I always wanted to be a lady who brunched.
I know, the ladies who lunch are the glamorous ones but brunch is so much more my style. But, for years, my Saturday and Sunday morning were devoted to dancing and now I tend to work most weekends. As in, I have to force myself to stop working and remind myself that it’s time to take a break.
And what a better time to do that than brunch — it’s a sort of cure-all for any situation. Long night last night? Brunch will make it better! Want to fuel up before a day of shopping? Brunch is the answer. A post-hike catch-up with your friends? Brunch it is!
But the downside of brunch is the lines. And the waiting while your stomach is crying for a morsel of anything that resembles food. So, I’ve been bringing brunch inside and staying away from the craziness and the crowds that make up the weekend brunch scene in Hollywood. This brunch is inspired by a dish my man likes at a local cafe but I started making it at home so we don’t have to deal with the crowds. A few twists and tweaks of my own and it’s a vegetarian hash that’s not quite as greasy as most diner hash, but just as filling and certainly a lot more attractive (I mean, look at those colors!)
And, it’s this month’s Pretty. Easy. Because even though brunch can feel like twice the pressure, being a combo of breakfast and lunch and all, well, that doesn’t mean it should be intimidating. And, if you’re not a morning person (like, moi) then make the potatoes, beans, and tofu in advance and just throw it all together in time for eating. Even if you haven’t had your first cup of coffee, I can guarantee it’ll come out tasty as can be.
Tex Mex-Style Tofu Hash Recipe
- Makes: 4 servings
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Hands-On Time: 30 minutes
- 12 ounces new potatoes
- 3 tablespoons canola, grapeseed, or peanut oil
- 8 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1-inch dubes
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeno, trimmed and finely chopped
- 8 ounces grape or sweet 100 tomatoes, halved (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or 1 (15oz) can drained and rinsed)
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 medium ripe avocados, pitted and sliced, for garnish
- 8 to 12 corn tortillas, warmed, for serving
- 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges, for garnish (optional)
- Your favorite salsa, for garnish (optional)
- Sour cream, for garnish (optional)
Place potatoes in a large saucepan of heavily salted water and bring to boil over high heat. Boil until potatoes are knife tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle. Cut into quarters and toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil, a pinch of the cumin, and pinch of salt.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Place tofu on a paper towel and place another paper towel on top and pat to dry off excess moisture then season with a pinch of salt. When oil is smoking, add tofu and cook until brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove to a bowl and toss with a third of the cumin and a pinch of salt.
Return pan to stove over medium-high heat, add remaining oil, onions, jalapenos, and the light part of the scallions. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook until golden brown. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring rarely, until they’re crisp and browned on the edges.
Stir in the tomatoes and cook until they just begin to soften and collapse. Stir in beans, remaining cumin, a 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cook until heated through. Add a splash (about 1/4 cup) water to the pan scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan and cook until it just becomes saucy. Add the tofu and heat through.
Remove from heat, stir in remaining scallions, cilantro, and top with avocado slices. Serve with warmed tortillas, lime wedges, and, if desired, salsa and sour cream.
Glorified: Add in sweet potatoes and chorizo and leave out the tofu.
Modified: Top with a few fried eggs and some tomatillos salsa.
Simplified: Nix the tofu and potatoes and use it as a burrito or taco filling.
Pretty Easy is a monthly feature showcasing doable yet interesting recipes. Even those who fear cooking often find success with these recipes.