I’m feelin’ the February funk. You know, the middle of this dreary winter month when it’s bone chilling cold and all you wanna do is stay under the warm, soft covers, even after hitting the snooze button for the 1,345,566,346th time. Yeah, that funk where sitting around in pajamas and eating warm carbs is my escape. But there are little humans to take to school, feed, bathe, and just generally keep alive so though I want to bury my head under the covers and come back up when it’s spring, I have to be a grown-up and do what grown-ups do. And given this February funk, I should get a gold star for
setting foot in the kitchen making the most incredible brinner.
Yes, brinner. My favorite meal like ever. Brinner makes my heart smile and you know what else? It’s become a tradition in my house to do brinner once every couple of weeks, at least. Enter my addictive breakfast enchiladas. You heard me. Soft, fluffy eggs, crispy potatoes, zesty pepper jack cheese nestled into warm corn tortillas, topped with a creamy sauce and baked to so much goodness I want some. Like now. NOM!
Ask me what my favorite meal is and I’ll tell you it’s brunch without so much as a millisecond of hesitation. I ? all things brunch. I love making brunch. I love eating brunch. Brunch is awesome. Period. Leslie Knope is definitely on to something. I strongly believe she would really like my baked chocolate chunk panettone french toast. Unfortunately, in my reality, brunch doesn’t get as much love from me as I would like- it’s like the overlooked middle child. Because life. So to remedy the situation, I now make brinner. And brinner dishes, as a whole, are the most requested in my house. There’s something rebellious about having breakfast at a time when you should be having dinner. Like somehow I’m breaking the laws of breakfast, dinner… and time and space. My kids get this slightly mischievous smile when they request brinner.
Now, about these enchiladas. I have this deep love for enchiladas, with their warm tortilla goodness. I’m looking at you, skinny chicken enchiladas with roasted salsa verde. Whenever I make them, I think I’m making enough for at least a couple of meals and don’t have to cook the next day. Twelve enchiladas is a whole latta…enchiladas. But there are always seconds and thirds to be had. every. single. time. And you guys, I NEVER learn my lesson. It happened again with these breakfast enchiladas. There’s a reason I call them addictive.
You know what the star of these enchiladas is? The eggs. I’m not kidding. The understated, humble scrambled egg, a relative of the poached egg or the just-cooked-enough-to-set-the-yolk egg like in this one skillet eggs and potatoes. Scrambled eggs are a whole other story. Scrambled eggs are the simplest, most under appreciated form of eggs and most of the time, they’re…not good. Sorry, they’re just not. That’s because there are several important factors to making the perfectly, soft, fluffy, moist scrambled eggs that people often overlook:
- always start out with a cold pan, preferably non-stick. Pre-heating the pan shocks the eggs into cooking quickly and dries them out. Truly yummy-licious eggs require patience and gradual increase in temperature, until the eggs start to set. Turn once and let them set on the other side. Just barely solidify because eggs continue to cook, even after being taken off the heat.
- even if you use nonstick, at the very least, brush your pan with oil. If you’re willing to go the full mile and really commit to making egg-cellent eggs (see the joke I just made there?), use a generous pat of delicious, glorious butter. If you’re watching the calories, a simple brush with oil will do.
- greek yogurt. Yes, GREEK YOGURT. 1/2 tablespoon per egg plays up the fluffy factor. Guys, this tip right here is the $100,000,000 tip. Use full-fat or fat-free. The beauty of greek yogurt is that even the fat-free is rich and creamy enough to bulk up your eggs and it won’t alter the taste. The result: velvety, slightly tangy, eggs.
The potatoes bring their A-game to these enchiladas, with their tender crispiness and the vibrant, smokey taste they get from the paprika. I could just eat these by themselves and be perfectly content. Actually, I did eat them by themselves. I’ve been making potatoes similar to these for years and years and have slowly been incorporating them into more of my recipes. Just a natural progression of things. Remember though, not all potatoes are created equal. Yukon golds or other yellow potatoes seem to fare better in these sorts of roles; they’re ‘meaty’ without being overwhelming and stay together more than russets tend to.
So what goes well with the potatoes? The rich, creamy, velvety cheese sauce that pulls these enchiladas together. I used pepperjack cheese for a little kick to the dish but cheddar, colby jack, or any other chunk cheese will work too. I said chunk cheese. Why? Because pre-shredded cheese is coated with anti-caking agents, which prevent it from melting smoothly so you can can kiss that creamy texture good-bye. Grating your own cheese is not only cheaper and tastier but it takes all of 3 minutes. I timed myself. Just watch those fingers and you’ll be okay.
These breakfast enchiladas are also the perfect make ahead breakfast. Assemble everything the night before and pop them in the oven in the morning for a quick breakfast/brunch/lunch/dinner/brinner/snack/potluck/pick-me-up, sorta dish. In theory, it can feed a large crowd so it’s perfect if you’re hosting something. But don’t say I didn’t warn you about its addictive qualities. You may end up with a brawl on your hands as you and your BFF eye that last piece. You have been warned.
Seriously, somebody just hand me a fork already!
- 12 corn tortillas, heated until pliable*
- 6 large eggs
- 2 cups (8 oz) chunk pepper jack cheese, grated (or cheese of choice)
- 4-5 medium firm potatoes (such as yukon gold), peeled and cubed
- 1 packed cup chopped spinach
- 3 tbsp 0% fat greek yogurt
- 2 cups 2% milk (or milk of choice)
- 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus some more for brushing pan to cook eggs
- 1½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1½ tsp garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- COOK THE POTATOES AND SPINACH: Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan on medium high heat. Add potatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Add 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp chili powder. Continue to cook as potatoes become tender. Add granulated garlic and stir to coat the potatoes. Flip potatoes to caramelize other side. Cook until potatoes are tender, until a fork pierces through easily. Remove potatoes and set aside. Add spinach in the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, until spinach is wilted. Remove from pan and set aside.
- COOK THE EGGS: Combine eggs and greek yogurt in a large bowl and whisk rigorously until mixture is fully blended. Lightly brush a COLD pan with oil and pour in eggs. On low heat, cook for 2-3 minutes, until eggs begin to set and you can see the edges start to solidify. With a spatula, gently break up the eggs by stirring. Gently flip the eggs to cook the other side. Cook 1 minute, or until eggs set. Remove from pan and set aside.
- MAKE THE SAUCE: Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan on medium high heat. Once oil is heated, sprinkle in flour, while whisking with a wire whisk, to make sure clumps do not form. Cook to get rid of raw flour taste, while stirring, about 2 minutes. Slowly pour in milk while continuing to mix and making sure there are no lumps in the sauce. Whisk in broth, ½ tsp salt, paprika, ½ tsp chili powder, and black pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer to thicken the sauce. Turn off the heat and add in 1 cup of cheese.
- MAKE THE FILLING: In a large bowl combine ½ cup cheese, 1½ cups sauce, eggs, potatoes, and spinach until blended. Set aside.
- ASSEMBLE THE ENCHILADAS: Pour ½ cup of remaining sauce into an 11X13 pan and spread eventy. Spoon filling mixture into each tortilla, roll tortilla with seams overlapping and lay in pan, seam side down. You will be able to arrange 8 widthwise and 2 rows of two lengthwise, on the sides of the pan. Pour remaining sauce evenly over assembled enchiladas. Top with remaining cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.
- BAKE: covered at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, until cheese is melted. Uncover foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Serve hot.