There are many household chores on my I-Don’t-Like-To-Do List. At the very top is the job I tackled last week ….
Cleaning out the refrigerator.
I had a day off.
It needed to be done.
The fridge inventory was relatively low, so there wasn’t as much stuff to sit out on the counter and get warm.
So I dived in, and It took up most of the afternoon.
It is truly a disgusting job.
How does that gunk get embedded around the edges of the shelves? Who spilled something on the bottom shelf, way in the back?
And I’m not sure what that was stuck in the very bottom, under the crisper drawers. Frankly, I don’t want to know.
A few sweaty hours later, and I had a bright, shiny fridge from top to bottom. And since I know how fast it can revert to its former state — it really had been cleaned not that long ago — I employed a couple tactics I found online.
First of all, I used press-and-seal plastic wrap to line the door shelves and the crispers. That way, in case of a spill or produce residue, I can just rip out the plastic wrap, fold up the gunk and replace it. At least that’s the concept; we will see if it actually plays out that way.
Secondly, I took an empty beer six-pack box (we just happen to have a few of those tucked away in our home-brewing household), cut the top handle off and used it to organize the in-the-door condiments section. If one of those bottles should leak, the cardboard should minimize the damage.
Among those condiments was half a jar of salsa, recently purchased but not totally consumed. It brought to mind one of the brunch/breakfast recipes that I have yet to share in this ongoing series.
In my files, the recipe is titled “Stacked Up Over Dallas” and credited to Winora Hallstrom.
I have made it numerous times, most notably for several bridal or baby showers as an alternative to the traditional ham and cheese egg bake. It calls for 1 cup salsa, about the amount left over in that jar in my fridge. Guess what’s on the menu for this weekend’s brumch?
The salsa adds Tex-Mex flair to the breakfast dish, so I can see where the Dallas figures into the name. And there are layers — or stacks — so I guess the air travel-inspired name is fitting if a bit baffling. I made my own version, calling it “Stacked Up Over Austin” — since when we visit Texas we usually fly into Austin — by substituting finely chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce ifor the green chiles in the sausage mixture.
Either way, it’s delicious.
Stacked Up Over Dallas
10 slices day-old bread
12 ounces pork sausage
1 medium onion
One 4-ounce can diced green chiles
2 cups shredded American cheese
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack (or Winora suggests a mixture of cheddar and Monterey Jack
2 cups milk
1 cup salsa
Cut bread into 1-inch cubes. Cook and crumble sausage in a fry pan, adding onions and drained green chiles. Drain off fat.
In a buttered 9- by 13-inch pabn, layer half the bread crumbs, half the sausage and half the cheeses. Repeat layers.
Lightly beat eggs and combine with the milk and salsa. Pour over the layers in casserole.
Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Remove from refrigerator 2 hours before baking and let set at room temperature. Bake at 325 degrees for 55 minutes.