By Joe Stumpe
Isn’t it amazing how great minds think alike? Average ones, too!
There was I, thinking about starting a regular feature on recipes that serve one or two people when reader Claudine Cook telephoned with the same idea.
Well, actually she called to let me know we had been spelling her name wrong (“Cauldine” would indeed be an unusual name), but then we got to talking about food, as often seems to happen with me.
“There are a lot of us who just cook for ourselves,” Claudine said, adding that she prefers recipes that don’t call for a ton of ingredients or steps.
I feel the same way, at least some of the time.
So this month, we’re launching Recipes for You — or Two. The recipes will all be written to make one or two servings (although it should be easy to double them for more mouths or leftovers, if desired).
I’m starting with the simple recipe that my wife and I eat probably more than any other single dish: egg tacos. Why? Well, they’re cheap, quick to make and reasonably healthy, but the real reason is because they’re so tasty. With nearly endless variations possible. Although eggs are traditionally associated with breakfast in America, I assure you these are great for any meal.
The basic recipes call for four ingredients: one tortilla, one or two eggs, salsa and cheese. We love the small flour “street taco” tortillas that supermarkets began carrying a few years ago, but there are also corn tortillas, fried taco shells and more to choose from. Thanks to its large Hispanic population, Wichita even has numerous producers of fresh tortillas. Unless you’ve had one of these tortillas still warm and soft from the grill, you’re missing out.
There are dozens of varieties of salsa, bottled and fresh, available in supermarkets today, ranging in heat from mild to spicy and incorporating flavors such as chipotle peppers or tomatillos. As for cheese, sharp cheddar, swiss and good old American are our favorites, but any kind that will melt quickly works.
Those are the basics, to which you can also add fresh or cooked vegetables such as bell pepper, peas, mushrooms or beans, cooked meat or seafood (we grill extra steak just for this purpose), chopped avocado, fresh herbs and more. In other words, they’re a great use of leftovers.
A note on cooking eggs: There are different schools of thought on the best technique, but to me, scrambling an egg fast over high heat is the way to go. They stay fluffy and don’t stick.
Basic Egg Taco
1 or 2 eggs (depending on the size of the tortilla), lightly beaten
1/8 to 1/4 cup salsa
1 slice cheese, such as American or Swiss
1 flour tortilla
Oil, for frying
Heat oil in skillet over high heat. Add beaten egg(s), stirring once or twice as soon as the bottom begins to set. Quickly add salsa and cheese, stirring just enough to mix evenly through egg.
Meanwhile, pop the tortilla in the microwave and heat for 20 seconds. When egg is done, transfer to tortilla and enjoy.
Submit your Recipe
Got a recipe that’s great for one or two folks? Submit it to The Active Age. If we use it, we’ll send you a gift certificate for $25 to The Spice Merchant. Send recipes to The Active Age, 125 S. West St., Suite 105, Wichita, KS, 67213; or email