Post #476 Breakfast, Mexican Style

May 26, 2016 at 12:43 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post #476 Breakfast, Mexican Style

Anyone who’s read this blog for a while knows my fondness for Mexican cooking.  I grew up on the Mexican border in Arizona.  Our house was an eclectic mix of Irish, Southern, Italian, and American cooking.  We couldn’t go longer than three days without something Mexican being on the menu.  Come to think of it, we’re still like that today.  My brother and sister, as well as Partner/Spouse, we all eat Mexican several times a week.  We all just love the flavors.

Years ago, I was working in Tijuana.  That’s in Mexico, for those who don’t know, just barely across the border below San Diego, CA.  Our hotel provided breakfast each morning, a nice blend of Mexican and American dishes.  Plenty of fresh fruit, bread and tortillas, scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage, chili con carne, fresh cheeses, and a large chafing dish of a chilaquiles variation.

I ate a LOT of that chilaquiles.  One of my coworkers, just before we left, said that if she never looked at refried beans and tortillas again it would still be too soon.  I didn’t get it.  I love the stuff.

You’ve may have read my posts about juevos rancheros and breakfast burritos.  Chilaquiles are another traditional Mexican dish usually served at breakfast, but can actually show up any time of the day.  There’s loads of variations but the basic dish is this:

Corn tortillas  are quartered and fried crispy.  Two tortillas per serving is a good guideline.  The fried tortillas are placed in a large, shallow frying pan and red or green salsa is poured over them.  This is simmered until the tortillas start softening, then it’s removed from the heat.  It’s garnished with crema and fresh cheese.  A serving of refried beans is placed on a plate or a wide bowl and the tortillas are served over the top.  Then you throw your face into the middle of it and eat till it’s gone.  Licking your plate is considered unseemly, but is regarded as compliment to the cook.  Burping is frowned upon.

There are hundreds of variations on the theme.  People add meats like shredded chicken or pork, and carne asada cut into small pieces.  Vegetables can be added to the salsa or served on the side.  Eggs can be simmered in the salsa and served whole with the tortillas.  Hard boiled eggs can be placed in the salsa just before serving.  Avocados, rice, sliced onion, sliced peppers, limes, warm tortillas can be served on the side.  Whole steaks can be added on the side if you like.

But getting back to Tijuana, they made it the best way I’ve ever seen.

Since they were serving many people, they did quite differently.  They fried up the corn tortillas and simmered them in a red spicy salsa.  They heated refried beans and added the tortillas and more salsa, then topped it all with cheddar cheese.  They place hard boiled eggs cut in halves all over the top.  Guests could serve themselves as much or as little as they liked with whatever extra toppings they wanted which the hotel placed in bowls on the side.

Like I said earlier, I ate the heck out of that.  One morning, they added carne asada pieces to it.  I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.  It was so good!  (I’m drooling right now thinking about it.)

As always,


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