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ON THE 11th HOUR: when the war went quiet
Breakfast was missing something.
A few weeks ago, I found myself huffing over my black coffee-and-Metallica morning ritual, unsatisfied with the thought of a plain breakfast consisting of three poached eggs and bacon over a thick slice of buttered toast.
Mind you, I previously loved eating this simple breakfast combo as a quick way to indulge in some morning enrichment, but that day, it just wasn’t cutting the mustard. I needed another simple addition to bring some flavour (and God willing, some nutritional balance) to my morning.
Lo and behold, the next song on my playlist was Otherside by Red Hot Chili Peppers, and as the strumming of the bass entered my ears, it occurred to me that some bell peppers would be an interesting and nutritious way to kick up my breakfast a notch or two. The only question was how?
I could have taken the more generic and unimaginative route by whipping myself up a sou’wester omelette, or I could have simply added some sautéed, julienned peppers as an edible garnish to accompany whatever morsel I wanted. As I pondered this, the next song that came to my ears through the shuffle of my Alexa playlist was Viking Death March by Billy Talent. The imagery of Viking ships came to mind instantly and just as quickly, the boats transformed into halved bell peppers and my imagination hilariously turned the Vikings howling within it into bacon, eggs, cheese and spinach.
With that, I had my brand new breakfast idea and pillaged my kitchen fridge in order to make it a reality.
2 bell peppers, any colour
8 large eggs
½ package of bacon
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 cups fresh spinach
2 tsp dried dill
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the bell peppers in half, clean them and set them aside. Cut each slice of bacon into three pieces, shred cheese and prepare remaining ingredients.
In two large sauté pans on medium-high heat, cook bacon to desired doneness and set aside from pan while reserving the fat.
Next, fry your eggs in the bacon fat to desired doneness and set aside also. Set these aside and sauté your spinach for approximately four minutes in each pan. Set this aside as well.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Brown the top and bottom of each bell pepper half and set them on a nine-inch baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Stuff each pepper half, first with two fried eggs, then sprinkle with dill and season as you like. Top with two pieces of bacon, a tablespoon of spinach and two tablespoons of cheddar cheese.
Assemble until all ingredients are used and bake the breakfast boats for roughly 10 minutes or until cheese begins to bubble. Serve over buttered toast. Serves four adults.
This recipe is (as you may have guessed) a very gorgeous, delicious and simple way to widen your smile about breakfast and a chance to make your morning meal a bit more nutritious and delicious compared to the more common routines you might already have in place. My parents were here at the time I first made these breakfast boats bickering amongst themselves. Nothing brings family members together though like a hearty breakfast and I invited them to partake in testing out my latest and most gorgeous breakfast creation as they rowed. It worked, and soon the focus was more on problem solving together than with each side trying to dominate the other, which is just how I like it. Just as in bell pepper boats is now how I love my bacon and eggs.
This one comes from the Food Dude Facebook page:
Dear Food Dude,
What do you recommend when cooking fresh pasta? Mine always come out slimy and way too soft.
Adding just a touch more semolina to your pasta dough might go a long way. Chilling the dough ball beforehand helps in that regard as well. I’d also recommend less time in the boiling water and maybe reducing the water itself to a simmer. Remember that fresh pasta cooks in a matter of just a couple of minutes or even under a minute depending on other factors, and that carry-over cooking will also cook the noodles further even when they’re removed from the pot. It’s always best to take them out when they’re just a little bit underdone so that the heat of the pasta itself cooks it the rest of the way to al dente.
Terry Bursey, otherwise known as the Food Dude, is a Newfoundland chef transplanted to Ontario who enjoys putting his mark on traditional recipes and inventing new tasty treats with unexpected ingredients. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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