Eric’s Amazing Breakfast Tostadas

This one is a real winner. We’ve already eaten it for three breakfasts in three days.

4 corn tortillas (preferably El Milagro)
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp olive oil
4 tsp Hal’s Hot Love jalapeño salsa
4 leaves of arugula, chopped
1 tsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 tsp crumbled parmesan
1/2 small onion, finely diced
4 eggs
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Heat the butter and oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Fry the tortillas until crispy and golden (about one minute on each side), and set aside on paper towels to absorb the grease.

2. Sauté the onions in the pan until fragrant and cooked through. Remove to drain alongside tortillas. Lower heat to medium and crack eggs into the pan. Allow to cook through to taste (I prefer them over-medium, especially for this dish).

3. Meanwhile, assemble tostadas as follows: smooth a teaspoon of salsa onto each; top with 1/2 tsp of crumbled parmesan and a quarter each of the onions, oregano, and arugula. When eggs are done, remove each one separately from the pan with a spatula and sit on top of the tostada. Top with black pepper to taste; serve immediately.

Serves 2-4, as a main or side dish.

When he’s not serving up amazing al fresco breakfasts, Eric works for a local education non-profit, digs around in his urban garden, and writes about politics, history, and other things that strike his fancy for Deemable.

Eric’s Amazing Breakfast Tostada with Eric’s amazing papaya smoothie.


Zesty Baby Shrimp with Cheesy Creamed Cauliflower

This recipe is a low-carb twist on the classic Southern shrimp and grits meal. It’s fast and easy comfort food.

You might even be able to find a prepacked mix of dried spices very similar to this; if not, the more unusual ingredients can be had at an Asian market, mixed in advance, and saved in a sealed container in the pantry for months. I also highly recommend this herb and spice mix for any baked or grilled seafood or chicken; it’s a little spicy, somewhat complex, and very flavorful.  I based it on Henry Langdon’s Sea Salt Rub, a mix brought back from Australia by a couple of friends, to which I became rather addicted!

The cauliflower makes a surprisingly rich base in lieu of grits.  In fact, among my friends, this is the most popular of all my paleo/low-carb recipes.

For the shrimp
1 lb baby (or regular) shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp fresh cilantro, finely diced
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp dried and chopped kaffir lime leaves
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the cauliflower
2 Tbsp butter
1 head of cauliflower, trimmed and washed*
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric, or to taste
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a baking tin, mix all shrimp ingredients until the shrimp are evenly smothered in oil, herbs, and spices. Bake for approximately 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, wash and roughly chop cauliflower. In a food processor (or by hand), finely dice cauliflower to desired texture (I like mine fairly smooth but still rough, about like the traditional grits this recipe is based on). With a small food processor, this may take up to four rounds. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in cauliflower and allow to cook for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally and making sure your cauliflower doesn’t stick; if it does, add more butter and/or reduce heat.

3. Stir cream into the saucepan and allow to come just to a boil, before reducing heat to simmer. Continue to stir frequently until the cauliflower mixture has evenly absorbed the cream, then add the rest of the cauliflower dish’s ingredients and stir thoroughly. Keep over a low heat until the shrimp are done.

4. As your cauliflower finishes cooking, briefly broil shrimp for approximately two minutes, but do not brown. Remove from oven; stir cauliflower mixture thoroughly.

5. Spoon cheesy cauliflower into two shallow bowls (medium pasta plates are ideal), and top with shrimp. Serve immediately.

*You can also use frozen, pre-washed cauliflower.  I keep some on hand in the freezer for just these occasions.

Dijon Cheesy Grits

Here is a great twist on my Horseradish Cheese Grits recipe, invented due to a lack of milk and horseradish. I had a craving for grits, and came up with this. It was delicious!

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup stone-ground yellow grits
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 heaping tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup heavy cream
more salt and pepper to taste

1. In a medium saucepan, bring water, salt, and pepper to a boil. Add grits and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Reduce heat to low and continue stirring regularly as the mixture thickens (about 25 to 30 minutes). Add more water if needed.

2. Add butter and cheese and stir until melted into grits. Add mustard and stir lightly until mixed in. Finally, pour in cream, stirring constantly until evenly absorbed. Serve immediately with additional salt and pepper as desired.

Shown here with chicken prepared according to my Easy Shrimp and Grits recipe.

Eric’s Watermelon Gin Fizz


As one often does at this time of the year, we had a large quantity of fresh watermelon and had tired of binging on its raw, watery flesh, refreshing as it may be.  So, characteristically, Eric devised a way to turn the this favorite summer fruit into a vehicle for alcohol.  It proved to be a fantastic poolside cocktail.

Behold, Eric’s Watermelon Gin Fizz:

2 parts fresh, de-seeded watermelon cubes
1 part gin
1 part club soda
~1/2 tsp powdered sugar (per serving)
ice to taste
lime slices to garnish (optional)

1. In a blender, purée watermelon until smooth.

2. Mix two parts watermelon with one part each gin and club soda, add sugar, and stir.

3. Serve over ice.

If you are using the lime slices, go ahead and squeeze a little lime juice into your glass, too.

Bacon and Green Chile Frittata


Here’s my Tex-Mex interpretation of the classic frittata.  At my house, we like to garnish it with extra grated cheese and a little Cholula sauce!

6 eggs
1/4 cup finely diced green chiles (poblanos or, for a spicier result, jalapeños)
6 strips of crispy, cooked bacon
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
additional 1 Tbsp butter

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a baking dish with 1 Tbsp butter and set aside.

2. Whisk eggs and milk in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir lightly. Pour into baking dish.

3. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the dish comes out clean. The top of your frittata should be only slight browned.

4. Allow to cool for a few minutes and serve in slices.

Serves 4. Delicious reheated or served cold.