Power. Our lives revolve around power. Not the Con Ed power. The power of people, organizations and nations. Our lives are shaped by power and we endlessly debate and classify power: economic, military, cultural, ….
You can read or hear the debates about American power. We are dead, we will rise again, we are doomed by China, Putin is rational for a guy running a third rate country but is only a thorn in our side. I read and I listen. The problems now are different yet the portrayals of rise or fall have been with us through our history. I no longer panic. And, actually, instead I have become rather mellow. For I have learned which country is the most powerful. At least until 10 AM.
It’s Mexico. Because Mexican breakfasts are singularly the best. Thank about your American breakfast, that brownish mélange. Toast, bagels, muffins, oatmeal, cereal, sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs…. There’s brown in every bite. Yum. How inspiring.
Now, look at that picture above of Huevos Oaxaqueños. Imagine starting your day with this blast of color and flavor. All that is missing is a mariachi band. Veggies, cheese, chilies, eggs and more are combined here in calculated abandon. Most importantly, this recipe is quite robust. Suzen had a basket of purple tomatillos which where chopped and added to the morning march. You, too, should take whatever liberties your kitchen counter and refrigerator offer.
I’m not a breakfast person, except on Sundays. Too often I find the American carbo breakfast to be an anchor I have to pull through the morning. This Mexican fare is just the opposite: fiery and inspiring.
This lovely recipe is from a Better Homes and Garden Special Interest Publication, Mexican. This annual publication was available this spring but was to be pulled by April 1. Lucky me. I found my copy upstate and you might be able to scour about and find one too. This issue is 120 pages of ideas that begin with breakfast but last thru the day.
Oh, on the side? That Suzen’s pepper bread with cream cheese and raspberry jalapeno jam. Unabated flavor.
Yield: 4 servings
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 small fresh Anaheim chili pepper, stemmed, seed, and chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 large tomatoes, chopped
- 1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried savory or cilantro, crushed
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- Crumbled queso fresco
- Fresh cilantro springs, optional
- Corn tortillas, warmed, optional
In a skillet cook the onion, chili pepper, and garlic in hot oil over medium heat about 5 minutes or until tender. Add the tomatoes, zucchini, dried savory or cilantro and salt. Cook for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes release their liquid and the zucchini is tender
Break one of the eggs into a measuring cup. Carefully slide the egg into the tomato mixture in the skillet. Repeat with the remaining three eggs. , allowing each egg an equal amount of space in the tomato mixture. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the egg whites are completely set and the yolks begin to thicken but are not hard. Sprinkle with queso fresco.
If desired, serve with fresh cilantro sprigs and warm corn tortillas.
Spoon sauce over game hens and surround with remaining wild rice.
Source: Mexican from Better Homes and Gardens
Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 18-55MM lens, F/3.5 for 1/30th second at ISO 320.
If nachos are on your menu for Sunday’s Super Bowl, then I recommend this version. It’s the second best nachos I ever had. The best? On the other side of the border, of course.
Using a great chili recipe [there's one right here] and topping the avocado crema gives you a rich, fulling nosh. This one supports beer, margaritas, and even a dark red wine.
I tried to get the recipe for those best nachos, but I did not speak French. Yes, French. The border was Canada, not Mexico. The restaurant was in Toronto with some refugees from Montreal who spoke French and cooked Mexican.
Food is global. And you”ll enjoy this treat.
Brian’s Super Chili Nachos
Yield: serves 4-6
- 5 ounces corn tortilla chips
- 8 ounces grated cheddar cheese [or Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack]
- ¾ cup candied jalapenos, or more depending on your tolerance
- 1 large onion finely diced
- 2 cups chili [ideally Tom Valenti’s Texas-Style Chili, recipe follows]
- Sour cream, avocado creama, diced tomatoes, or additional grated cheese as garnishes [avocado crema recipe follows]
Preheat the oven to 475°.
Spread the tortilla chips evenly over pan [half-sheet] lined with foil. Cover evenly with the grated cheese. Evenly sprinkle the jalapenos and diced onions.
Top with the chili. This is best done a spoonful at a time. Just try to cover in bite size globs. Spreading the chili evenly over the other ingredients is not easy, and not necessary.
Bake the nachos for about 7 minutes, until the cheese is fully melted. If the chili is leftovers and has been refrigerated, it may take about 10 minutes to fully heat the dish.
Remove from the oven and serve with the garnishes.
Source: Brian O’Rourke
Yield: 1 cup
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled and pit removed
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Variations are unlimited, but consider: chili powder of any variety, garlic, chives, cilantro, or green chili
Puree all the ingredients in a blender or food processor for one or two minutes. Sample the taste and add additional seasoning — salt or white pepper — to suit your palette.
Source: Macho Nacho by Kate Heykoe
Texas Style Chili
Yield: Serves 6+
- 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-inch chunks, trimmed of fat
- Coarse salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Chili powder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into small dice
- 1 large Spanish onion, peeled and cut into small dice
- 1 stalk celery, cut into small dice
- 2 bell peppers, seeded and cut into small dice
- 10 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
- Pinch of sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- 1 quart store-bough reduced-sodium beef broth
- 4 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin, plus more to taste
- 1 ancho chile, seeded, stemmed, and minced
- 2 15-ounce cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- Sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, Tabasco sauce, and minced onion or scallions, optional.
Put the meat in a bowl and season with 1 tablespoon each of salt pepper garlic powder and chili powder. Set aside.
Warm the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the meat and cook until browned all over, 7 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a plate and set aside.
Drain off all but a few tablespoons of liquid from the pot. Add the carrots, onion, celery, bell peppers, and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until softened but not browned, about five minutes. Add the tomato paste and sugar and stir to coat the vegetables.
Return the meat to the pot sprinkle the flour over the meat stirred in, working quickly to keep it from browning.
Add the vinegar and stir to loosen any bits of flour or meet stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add the broth in small increments, stirring to prevent lumps add the tomatoes proven, and showed chili stir. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat.
Cover the pot, reduce the heat so that the liquid just simmers, and cook for one hour. Add the beans and continue to cook until they are very tender, about 15 minutes. If not serving immediately, but cool, cover, and refrigerate for a few days or freeze for up to one month. Reheat before conditioning very
To serve, divide the chili among six bowls and pass garnishes at the table in individual bowls, inviting everyone to doctor his or her chili to taste.