Just when I think that this summer could not get any hotter. Every year I find myself saying, “this is the hottest summer ever”. And every succeeding year, the summer blazes its way to my doorstep to top last year’s performance. On some paranoid (yes, I am and not too proud of that) and sci-fi-loving (yes, I am and proud to say it) level I can’t help thinking that we are somehow getting closer to the sun or that some Armageddonesque event is lurking around the corner. I check to see if I’ve been watching too many movies lately, but no, I’ve been too busy. So it must definitely be the paranoia and sci-fi mind meanderings.
Or it could be that this extreme heat has totally addled my brain. That is a big possibility too. And if you are here, on my tropical isle, experiencing this very same summer, then you know that is highly probable.
Our life nowadays seems to be both on a whirlwind hamster-wheel of seemingly never-ending work, at the same time in lethargic slow-motion brought about by the heat. It’s like running out of gas even before you hit cruising speed. Have you ever felt that way?
Anyway, I’ve found that if I get up a little earlier each day (an admirable and rewarding habit to strive for – if only my duvet-loving self could maintain it) I get a patch of calm and quiet all to myself, that is not so very hot yet, where I can sit at my desk and look out onto a world that hasn’t quite woken up, filled with promise, real or imagined, that I can tuck away to be savored later when I find a spare minute during the days frenetic moments. I love these “free” bits of therapy life offers to those who have eyes to spot them.
The extra time also affords you the luxury of making a really good breakfast.
Spanish Chorizo Breakfast Skillet
- Olive oil
- 80-100 grams Spanish chorizo (I used chistorra made locally by these charming girls at my neighbourhood market who lived in Spain for a bit), sliced
- 100 grams potato (either one small or half a medium), peeled and chopped
- 1 red pepper, roasted, peeled, and sliced into strips (I do this a day or two before)
- A pinch of dried oregano
- 2 eggs (or 1 egg + 1 egg yolk, which is what I like to do sometimes)
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Heat a generous swirl of olive oil in a small skillet. When the oil is hot add the potatoes and spread out in one layer. When the potatoes have sizzled for a bit, maybe 1-2 minutes, add the chorizo, squeezing them in beside the potatoes. Let this sizzle away, tossing every so often so nothing sticks.
- When the potatoes are almost done (a fork inserted should easily go through), add the roasted red pepper to the pan. Add the oregano and season with salt and pepper. Toss through again and cook for a few minutes more until the potatoes are soft inside and nice and toasty around the edges, and the chorizo is cooked through.
- Move the chorizo, potatoes, and red pepper to the sides of the pan. If there is hardly any oil left, pour a bit into the space you’ve created in the center of the pan. Now gently pour the eggs into the center of the pan. Season the egg with salt. Let this fry up for a bit, and then cover the pan, cooking until the eggs are done to your liking. Serve immediately.
This is a full on, bells and whistles, sort of breakfast that can really get your engines started in the beginning of the day. Aside from being obviously hearty, it also feels like an indulgent treat, which, let’s be honest, we all need once in a while.
This recipe will feed one (don’t ever balk at cooking something nice for just yourself…you deserve it!) but is easily scaled up (for a Sunday morning family brunch-in-pajamas). If you’d like to feed more people simply multiply the ingredients as you’d like and find a bigger pan.
You can make this on a slow weekend morning or, if you get into the habit of getting up just a wee bit earlier, on a weekday when you know you will be needing the extra coddling.
You can eat this straight from the pan, sopping up all the eggy, oily juices with a thickly sliced piece of rustic bread. Or be absolutely Filipino, like I am, and scrape the whole mess on top of a pile of rice. Oh my. Now that’s therapy.
To all my fellow islanders…hope you are staying cool wherever you are!