Pictured Above: Guacamole & Tostitos Lime Chips at 12:00 O’clock; Gringo Salsa & Corn Salsa mixture at 5:00 O’clock; 3 egg whites with an oozing, decorated Egg Yolk; 3 Roasted Mini Peppers at 10:50 AM; Freshly chopped Cilantro scattered about the dish.
Welcome back to the new decade, 2010. I wanted to begin January 1, 2010 with my version of Huevos Rancheros. As I’ve stated in previous posts, I do my version of a particular dish. If you’re looking for 100% authenticity, then you’ve come to the wrong place. Generally speaking, I aim for the gist of the respective dish, but I cannot guarantee ultimate authenticity (it’s an unattainable standard with too many arguments). However, my dishes have so much love that disappointment is never an option. Just ask my wife and friends…
I regret the fact that I do not contain Hispanic DNA in my blood, but I really wish I did. I’ve been working with a wide range of Hispanic people my entire life, trying to learn about the 21 Hispanic countries that exist in our world, and working towards fluency and ultimate mastery of Spanish language. One of the bonuses for achieving these aforementioned goals is EATING THE FOOD. Every country has a food that they fancy in the spotlight. For example, Peruvians are proud to serve Ceviche (raw seafood and shellfish entree marinated in Lime Juice). Puerto Ricans and Dominicans make an awesome Pernil (Roasted Pork entree). Mexican cuisine has a myriad of dishes and permutations… I really enjoy authentic Tamales on the Corn Husk and a Mole Sauce with a minimum of 20+ ingredients. In this post, I will provide the breakdown for the Evan J. Huevos Rancheros.
In any cuisine, the freshest possible ingredients are the number one priority. If you’re lucky to have Rick Bayless cook for you, for example, the lack of fresh ingredients would cause his food to yield poor results. I’m not going to argue that any great chef can take poor quality ingredients and turn them into a golden masterpiece. However, it takes 2 to Tango: High quality ingredients plus a chef’s vision and execution. Having said that, I need to show some pictures and break down today’s featured Breakfast beauty.
I made fresh Guacamole… One can also see my Rachael Ray Orange Santoku knife (that was such an obvious plug), a plastic spatula to mix and scrape every morsel from the bowl, and the fresh Cilantro is hiding in the back in the 12:00 O’clock position. I know that the vegetable side of my cutting board needs to be cleaned and oiled with Butcher Block Oil. Please cut me some slack–I’m working here!
Ingredients for the fresh Guacamole:
2-3 Avocados depending upon the size (use ripe, but NOT too ripe Aguacates–Spanish Language practice)
2 ripe tomatoes–squeeze the flesh out to avoid a watery consistency, and dice the skin.
1 Jalapeño (pronounced “Ha La Pain Yo.” If you get the Jalapeño juices or seeds in your eye, you’ll most definitely be in pain, yo!
1 small-medium onion–dice it up! The Spanish word for onion is Cebolla.
2-3 minced garlic cloves (ajos picados en Español).
Fresh Cilantro–a key ingredient with an original flavor bringing authenticity to the dish
Salt & Pepper– focus on more Salt than the Pepper because you’ll have “heat” from the other ingredients…
Suggestion: If you use the delicious Tostitos Lime Chips, they bring the right balance of Salt to the dish. Therefore, don’t overdo the Salt; taste it as you go and adjust accordingly.
Ok, I cheated (just shoot me) and contradicted my fresh ingredients tirade. However, I wake up hungry every morning and thus, I can justify why I married the above ingredients in the picture. Trader Joe’s sells the Corn Chile on the left, and Shop Rite sells the “Green Mountain Gringo Salsa.” Besides loving the name, especially the Gringo part, it is the best bottled Salsa I’ve ever tasted. Obviously, fresh is much better. However, it’s important to have certain staples in the house during the week when time is short; it’s also nice to quickly improvise if guests come to your home unannounced. I got out of that one–quickly sing Sade’s Smooth Operator… In short, both bottles had about a 1/4 left. Therefore, I married both to create a hybrid Corn Salsa. The pretty yellow and red Roasted Peppers sitting atop the Corn Chile are a nice addition to the dish and it also makes for a nice presentation. Here are a bunch of those Roasted Peppers for you to ogle:
Here are my requirements for Eggs: Hormone Free, Vegetarian Fed, Brown, and enriched with some type of Omega 3, 6, 9, or all of them. For years, I bought no frills Eggs and didn’t realize what I was missing. The aforementioned, high maintenance version costs more per dozen, but it’s totally worth it. My wife and I taste an obvious difference. Remember what I said earlier about quality ingredients? I’m not talking about the part where I contradicted myself. Just search for the word fresh and you’ll be set… For Huevos Rancheros, one is supposed to use at least 2 Sunny Side up Eggs. It makes the dish richer. However, I have a small caviat called LDL Cholesterol, and I need to be careful to avoid medication. Therefore, I used 1 whole Egg, plus added 2 Egg Whites for more volume. When I prepared the Eggs, I did NOT use butter. Instead, I used a Lime Infused Olive Oil to coat my saute pans. There is something awesome about adding Lime to Mexican dishes. I could have garnished the plate with a Lime, but I didn’t have one in the house. Yet, the infused Lime Oil brought an incredibly refreshing authenticity to the dish.
Tortilla Chips: Tostitos with a Hint of Lime!
When you are finished plating with your killer presentation to wow your friends and family, cut the Cilantro about 1 minute before putting the dish on the table. For some reason, cutting the Cilantro much earlier in the day causes some odd Brown spots and a slightly different flavor. Moreover, Cilantro does NOT have a long shelf life. I would suggest you buy it the night before Breakfast, or during the day if you are making another dish requiring fresh Cilantro. Haven’t I babbled enough about fresh ingredients?
It’s time to wrap it up. Breakfast can become interesting, especially if you venture beyond the typical fare: Omelets (Cheese, Ham, Onions, Bacon, etc.), Pancakes, Oatmeal, or Continental (this is just a boring collection of Carbs). I’m not against Bacon and Eggs with Toast at all. However, variety is necessary in my food life and I really hope that I inspired you to supersede perfunctory Breakfast options. Take one more look at Evan J.’s Huevos Rancheros:
Evan J. wanna be gourmet, January 1, 2010