Breakfast is such an important meal and the best way to start the day...and yet so many of us skip it or go very light. Instead of a rut with cereal, bagels or even eggs and bacon....try "chileing" it up with Migas, a Quesadilla or the Original Burrito.
Migas is a Mexican egg dish made with tortilla chips, eggs, chiles, cheese and whatever pleases you. You make it like a scramble right in the skillet or on a griddle. Actually Migas can be served any time of day. I am giving you a basic recipe you can have fun playing with.
Quesadillas have their origin in Mexico where they started as a snack or bar food as an alternative to peanuts or salsa and chips. Quesadillas in this country have kind of gone crazy with all kinds of fillings and toppings. Instead of the Mexican version of a corn tortilla folded around easy melting cheese with perhaps some jalapeno slices tucked in--the American version is almost always made with flour tortillas, and almost anything goes as the filling ingredients. I like to garnish them creatively with cremas squirted out of a bottle, salsas, cilalntro, chopped tomato and a confetti sprinkle of our caribe chile.
The original Mexican burrito, named for little boys who rode the floppy eared gray burros, who were often called the burritos by the early Spanish Conquistadores. The story goes that the Conquistadores often stole the tortillas stuffed with beans and jalapeno slices that the little boys were eating for lunch--hence, they named the food they were eating, burritos. If you come to our weekend Cooking School, we cook the original Burrito for breakfast. Everyone is always so amazed how yummy a freshly made corn tortilla is stuffed with home cooked beans, a sprinkle of jalapeno pickle slices and a garni of salsas.
We can still get you in our Oaxaca tour! The weekend classes and our day classes are getting quite a few signing up. Register soon so you can get in the class you wish.
To chile-up your spring dishes, our red chile powders and flakes are on a 25% OFF sale until the end of the week or March 1.
Sometimes called megas-these eggs are a good way to use up not-so-fresh corn chips and leftover chopped onions, tomato, and chiles. In fact, you could substitute leftover salsa for the separate ingredients.
Yields: 4 servings
2 Tablespoons butter
½ cup chopped onion
1/2 cup diced tomato
8 eggs, beaten
2 Tablespoons milk
1 cup coarsely crushed corn chips
2 Tablespoons pickled jalapeno chile slices, coarsely chopped—reserving 4 or more whole slices for garnish
½ cup mixed shredded Monterey Jack cheese and Cheddar cheese
Additional shredded cheeses, chopped onion, and tomato for garnish
1. Melt butter in a large, heavy skillet. Add onion and tomato and cook until onion is transparent. Beat eggs in a medium-size bowl and add milk and crushed corn chips.
2. Add the egg mixture to the skillet and cook, stirring, just until the eggs begin to set. Add cheeses and minced chile. Continue cooking eggs until set. Serve on warmed plates, topping each serving with a sprinkling of cheeses, chopped onion, tomato, and a slice or two of pickled chiles.
Quesadillas are one of the most versatile of all light meals or appetizers. Restaurants in Old Mexico serve a much simpler version of quesadillas. There, generally a quesadilla is a freshly baked corn tortilla oozing with quick-melting cheese and served with a side dish of freshly made salsa. Sometimes they are fried, though not often. Quesadillas are one of the most fun foods to garnish and present in creative and pretty ways. Innovation is the key to a great quesadilla; just use your favorite or on-hand ingredients and let your imagination roll.
Yield: 1 quesadilla
1 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted
1 wheat-flour tortilla (10 to 12 inch size)
2 to 4 tablespoons grated Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese combination or any substitution, such as goat cheese, asadero, or other quick-melting cheese
6 to 8 slices pickled jalapeños
Other fillings as desired: sautéed chorizo, sliced grilled chicken or other meat, baby shrimp, cooked pinto or black beans, any sliced seared vegetables, chopped onion and tomato
Garnishes: Caribe chile, cremas made from thinned sour cream or crème fraiche, cilantro leaves, salsas as desired
1. Preheat a comal (Mexican flat griddle), tapa or griddle to medium heat. Brush some of the butter lightly in the shape of half a tortilla on one side of the comal.
2. Place the tortilla on the butter. Place the cheese on the buttered half of the tortilla, allowing a ½-inch margin around the edge of the tortilla. Scatter the jalapeño slices and any other fillings over the cheese.
3. When the cheese starts to melt, fold the other half of the tortilla over the fillings and lightly press until the edges hold together. Brush the top with more of the butter. Flip the quesadilla by gently placing a pancake turner under the curved edges of the quesadilla and rolling it over. Cook until browned. Remove from the heat, slice into 4 or more sections, and garnish as desired.
Reprinted from Jane Butel’s Real Women Eat Chiles.