sourdough french toast, with coconut oil

I have a friend from high school who recently told me that because she’s been reading our blog she now has a jar of Coconut Oil in her pantry and no idea what to do with it.

This is for you, CKR.

IMG_6020 The thing about Coconut Oil is … it’s pretty versatile.  And it’s really good for you.

I mean really good for you.

It’s good for your hair.

Skin.

Digestion.

Kidneys.

Heart.

It boosts your immunity.

It helps control cholesterol levels.

It’s helps reduce high blood pressure.

People use it in dental care.

It can even promote weight loss!

And I am not usually a proponent of Dr. Oz, but even he sees the benefits of using coconut oil.

Why is it good for you?

Because of the lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid that make up the lipids in the oil.  Lauric acid is the active ingredient in Lauricidin (which we use during cold/flu season as a preventative measure).  Also, Coconut Oil has been shown to be antimocrobial, antioxident, antifungal and antibacterial.

And when it comes to cooking?  It’s really adaptable.

Because it’s solid in most US pantries (if you live north of Washington, DC, and the Coconut Oil in your pantry is liquid, your pantry might be too warm, and I’d consider keeping the CO in the fridge), it’s an easy substitute when recipes call for Crisco or Shortening.  I’m not saying it will work in every recipe, but we’ve had good luck using it as a replacement in most of our baked goods.

And putting a little heat under it for a few seconds makes it liquid and usable for recipes that call for Soybean, Vegetable or Canola Oil.  (The reason we don’t use Soybean, Vegetable or Canola Oil in cooking anymore, primarily because they are high in the “bad fats,” and are processed using chemical solvents to break down and release the oil.  Olive and Nut oils are processed using a press.  If there is a choice not to add “chemical solvents” to our bodies … we’re going to make it.  Check out this link if you want more info on what oils are good for you and why.)

Back to Coconut Oil, and how it ended up in our French toast.

So, we use Coconut Oil all the time.

In cookies, cakes, pancakes, fried chicken, to sauté vegetables … to name a few.

A few days ago, I was making breakfast for the gang and we had a lot of things on the schedule for the day so I was looking for a “super-nutrtious” start for the day.  I hadn’t soaked any grains.  We’re doing out best to avoid boxed cereal.  I wasn’t in the mood for an egg taco. And there was only a little milk in the fridge.

But we did have half of a 2-day old loaf of sourdough bread.  We did have four eggs.  Some yogurt.  Vanilla.  And Coconut Oil.

Breakfast.

Fast and easy and super-duper-nutrious.

With just a hint of coconut goodness, pure grade B maple syrup and small pat of pasture butter?  Everyone loved them.

INGREDIENTS (makes 8 pieces of toast):

  • 8 one half inch slices of sourdough bread
  • 4 eggs (3 large eggs would probably do it.  The ladies gave us medium eggs this week)
  • 1/2 cup yogurt plus 1/4 cup whey (If you don’t have yogurt and whey, 3/4 cup of milk or 3/4 cup of buttermilk will also work)
  • 2 tablespoon Coconut Oil (plue 1 tablespoon to grease the pan)
  • 1 teaspoon of pure Vanilla Extract
  • pinch of Sea Salt

DIRECTIONS:

Heat a 10-12 inch saute pan on medium-high heat.  Add coconut oil and let it melt.

Meanwhile, combine eggs, yogurt, whey and vanilla extract and salt in a bowl large enough to soak a piece of bread.   Whisk until well-combined.

Whisk in the melted Coconut Oil, leaving enough in the pan to coat the surface.  (NOTE, if your ingredients are very cold, the CO will start to “bead” and firm up again … I left mine out for a few minutes to come a little closer to room temperature before I started cooking)

Soak the bread slices until they are good and coated on both sides.  Add them one by one (or two by two, if you can fit them in your pan and they aren’t squished) to the hot sauté pan.  Let cook on one side until they are golden and cooked through.  Turn and cook on the other side.  Repeat.

Plate the toast with a pat of butter and some pure grade B maple syrup and feel satisfied that you’ve eaten a nourishing and delicious breakfast!

crash potatoes and poached eggs … it’s what’s for breakfast

The other night, the Cowboy made hot crash potatoes as a side dish for dinner.

I had never heard of hot crash potatoes before.

But he found this recipe on The Pioneer Woman’s site.

Basically, it’s a boiled red potato that is then smashed in a pan (just kind of collapsed with one smash of a potato masher), drizzled with oil and salt and pepper and then baked in a 450 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

Yum, right?

And I don’t even like potatoes that much (unless they are sweet potatoes … or french fries).

But these were really good.  Crispy skinned salty goodness.

So Sunday morning (because I couldn’t make breakfast cake four days in a row), we tried something new and exciting.

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You guess it!  Hot crash potatoes with chorizo and poached eggs.

They were pretty much near perfect.

And we only had to make a few modifications to the Pioneer Woman’s recipe.

Makes 2 servings:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Red Potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Grape Seed oil
  • 1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 link of Chorizo (finely diced into 1/4″ pieces …or smaller … chorizo crumbles, really)
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Eggs

DIRECTIONS:

Boil the potatoes until they are easily pierced with a fork.  (Mid-boil, preheat the oven to 450 degrees … depending on how long your oven takes to heat up.)

Remove the potatoes from water and put in an oven-safe pan or skillet.  Using a potato masher, “crash” the potatoes.  Basically, you just need to press them down until the skin open up and all the white potato goodness starts to explode through the masher.

Drizzle the “crashed” potatoes with grape seed oil.  (We use grape seed oil because it has a higher smoke point than olive oil.)  Sprinkle on the Paprika, the Herbs du Provence and salt and pepper.  Add the chorizo and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.

When there’s about 4 minutes left, bring 4 cups of water plus one teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar to boil.  NOTE: The ACV acts as a catalyst for your egg whites to bind together.  Without it (or some other vinegar) you end up with poached yokes in a mass of stringy whites.  So … don’t forget the ACV!

Crack an egg into a small bowl and gently let it into the boiling water (BE CAREFUL!! That water’s HOT!).  Do the same with the next egg.

Back to the potatoes … Remove the potatoes from the oven and plate them.

And back to the eggs … Poached eggs take about 3 – 3 1/2 minutes to cook.  Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the eggs from the water and add them to your potatoes.  Sprinkle with a dash of salt (to taste) and enjoy!

ALTERNATIVES:

Here’s what we’re planning on doing differently next time …

  • I think sautéed spinach and shallots between the potato and egg would be AMAZING.
  • The Cowboy wants to try these with Hollandaise sauce … a Benedict-Redux, as it were.
  • It doesn’t need the chorizo … a few shallots (or finely chopped sautéed onions) would be equally tasty.  Or, of course you could add some bacon or leftover steak or chicken or turkey … you’re limited only by what’s in the fridge, I think.
  • You could try a Mexican-twist, with some plain yogurt or sour cream and raw garden salsa.

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