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‘Claud’s Favorite Breakfast’

October 4, 2011
By Wendy Monro - Simply Food , The Journal

It's that time again. Yes, the Hatch New Mexico green chili is out in the markets.

I need to back up a little here...the other day, I found my new favorite grocery store. It's a lot like Whole Foods (if you know Whole Foods) without the expense. I love Whole Foods, don't get me wrong; but, it can be pretty expensive at the check out.

This new market I found has local farm fresh organic produce...tons of it. They have a huge variety of their "homemade" hummus in all sorts of flavors. They also have tons of vegetarian and vegan items that are sometimes hard to find. The market is called Sunflower Farmer's Market. Whenever I check out, I am surprised at how little it costs. How often does that happen?

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“Claud’s Favorite Breakfast,” above, can be served with a couple of fried eggs, if you like.

Sunflowers are my favorite flower. I even have a sunflower tattoo. That's how much I love these flowers. The real reason for my love of sunflowers is because when I look deeply into Claud's eyes, there is a sunflower in there. He has yellow petals surrounding his pupil. Sunflowers have become a symbol of my love for him.

So, when I saw the market and then went inside to see what they had, I fell in love with the market too. Then, to enhance my love further, they were selling Hatch green chili already roasted! Daphne was a little concerned by how excited I was when I saw the package of green chili. I might have danced a little. I may have made up a short song.

"It's not that big of a deal, mom!" Daphne said as she looked around horrified to see if anyone saw or heard me. Yeah, what does she know?

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Claud's Favorite Breakfast

Serves: 2

Time: 20 minutes

1 12 oz can black eyed peas

2 tortillas (corn or flour)

two eggs, fried (optional)

1 cup green chili sauce

In a sauce pan, heat the black eyed peas. Heat the tortillas in a pan or over a gas flame. In a saucepan, heat the green chili sauce. Place the tortilla on a plate. Layer on the black eyed peas. Place the eggs on top of the legumes (or don't). Pile on the green chili sauce. Enjoy!

Green Chili Sauce

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

10 Hatch chilies, roasted, skinned, and chopped

5 red tomatoes, roasted and diced

1 cup chicken stock

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon corn starch

Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the diced onions and saut for five minutes. Add the garlic and continue to saut for five more minutes. Add the chili, tomatoes and stock. Let this simmer for about ten minutes. Add in the seasoning and mix well. Pour the cornstarch into a small glass of water and mix well. Slowly spoon the mixture into the green chili sauce. Let it simmer for a few minutes more to thicken it up.

So, the chili sat in the fridge for a couple of days. We had a busy weekend and I didn't cook much. I forgot all about it. So, my giddiness was rekindled Sunday morning when I discovered them sitting there on the shelf. I felt a little guilty having left them there for so long. I might have told them that as I pulled the package out of the fridge.

Last year, I wrote about green chili in an article called, "Discover The Flavor of Hispanic Heritage Month." If you want to make this green chili sauce, the recipe is included here. I was so lucky that these chilies were already roasted and I could whip up some breakfast with my favorite green chili sauce in no time. My poor husband was still in bed sick with a chest infection. I really wanted to make him something special. I had to come up with something low fat and tasty for me while still satisfying Claud's meaty desires. In this case, I knew eggs would suffice.

I decided to stick with the Southern cooking theme and grabbed a can of black-eyed peas out of the cupboard. These were already canned with some seasoning and garlic. So, I didn't have to do much to these. I just heated them up. These white legumes have a small black dot resembling an eye. They are a great source of protein, which is perfect if you are cutting down or eliminating meat from your diet. There are 3 grams of protein in a half a cup of black-eyed peas and only 70 calories. Nice! To make them even more nutritious, they are a rich source of potassium.

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I layered the black-eyed peas onto a warm tortilla. Then, I placed two fried eggs on Claud's and left them out of mine. You can choose to make this breakfast with or without the eggs. I knew Claud would like it better with the eggs and he did. I (and my high cholesterol) could do without fried eggs. I didn't even miss them. Then, for the piece de resistance, I piled on the green chili sauce. Chilis are known to help fight inflammation, which I thought would be helpful for my sick husband. They have also been known for decreasing cholesterol. Vois La! What's with all of this French? I'm not sure.

When everything was ready, I walked into the bedroom with Claud's breakfast in one hand and his steaming cup of coffee in the other and handed everything to my patient. He looked pleased in spite of how awful he felt. He propped up some pillows and dove right in. I left to go get mine and to join him in bed where we could eat together. When I returned, Claud was groaning and smiling with a huge mouthful of food. Once he smiled, he managed to say, "This is so fantastic!" Really? I wasn't expecting such an endorsement. He was almost finished and I hadn't even tried it yet. Once I taste it, I realized It was pretty darn good! Then again, I think anything could taste fantastic with green chili sauce on top. It's almost the perfect food.

When we finished, I went over to collect Claud's empty plate. "Honey, that was really really delicious. I mean it," he said to me. I could tell he did mean what he said. "Well, then, this is what I'll write about this week," I responded, "But" what will I call it?" I asked. Claud immediately replied, "Call it 'Claud's Favorite Breakfast.'" I smiled and went to clean the dishes. As I walked over to the sink, I thought, "I knew that Sunflower Market was something special."



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