Red Hot Tex-Mex French Toast Dinner

One of my favorite things to do in the kitchen is to put a new twist on a classic or traditional recipe. Most recently, I took a standard breakfast dish – French toast and eggs – and amped it up to be truly worthy of dinner. I don’t even know if this can even be classified as brinner anymore. I swapped the regular stale bread with a slightly dry and sturdy jalapeno cornbread, used the egg white wash from the bread to create a flavorful omelet to pair with it, and drenched it all in an easy, homemade and healthy enchilada sauce (yes, I’m finally giving you the recipe for the red enchilada sauce that I’ve been referencing in other recipes for the past few weeks). The cornbread has a cool-hot jalapeno flavor rather than a burning-hot one thanks to removing the seeds from the peppers, but the sauce is spicy enough for the heat-lovers out there to accept the slightly more demure corn bread beneath it. The sauce also does an excellent job moistening up the meal, as the cornbread, as I mentioned, is on the drier side on its own. The egg was really good – full of flavor and a perfect companion to the French toast. Some sautéed spinach would add a nice extra pop of color, but aside from that, I don’t think that I would change a thing.

Red-Hot Tex-Mex French Toast Dinner
Yield: 4 servings

The Ingredients
1 batch jalapeno cornbread (recipe below)
1 – 1 ½ cups egg whites
2 tablespoons (low-fat) milk
½ batch red enchilada sauce (recipe below)

The Method
Using a serrated knife, slice the cornbread horizontally into 4 long and thin planks, and then halve each plank to create 8 equal squares; set aside.

Whisk the egg whites with the milk in a shallow dish such as a pie plate and pour half into a second shallow dish in order to work with all 4 servings simultaneously. Add 4 cornbread squares to each dish and let the cornbread soak up the egg mixture for at least 2 minutes. Flip the squares over and continue soaking the opposite side for another 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, head a large skillet over medium heat and coat lightly with nonstick spray. Heat another frying pan with a dash of oil or more spray over medium heat. When the large skillet is hot, add as many cornbread squares as possible without overcrowding; cook 3-4 minutes per side, flipping once. After you flip the squares, add the leftover egg mixture to the heated frying pan and scramble the eggs.

Place 2 cornbread squares on a plate, top with ¼ of the scrambled eggs, and pour ¼ - ⅓ cup of enchilada sauce over the entire thing. Repeat for the remaining 3 servings.

Jalapeno Cornbread, adapted from Closet Cooking
Yield: 4 servings

The Ingredients
1 cup (low-fat) milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 cup white whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded & finely diced

The Method
Preheat the oven to 375° Fahrenheit and grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. Combine the milk and lemon juice to make homemade buttermilk; set aside for 2-3 minutes.

Whisk the oil and eggs into the buttermilk and set aside.

Mix together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and soda, and salt in a large bowl. Fold in the buttermilk mixture until barely combined, then mix in the jalapeno peppers to be well distributed.

Pour the cornbread mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 30-40 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce, adapted from Family, Stamping & Food!
Yield: approximately 2 cups

The Ingredients
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup water
2 teaspoons (no salt added) chicken bouillon
1 cup (no salt added) crushed tomatoes
pinch of salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

The Method
Add the oil to a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and chili powder once the oil has heated, 1 minute. Stir in the remaining ingredients except for the cilantro, and bring to a boil. Whisk occasionally, cooking for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Serve warm in recipes.

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