Friday, June 10, 2011

Home cookin'

My grandmother's name is Bubbles.  I'm not kidding. I didn't know until I was nearly a teenager that she had another name. My grandpa's name was Babe. Babe and Bubbles. My grandpa died a few weeks ago and we miss him a bunch.  He was a really good guy.  He loved bowling, playing golf and pool and his grandkids. He was born in Boston, but came to L.A. at 7 months old and grew up with his Orthodox family in the West Adams neighborhood, with 3 brothers they called the little Capones. One day I'll tell stories about the little Capones running around L.A. Needless to say, they got into a heap of trouble.
Grandpa Babe, Grandma Bubbles and mom, June 1946, West Adams, Los Angeles CA.
My grandma also came to L.A. as a baby. They moved to the Edendale area and then all over the place but eventually ended up in the Fairfax neighborhood.  Grandma went to Fairfax High school and grandpa went to Dorsey. Which makes me a 3rd generation Angelena; something I'm pretty proud of.  Anyway, my whole damn family lived in L.A. growing up. Great grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, great aunts and uncles, crazy-ass third cousins removed a couple of times and they all came to family events. If the event was at brunch time, this dish was ALWAYS served.

I'm not sure where my grandma got this recipe originally, only that when I was a very young child in the 1970s I did not like it.  I can't imagine why as it is basically eggs, cheese, butter, some more cheese and Ortega chilies.  Perhaps it was the chilies. I've grown up since then and now I love the hell out of it. It is also super easy to make. Basically you mix all the ingredients and throw it into the oven.

There is some seriously cheesy goodness here.  It couldn't be made vegan by any stretch, but it is very easily made gluten free and you can't tell at all.  I've made it GF before and other than sticking to the pan a bit, it tasted no different. I can't imagine how it would stick to the pan as there's about a ton and a half of butter and cheese, but it did.  I've included the GF measurements in the recipe as well. By the way, this recipe can be modified 8 ways to Sunday. Feel free to make all kinds of substitutes, I'll include some below, hell, mix in some bacon if you're feelin' it.


Chili Egg "Souffle"

10 eggs (or an even dozen if you want)
1/2 cup flour (or GF flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
16 ounces small curd cottage cheese (or regular curd, fat-free, full fat, whatever, it still tastes good)
16 ounces shredded jack cheese (or half jack and half mozzarella or cheddar or whatever you have)
1/2 cup butter (or less if you want, but it doesn't get as crispy on top)
8 ounces diced green Ortega chilis (canned)

1. Beat eggs until a light lemon color. Add everything else. Mix up with a fork or your KitchenAid or whatever you have to mix with.
This is what it looks like going into the oven.

2. Pour into a 9 x 13 Pyrex dish (or two smaller ones). Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes or until top is brown and center is firm. Serves about 12 or so.

This is what it looks like hot from the oven for brunch with some cheap champagne.


  1. I am one of those crazy relatives. And this is still one of my brunch "go to" recipes despite its shameful direct to your arteries and thighs ingredients.

  2. Oooo...Faith! I think we had this at your house years ago! Thanks for the recipe. It will now become part of our family tradition, along with the lox, bagels and cream cheese!!!

  3. Absolutely Ellen! I can't believe you don't have it already. I probably promised it to you a thousand times!