May 22, 2014

Sneakin' in the Veggies

When I first met the colonel, he had the refined palate of a fussy toddler. If it didn't involve meat, cheese, bread, or pasta, he'd turn his nose right up. Now I'll admit, he's gotten a whole lot better over the years, but I still go to some lengths to get more vegetables down his gullet.

For example, I've learned to sneak in extra veggies with these simple Denver scrambled eggs. This dish uses the principles of Denver omelets, without the pressure.

There's a lot to love about them. First, you can make a huge amount if you have a big group to feed. Second, they're fast: With a little prep work up front, you can go from plan to plate in roughly 15 minutes. Third, they're a fantastic use for leftover ham from high dining holidays.

What's that you say? Easter was like a month ago? Not to worry, our favorite grocery sells these boneless ham steaks, which I totally spaced on photographing. But whatever your source of delicious pork, cutting it into cubes is the sum total of the aforementioned prep work.

So you start with a hot skillet and add olive oil. Then toss in the diced ham, like so:

While that's getting a bit brown, go ahead and crack some eggs and milk into a mixing bowl. For the two of us, I usually use either four medium eggs or three large ones. Season to taste. I mean, even I'm not so pedantic as to walk y'all through scrambling eggs.

Anyway, now here's my secret weapon.

I prefer the Whole Foods 365 southwest blend, but this will work just fine in a pinch. (Where "in a pinch" is defined as, "out of stock at Whole Foods for months." Grr.)

Now don't let the package lie to you; frozen peppers are actually rubbish for fajitas. They sweat so much they make the fajita filling runny and gross. But they're awesome for dishes like this, where that moisture has someplace to go. They're also a go-to topping for my homemade pizza.

Straight outta the freezer and into the skillet.

You don't really want to cook these vegetables; they have a tendency to get mushy on the heat too long. Just stir gently until they're good and thawed. You might want to use your spatula to break down the bigger chunks.

Next, pour in your beaten egg mixture. Be sure to go slowly so you don't wash all the fillings toward one section of the pan.

Here's where I drop bread into the toaster. Your timing on this will vary based on, well, your toaster. Give the eggs a few minutes to stiffen and give them a stir.

Once you don't see anymore shiny bits, pile up the deliciousness and cover with cheddar cheese.

Cut the heat, and give the cheese a little time to melt while you butter the toast.

To give it an authentic Denver flair, serve with sliced tomatoes and a shot of sour cream. Salsa also makes a tasty topping, as does Tabasco. Just depends what you're into.

I swear it took me 10 times longer to write this post than it did to cook these eggs.

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