksgiving, Tamie, Empire’s manager, is creating different dressings using Empire’s amazing bread and products. This past Friday, Tamie put together her grandmother’s famous traditional Texas dressing to sample (it’s sooooooooo goooood), and just like the day after Thanksgiving, we had some dressing left over on Saturday.

So, our focus was all about creating an easy recipe that utilized the leftover stuffing! And, the coolest part is that this recipe works with any dressing recipe – yours included. (Don’t know if you noticed my alternating “dressing” and “stuffing” – for our purposes, they mean the same thing.)

Let’s get started!

Day After Thanksgiving Breakfast Muffins
Yields approximately 8 dozen mini muffins or 2 dozen regular muffins

Base:
16 oz Sage or Spicy Breakfast Sausage (sub 12 oz Applewood Smoked Bacon, diced)
½ Onion, diced
2 TBS Butter
8 Cups Your Refrigerated Thanksgiving Dressing/Stuffing, crumbled
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
3 TBS Valentina Picante Salsa (sub your favorite hot sauce)

Custard:
2 Whole Eggs
4 Egg Yolks
1 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream
2 tsp Chef Milton Atlantic Sea Salt with Rosemary (Found at Empire Baking Company)

Optional Glaze:
Luscombe Farm Jalapeño Pepper Jelly (Found at Empire Baking Company)

Preheat oven to 375°. Butter muffin tins or use a non-stick baking spray to coat the tins.

In a skillet, sauté breakfast sausage until cooked through and set aside to cool. If subbing bacon, cook until bacon is crisp, drain completely, then set aside to cool. In the same skillet, add butter and onion. Sauté until onions are tender and the fond (brown/caramelized goodies stuck to the bottom of the pan) releases from the pan.

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Once the onions are tender, remove from pan and set aside with sausage or bacon to cool.

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In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, yolks, cream, and Chef Milton Atlantic Sea Salt with Rosemary. Set aside.

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In a large bowl, add crumbled dressing, shredded cheddar cheese, and cooled sausage or bacon and onions.

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Combine thoroughly.

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Pour the custard mixture over the dressing mixture and fold until well incorporated. The mixture will be moist.

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Add in the Valentina Salsa Picante or your favorite hot sauce to add another layer of flavor and mix thoroughly.

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Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, scoop the mixture into greased mini muffin tins.

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Bake at 375° for 17-20 minutes or until crispy on top and golden brown.

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For some added sweet heat, add a small dollop of Luscombe Farm Jalapeño Pepper Jelly to the top of each muffin right before the last five minutes of baking is up, and place back into the oven to create that amazing caramelized glaze.

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For regular sized muffins, bake for 30-35 minutes or until crispy on top and golden brown. Let cool for 7 minutes to allow the muffins to set before removing from muffin tins.

Saturday’s adventure, recipe ingredients, and post featuring specific products were sponsored by Empire Baking Company.   

Livin’ La Vida Taco

Livin’ La Vida Taco

My head’s about to explode. Four days ago, I was scrolling down Facebook and noticed a video in my feed with the title, “Are you a foodie?” Naturally, I hit pause on the cat video and clicked on the foodie link. It was ABC affiliate WFAA’s David Schechter and a producer, […]

Beans, Bacon, and Bravo TV’s Best New Restaurant

Beans, Bacon, and Bravo TV’s Best New Restaurant

Today has been a pretty awesome day. A few days ago, I was notified that I was chosen as one of the top five finalists for Bravo TV’s Best New Restaurant “The Mentorship” contest. And, today, they posted my video submission to their YouTube page. […]

La Visita at La Nueva Casita Cafe

La Visita at La Nueva Casita Cafe

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It was that time of year where we found ourselves in the Land of Enchantment nestled in a sea of green chilies, and I just couldn’t get enough. One morning, we decided to make a quick stop for breakfast before heading out towards Ruidoso. And, instead of grabbing a sure thing and getting on the road, we were in a gambling mood and decided to try somewhere we’d never been, La Nueva Casita Cafe. Winner! We hit the jackpot!

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The second we walked into the doors, we suspected it would be an amazing experience, and they did not disappoint. The deceptively small but charming adobe building is located in the historical part of Las Cruces and is on the legendary El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, the Royal Road of the Interior Lands. The restaurant has been “a timeless tradition with a modern-day flare” since 1957, according to their menu.

IMG_8264-2 As we entered the building, we were kindly greeted and ushered to the open dining area where the masa-colored adobe walls, Mexican ranch-style wooden chairs and tiled wooden tables created a statement of comfort. The distinct aromatic flavors of Mexico danced in the air and made me a little giddy, knowing we were in for a treat.

Our server, Diana, introduced herself cheerfully and offered us menus to review. I immediately noticed their choices were few and unique, like a specialty menu. In my experience, for the most part, the smaller the list of items, the better quality of food. Although they do have a breakfast menu, you can order from the lunch or dinner menu anytime. We decided to stick with breakfast choices and then ask for a few side dishes to try the lunch and dinner items that stood out the most.Green Chile Omelette

Bear enjoyably devoured their Chile Relleno omelette, and I snuck in a bite (for research purposes only, of course). When someone describes a cheesy dish as warm and gooey goodness, they’re describing this dish. From first to last bite, the fluffy, light omelette filled with warm, green chile and smothered in melted cheese delivered an ooey, gooey experience with every lift of the fork. Needless to say, there was absolutely no remnants of ooey or gooey cheddar or green chile after a few minutes with Bear.

