Words by Tara Pepper
I have been thinking about something different for breakfast for a long time. I don’t eat eggs much so I’m not a great breakfast cook or breakfast person for that matter. I’d rather skip breakfast and move right on to lunch. Yes, I love a good French toast. Pancakes are good. But I’m not overly hungry in the morning and I definitely don’t need all those carbs. So what might be a little different?
I remember when I was in Texas several years ago working with a client, and every morning she would pick me up at my hotel and go to this fast food place to pick up breakfast tacos. I never knew such a thing existed and was thoroughly surprised and thrilled over the deliciousness of something so simple yet so good. Think about this: a toasted corn tortilla filled with meat (brisket, bacon, chorizo), mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs (but not on mine), cheese and served with salsa and hot chili peppers. They were delicious! A taste sensation that I had never had before and certainly never thought of.
So here I am back at home. The nearest taco drive though is…. Texas. Could I make something comparable in my own kitchen? Of course I can. Where to get the ingredients? My favourite place to buy Latin groceries is Rincon De Espana. It’s a great little store that has all kinds of yummy ingredients from corn tortillas, cotija, queso de Oaxaca (Mexican mozzarella) or queso fresco (a kind of fresh cottage-like cheese) cheeses, salsa (my favourite is La Costena Grenn Mexican Salsa) and chorizo sausage (mild or hot; and be careful, when they say hot, they mean hot!). I stopped by yesterday and stocked up on all the ingredients and patiently awaited the morning for breakfast tacos extraordinaire. My other favourite jarred salsa is Frontera Roasted Tomato Gourmet Mexican Salsa by Rick Bayliss which I get from Whole Foods. You can also make it on your own. I’ll give you a recipe for that another time.
What did I do to make my Mexican Breakfast Tacos you ask? Well, it’s pretty simple:
- Mashed potatoes.
I’m sure you all know how to make mashed potatoes. Take some potatoes, peel them, place in cold, salted water. urn on heat. Cook until soft (about 15–20 minutes). Mash with a generous amount of butter and a splash of milk. Done. Set aside and keep warm.
- Chorizo Sausage.
I bought two uncooked chorizo sausages. I sliced a medium onion and started to saut? in a splash of olive oil (you don’t need much because the chorizo gives off a lot of fat). I took the sausage meat out of the casings and broke it up into the same pan. Saut? until cooked through. Drain. Set aside.
I bought the cotija cheese this time, but any Mexican cheese will do. Simply shred or break up into small pieces. Set aside.
If you want to include eggs, just scramble a couple to your liking. Bobby did his own since I’m not a fan.
I’m blessed to have a gas stove so toasting the corn tortillas is easy. I just turn a burner on high and place the tortilla on it. Watch constantly, toast until fragrant (about 30 to 45 seconds) and flip. Toast for another few seconds and it’s done. I do them one at a time and wrap in a clean towel to keep warm. If you don’t have a gas stove, you can toast them in a dry skillet or in the oven.
It’s fun to put everything on the table and let everyone assemble their own. Make sure everything is warm. For mine, I like to hold a tortilla in my hand and start filling. I like the chorizo on the bottom, followed by the cheese so it can start to melt and then top it with the mashed potatoes. This is where I’d add egg if I was having it. To top it all off, my desired salsa and a dab of sour cream. Then I lean in and enjoy!
And that’s it. Easy peasy and oh so yummy! I find that two or three tortillas are enough for me. What a different and satisfying twist for breakfast.
Give it a try; I’m sure your family will thank you!
’Til next time,
Rincon De Espana
550 Lakeshore Rd. E.
Lead image courtesy of chow.com