When people find out that I’m a food blogger, they often turn to my roommate and say, “You’re so lucky! You must eat gourmet meals every night!” On these occasions, I put on my very best modest smile and say something like, “No, no, no. Of course not! During the week, I mostly just make skillet creations with whatever I happen to have in the fridge that day.”
This is a lie.
I make such platitudes because I don’t want to unnecessarily intimidate strangers and/or make them feel badly about their culinary skills off the bat. But the truth is, they’re right. Logan and I do eat fabulous gourmet meals on the reg. After all, I am a domestic goddess, and that’s just how I roll.
I realize that I’ve never really discussed it before, but the average evening’s cooking usually begins around 4pm. I like to listen to Mozart for Your Mind and sip a glass of red wine while I lovingly braise meat, roast a chicken, or whip up a savory soufflé. On Thursdays, I make my own ravioli and a seven-layer chocolate cake because it’s almost the weekend, and that deserves a celebration. I do not believe in eating meals with less than two courses, and I’d rather die than cook with anything that comes from a can.
Obviously, I do all of this complicated domestic work without breaking a sweat, messing up my perfectly coiffed hair, or spilling on my well-coordinated outfits. Everyone knows cooking in sweatpants is a sin.
The only element of truth in the above paragraphs is the statement about making skillet meals. Oh, and the part about sweatpants.
I know, I know. This wasn’t a very good April Fools’ prank unless it’s your first time reading this blog, since the rest of you know that I am all about low-maintenance recipes, and that I only eat chocolate cake on No-Calorie Sundays. Sorry.
In all seriousness, most weeknights I end up perusing the random meats and produce in my fridge, grabbing some grains, beans, or canned tomatoes from the pantry, and whipping up a one-skillet/pot meal to the sweet sounds of Ludacris Pandora. It’s not exactly “gourmet cooking,” but it’s convenient, and some pretty epic soups, chilis, casseroles, and risottos have been born in this way.
My roommate’s favorite pantry creations tend to involve eggs, and yesterday’s Fiesta Baked Eggs with Farro and Black Beans was so well received that I felt compelled to share it with all of you.
These baked eggs are like a Beyoncé concert in your mouth, people. Cue fireworks and tears of gratitude. Honestly, it’s tough to do this sassy skillet meal justice in words, but I’m obviously going to try. (It’s my job.) Let’s quickly break it down, shall we?
First, spicy chicken sausage is sautéed with bell peppers, onions, and minced garlic, making your kitchen smell like a savory paradise in about 3 minutes flat. Then some hearty black beans, smoky fire roasted tomatoes and chewy farro are stirred into the “fiesta sauce,” which gets spiced up with an epic combination of chipotle peppers, cumin, paprika, and a pinch of oregano. Dank.
After gently simmering the sauce, eggs are cracked into hollowed out wells, and the skillet is baked for 10 minutes (during which I recommend making cocktails). When the deliciousness comes out of the oven, the egg whites will be just set, but the yolks will still be gloriously runny. The whole shebang gets topped with salty Cotija cheese and plenty of cilantro, and then it’s party time.
You can simply scoop your fabulously flavorful baked eggs into bowls (or hoover them straight from the skillet), but I like to serve them with some warm corn tortillas and guacamole for extra awesomeness. Livin’ la vida loca.
In addition to being ridiculously delicious, Fiesta Baked Eggs are also a moneymaker on the nutrition and convenience fronts. I’m thrilled to report that each satisfying serving is packed with protein, fiber, antioxidants and healthy whole grains to keep your wonderland body in check, and the recipe can be made from start to finish in half an hour. (Skillet of dreams!) Plus, if you’ve heeded my advice on stocking your pantry and spice cabinet, you’ll probably already have most of the ingredients on hand. De nada.
As always, feel free to make substitutions that tickle your fancy. Don’t have farro? Try using brown rice, barley or quinoa. Vegetarian? Ditch the chicken sausage and add a few more veggies. Paleo? Lose the beans, compadres. Use the recipe as a handy guideline and let your creative juices flow. You know I like it when you get a little weird in the kitchen…
Fiesta Baked Eggs with Farro and Black Beans: (Serves 2 ridiculously, 4 comfortably)
½ cup semi-pearled faro
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 spicy chicken sausages (I recommend these), diced
1 large bell pepper, seeded and diced (I used a mix of red and yellow peppers because that’s what I had on hand, but any color will do.)
½ Spanish onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 28-ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes (Yes, you can use regular crushed tomatoes if you can’t find fire roasted. Duh.)
1½ chipotle peppers canned in adobo, minced
1¼ teaspoons ground cumin
¾ teaspoon paprika
¾ teaspoon dried oregano
5 large eggs
For garnish: (optional)
¼ cup crumbled Cotija cheese
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
Diced avocado or guacamole
Preparing your Fiesta Baked Eggs with Farro and Black Beans:
-Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees
-Start by cooking the farro. Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. When boiling, add the farro and cook for 10 minutes until just al dente. Strain and set aside until ready to use.
-Stir in the black beans, crushed tomatoes, cooked farro, chipotle peppers, cumin, paprika and oregano. Simmer for 10 minutes until the “fiesta sauce” thickens slightly. Taste and season with a pinch of salt if necessary.
-Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 10-11 minutes until the whites are just set. The eggs will continue to cook once you remove them from the oven, so be careful not to overcook them, peeps!
- ½ cup semi-pearled farro, uncooked
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 spicy chicken sausages (I recommend these), diced
- 1 large bell pepper, diced (I used a mix of red and yellow peppers because that’s what I had on hand, but any color will do.)
- ½ Spanish onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 14.5-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 28-ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes (Yes, you can use regular crushed tomatoes if you can’t find fire roasted. Duh.)
- 1½ chipotle peppers canned in adobo, minced
- 1¼ teaspoons ground cumin
- ¾ teaspoon paprika
- ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
- 5 large eggs
- ¼ cup crumbled Cotija cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
- Diced avocado or guacamole
- Corn tortillas
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees
- Start by cooking the farro. Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. When boiling, add the farro and cook for 10 minutes until just al dente. Strain and set aside until ready to use.
- Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet. When hot, add the sausage and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.
- Add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic to the pan and sauté for 3-4 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the vegetables are just tender. Stir in the black beans, crushed tomatoes, cooked farro, chipotle peppers, cumin, paprika and oregano, and simmer for 10 minutes until the “fiesta sauce” thickens slightly. Taste and season with a pinch of salt if necessary.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and use a spatula or spoon to make 5 wells (about 2 inches wide) in the sauce. Carefully crack an egg into each of the wells.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 10-11 minutes until the whites are just set. The eggs will continue to cook once you remove them from the oven, so be careful not to overcook them, peeps!
- Top eggs with crumbled Cotija and fresh cilantro and serve with warm corn tortillas if you’re so inclined.
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