 

Huevos Compuestas

As he focused intently on the relleno omelette, I turned my attention to the abundantly filled corn cups with green chile beef, topped with perfectly cooked over easy eggs and melted cheese, Huevos Compuestas. Oh. My.

Egg YolkOnce the yolks were released, they slowly nestled into every crevice of the green chile beef to blanket it all, adding a creamy finish to the already cheese laden dish. To say the first bite was delightful, unctuous and warm with spice would be a terrible understatement. I vaguely recall hearing by name being spoken moments after that first bite and slowly drifting back to reality from this pillowy green chile dream sequence. It was damn good.

And, because I knew this would be a short visit and I’d likely not have another chance to try many other items on the menu, we managed to build a nice, solid rapport with our already phenomenally accommodating and sincerely service-oriented server, Diana. Believe me, it wasn’t that difficult to create a bond, and I give full credit to Diana for what I’m about to tell you.

When we explained it was our first visit, that we’d likely not return for a year, then ordered a small side of fideo to taste, plus obsessively kept taking photos of our food, she immediately began to offer tastings of their best dishes… just because!!! Needless to say, I leveraged this opportunity to our advantage.

FideoFirst up to taste, we tried the fideo. For those unfamiliar, this is a very simple, traditional Mexican staple that involves toasting vermicelli noodles in oil and then creating a seasoned light broth in which the noodles fully cook. Some people may add beef or chicken to fideo, but the most common version is a tomato-based broth with noodles. At La Nueva Casita Cafe, they took this comfort food to a whole new level by creating the broth mainly with steeped, then blended, red chiles and only enough water to cook the noodles. I was convinced they’d added some sort of thickener, but Diana confirmed the only thickening agent came from the red chiles which provided this incredible slow, warming, spectacular burn as it made its journey to become nourishment. And, the finishing touch was fresh, diced tomatoes suspended in this magical, flavorful tomatoey potion that had me so transfixed!
Menudo
Another magical potion was their menudo! We were able to get about five spoonfuls total from our tasting, and it was amazing. Menudo is a traditional Mexican soup or stew created with beef stomach lining, hominy and spices. The soup is usually very light and fluid, but this menudo had a similar texture as the fideo and was teaming with warm, spicy red chile flavor that thickened the broth to this ridiculously addictive consistency. You couldn’t get enough! It wasn’t soupy; it wasn’t creamy or too thick; it was the absolute perfect consistency, and we ate it up!

CalabacitaJust as we thought the tasting was over, Diana walked over with a tiny bowl of calabacita. This is another traditional vegetarian Mexican dish but is very different from the calabacita I grew up eating in Texas. Where I’m from, the base of all calabacita is the calabaza or green squash that can be found in any market. Next is the corn, onions and tomato. They’re stewed in a tomato based salty broth, rich in flavor, and is oftentimes combined with chicken and ends up more like a very hearty stew where the squash sort of melts into the dish and becomes… well… squashed.

This calabacita was the New Mexican  version and very different from what I’d experienced. While the base was mostly familiar with calabaza, freshly cut corn, and tomatoes, this calabacita replaced onions with green chiles and thickened the broth with cheese, creating this unbelievably velvety finish with every bite! And, what truly impressed my palette was the amazing balance of freshness from the brightly colored vegetables against that creamy, intoxicating broth. I’m salivating just thinking about it. You better believe I’ll be doing this dish at home on a regular basis.

IMG_8290-0So, after the tasting parade was over, Diana (who was just a total bad ass at her job), did what any great server would do when facing two people who had already eaten way too much, she offered us dessert! And, we did what any two people would do after tasting all those amazing dishes – we said, “Yes!”Bear and ChocoFlan

After Diana listed every house-made sweet treat, Bear landed on ChocoFlan, a combination of a rich, chocolate cake topped with a creamy caramel flan and garnished with whipped cream. I’m sure you can’t tell by the look on his face just what he was thinking. He was thoroughly impressed and did not leave a single bite of that unique dessert combination on his plate. Thankfully, I got first bite dibs, and I can tell you, the cake was very dense but moist and flavorful, while the flan created this fantastic balance of texture. I don’t blame him for the face. It was well-deserved.

Cherry EmpanadaAnd, I decided to go with a cherry empanada. Diana explained that their back of house baker used to own his own bakery and when that didn’t pan out, he started work at La Nueva Casita and brought his delicious Mexican pastries to the menu. The moment she placed the empanada in front of me, I could smell the anise and cinnamon in the dough, teasing my senses and calling me to duty. I did not hesitate. I have to say, I could not get enough of the light, delicate dough that was gently wrapped around the filling and preferred it much more than the filling itself. Come to find out, the filling was pre-made. While I did absolutely find the empanada flavorful, I was surprised it didn’t fall in line with all the other house-made items on the menu.

So, when you’re in Las Cruces and are looking for a comforting meal with genuine personality in a relaxing environment, check out La Nueva Casita. I can’t wait for next year!!

La Nueva Casita
195 North Mesquite St. Las Cruces, NM 88001
575-523-5434
http://www.lanuevacasitacafe.com/


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