Saturday, April 28, 2012

Chorizo Tortilla Egg Bake ...with a little less guilt

hi's almost Cinco de Mayo...
so dust off your sombrero and shake out that dusty old poncho...

Chorizo Tortilla Egg Bake is a perfect way to start the day...AND if you're watching your carbs and calories due to the swimsuit season fast approaching...not to worry.
believe it or not...this version is low carb, high protein and not as much fat as you might think. 
 chorizo can be quite fatty, but cooked down and given a little tender care it can be a big flavor punch without all the grease and fat.  
tortillas ARE really full of carbs, but if you just use a couple you'll be surprised at how much delicious corn masa flavor will carry through the whole dish.
eggs...full of good stuff, but cut the real eggs with some egg beaters and you'll never know the difference in an egg bake...i guarantee.

give this a try for a fun Mexican brunch.  the dish keeps very well and reheats in the microwave for a perfect on the go spicy breakfast or snack.  oh...and it freezes well too.

approximate NUTRITION
for 9 servings
protein 16

basic concept from Kalyn's Kitchen Egg Casserole

1/2 white onion, diced
1 1/2 jalapeno, diced , seeded and de-veined
(you can substitute jalapeno with canned diced green chiles)
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 large egg whites
1 cup egg beaters or substitute
4 oz fat free sharp cheddar cheese, grated
8 oz chorizo
1 cup cottage cheese, rinsed in a strainer and patted dry
2 1/2 corn tortillas, cut in to 1/2 inch long strips
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
a good pinch of cayenne if you can handle the heat
salt and pepper
a handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
NOTE...seasonings depend on how flavorful your chorizo is.
use more or less to your liking.

preheat oven to 375F degrees
spray a 2 quart, 8 x 8 or 7 x 11 baking dish with non stick spray or olive oil.
saute the onion and jalapeno, in as little oil as possible.
add chorizo and cook 'til done.
transfer to a paper towel lined bowl or dish and let the fats absorb in the towels.  change paper towel if necessary.
layer the bottom of your chosen cooking dish with 1/2 of the tortilla strips...evenly spread out.
now start layering 1/2 the chorizo onion mixture, 1/2 cheese and 1/2 cottage cheese curds, a little cilantro.
sprinkle 1/2 of your ground spices...and a little salt and pepper.... and then start again with the rest of the tortilla strips, chorizo, cheese, cottage cheese and cilantro.
sprinkle other half of ground spices...and a little salt and pepper your salt additions due to the chorizo, grated cheese and cottage cheese all have salt in them.
ANOTHER NOTE...not exact instructions, but you get the want a little of everything in each and every bite.  the remaining tortilla strips should be evenly distributed for maximum masa flavor.

in a bowl mix all the eggs and beaters until combined (not frothy).
pour eggs over layered ingredients.
gently use a fork to make sure egg mixture is well incorporated.
grate a little extra cheese over the top.
NOTE...if it doesn't look like the egg mixture is enough,  just beat up another and add it in.  i get carried away with my additions and often need to add another egg and an egg white.

bake until eggs are firmly set and top is lightly browned
20 - 25 minutes for an 8 x 8 dish
NOTE...mine might have taken a bit longer so keep an eye after 20 minutes.
the middle should rise a little and you will know it is cooked trough.
AND sometimes i need to tent with foil if getting too brown.

serve with some fresh pico de gallo, sliced avocado and a dollop of low fat sour cream
OR...just eat as is...reheat a square for a good breakfast though the week.
LAST NOTE...pretty darn good at room temperature while driving the car in a mad dash to work.
(i tested the freezing and came out great.)

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