Thursday, August 23, 2018

Recipe Do-Over: Tex-Mex Egg Bowls with Cheesy Chorizo Grits

Since having my stroke, I've made some significant changes to my way of eating. One big change I've made is to focus on reducing excess fat and upping the protein when cooking meals. That means retooling some of my favorite go-to recipes -- including the Recipe Do-Over I'm sharing today! I reworked my comforting Tex-Mex Egg Bowls with Cheesy Chorizo Grits to have less fat. Rest assured that all of their Big Flavor is still there. A base of creamy grits flavored with spicy Mexican chorizo and a bit of sharp cheddar is topped with an over-easy egg, Cotija cheese, and a quick avocado pico de gallo. Key changes made to the original recipe include:
  • Reduced the amount of butter in the recipe by 50% --using just enough real butter for its unparalleled flavor.
  • Reduced the amount of Cotija cheese that tops each bowl.
  • Used 2% milk in the grits in place of half-and-half.
  • Used a lesser amount of cheddar in the grits, and switched to more flavorful sharp cheddar.
  • Used less chorizo in the grits, and added a step to drain the cooked chorizo between paper towels to remove fat.
With these fat- and calorie-reducing changes, these filling egg bowls are still delicious, comforting, and full of spicy flavor. The end result is a dish that's a better-for-you choice than my original 2017 version!

Tex-Mex Egg Bowls with Cheesy Chorizo Grits
a Weekend Gourmet Original
Ingredients (makes 4 bowls):
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. salted butter
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
  • 1 small avocado, diced
  • 1 cup prepared pico de gallo
For the grits:
  • 2 ½ cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup 2% milk
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ¾ cup quick-cooking grits
  • 1 tbs. salted butter
  • ¾ cup cooked, crumbled Mexican chorizo 
  • 1/2 cup shredded 2% sharp cheddar OR pepper Jack cheese
  • 1 tbs. dried cilantro (can use fresh if you have on hand)
Directions:
Step 1: Add the avocado and pico de gallo to a small bowl or measuring cup. Stir to combine and set aside in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the bowls. Cook the chorizo in a non-stick skillet over med-high heat until browned and crumbly. Press the cooked chorizo between paper towels to remove excess fat. 
Step 2: Bring the chicken broth, milk, and garlic powder to a boil over med-high heat. Slowly whisk the grits into the boiling liquid. Reduce heat to med-low and cook for 10 minutes – be sure to give it a stir every couple of minutes to ensure there are no lumps. When the grits are cooked, remove from the heat. Add 1 tbs. butter, reserved chorizo, 2% cheese, and 1 tbs. cilantro. Stir until all of the ingredients are incorporated and the cheese is melted.
Step 3: Melt the remaining 1 tsp. butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until bubbly and the skillet is hot. Cook the eggs sunny side up or over easy – whichever you prefer. For an extra-special presentation, I cook my eggs in a metal Texas-shaped cookie cutter sprayed with non-stick spray.
Step 4: To assemble the bowls, spoon one quarter of the grits into four serving bowls. Top each bowl of grits with one egg, a quarter of the chilled avocado pico de gallo, a quarter of the Cotija cheese, and additional cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve!
Not only is this dish visually appealing, it’s deliciously filling too! The grits are creamy from the milk and cheddar -- and they're spicy from the addition of chorizo. It’s definitely a moderate heat, though. The chilled avocado pico is a nice flavor and textural contrast, and the Cotija cheese has a salty bite similar to feta! The Texas shape of my eggs is a fun twist that makes the dish extra appealing visually. Not a Texan? No worries! Simply use seasonal cookie cutters like flowers, stars, or leaves instead! We enjoyed these bowls for weekend brunch or a weeknight breakfast for dinner entrée -- it's definitely a complete meal in a bowl.

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