A tip of the hat to Trader Joe’s

September 7, 2011

I was surfing the net and came upon Trader Joe’s web site. There’s a bit of excitement and speculation in foodie land Dallas, where people are anticipating the location and opening date of the first Trader Joe’s in Texas.
As I was perusing the site I stumbled upon their recipe link. As I was a bit famished from my morning walk I was ready to eat with little delay.

As luck would have it I had almost everything this simple recipe required:
1 loaf TJ’s Crusty French Bread, torn into pieces
6 TJ’s Eggs
1/4 cup TJ’s Milk
1 cup TJ’s Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage (pre-cooked), sliced (or TJ’s Veg. Sausage-less Sausage)
1 cup TJ’s Monterey Jack Cheese, grated
TJ’s Spices (optional)

Well almost everything save for all the TJ brand ingredients. And of course I was making this for me and not a platoon that the recipe would feed. So I took some crusty bread from Central Market that was past its prime. I hate that I go and buy a beautiful loaf of bread and get about two slices off of it before it turns into concrete. I zapped it in the microwave for about 30 seconds to soften it so it doesn’t explode into shards when cut with a knife. It was still tough but I had a solution to that. I managed to cut two slices off the loaf and put them in my trusty #3 Wagner iron skillet. Then I poured a little fat free milk on the slices to soften them further. A half pat of butter on each slice and into a pre heated oven at 350 while I mixed the other ingredients. One egg for me please, along with some salt and fresh ground pepper, a little left over pre cooked spicy beef patty from Central Market crumbled into a small bowl along with some thin slivers of red onion and some “grated” sharp cheddar cheese and some more non fat milk. I used a bit of milk to stretch the egg mixture so it would cover the bread in the pan. Eggs have an incredible ability to absorb or incorporate a great deal of moisture or ingredients. I put “grated” in quotes because I didn’t use a cheese grater but a serrated edged bread knife that rendered the same result if you slice the cheese thin enough.
Popped it into the toaster oven, set the timer for 25 minutes, and out comes a cheap, relatively quick meal using that leftover bread.

As it came out of the oven. Not quite done yet!

Plated, ready to serve. I flipped it over and grated some sharp chedder using the knife shown and let the cheese melt on the hot dish.