Eat your breakfast

They do say it is the most important meal of the day, and I guess they are right. I am so tempted to use the infamous air quotes when I refer to they, but how would you see that? I’m also trying to trick you into thinking I’m one of the cool kids, I don’t think the cool kids do air quotes…, do they?

Breakfast. I don’t eat it as often as I should. I probably only have breakfast on the weekends, more like brunch. On weekday mornings, I have coffee and by the time that’s settled in, its time for lunch, so no breakfast. But on weekends, The Hubbz and I will partake on a morning-ish meal. There’s never a real plan, we just stumble on to the fridge and pull stuff out. Not too long ago, I came up with these.

I don’t really know what they are. A cross between a quesadilla and a tostada, some cheese and sausage and a nicely bright sunny-side-up egg to top it all off. This was perfection. We had the crunch of the corn tortilla against the creamy melted cheese and the yolk. Very easy, very quick, very good. No recipe here, just pull stuff together and make happy.

Sausage & Egg Tostadas
Corn tortillas
Sausage, thinly sliced
Queso Oaxaca or other melting cheese, grated
Eggs
Oil
Salt & black pepper

Layer tortillas with cheese and sausage. Top with another tortilla and toast it in a skillet with some oil. Crisp both sides.

Fry the eggs to your preferred doneness, you could also poach them.

Drain the tostadas, top with the egg and more of the sliced sausage.

Eat. Come. Mangia. And if you’d like more reasons to lick that screen, click here.

Cookingly yours,
Anamaris

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No quiero Taco Bell

I live in Houston, also known as¬†Tex-Mex country. You can’t drive 2 blocks without spotting some sort of Mexican restaurant. I’ll admit I may be exaggerating A BIT, but I promise you, not much.

I will also admit I’m not Mexican, though I did play one for a while. See, my ex was born in Mexico and his family moved to Houston when he was 3 or 4 years old. His mother was an excellent cook and would throw down¬†with some off the hook, authentic Mexican fo-shizzle. I was spoiled. By her, but that’s a different and boring story.

I was lucky enough to be able to spend some time with her in the kitchen as she put meals together. To this day I’ve not been able to find any Mexican tamales that can even hold the husk, not to mention a candle to hers, but I’ll keep trying them. I learned to cook Mexican food the way she did it, so even though I wasn’t Mexican at birth, I got a pretty good education in their cuisine for about 11 years.

That said, I’m going to share with you¬† one of the dishes she made. These are chicken enchiladas with a red sauce, sometimes called ‘salsa ranchera’. I’m sharing the easier version here–meaning you won’t need to steep the chipotle peppers and all that goes with that. We’re going to use the canned stuff, believe me, it works. The other shortcut we’ll take is using a roast chicken or any leftover chicken meat you may have. Pay attention, this is gonna go pretty fast.

Enchiladas de Pollo a la Ranchera

For the Ranchera Sauce:
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cp cilantro, chopped
1 can chipotle peppers
Vegetable oil
Salt & black pepper

For the enchiladas:
12-15 corn tortillas
2-3 cps chicken meat, cooked and shredded
3/4 cp cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cp queso quesadilla, Oaxaca or Jack, shredded
2 cps ranchera sauce, approx
Vegetable oil

Preparing the sauce: In a medium pan heat 1-2 tbsp of oil. Add the onions and cook them over medium high heat until they have soften. Add the garlic, tomatoes, cilantro and about 1 cp of water. Allow this to cook for about 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes begin to soften and disintegrate and the liquid has reduced. Allow this to cool for a few minutes before running it through the blender with the can of chipotle peppers. Puree until smooth, set aside while you roll the enchiladas.

 

Preparing the enchiladas: Preheat oven to 375¬į. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add about 1/3 cp of oil. Once the oil is hot, cook the tortillas one at a time.

The goal here is to soften the tortillas enough to be able to roll them without breaking. As they hit the oil, they will bubble up a bit; cook them for about 1 minute on either side before removing them to paper towels to drain. Continue this process until you have softened all the tortillas. Set aside.

Prepare your assembly line: Lay out the shredded chicken, the cheeses and the tortillas. Spread enough of the sauce on the bottom of an oven-safe pan. For this I used a pie Pyrex pan and spread about 3/4 cp of sauce. Just enough to serve as a bed for the enchiladas.

Place a bit of chicken and a bit of cheese on one end of a tortilla and carefully roll the tortilla so you end up with a fat cigar. Don’t put too much filling or you’ll have a hard time managing these babies. Once rolled, place the enchilada seam-side down in the sauced baking pan. Repeat until you’ve used all the tortillas and/or chicken.

If you happen to have some chicken left, sprinkle it over the top of the enchiladas just before topping them with more of the sauce. About 1 more cup. Then top with cheese and put them in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

They will be bubbly and the cheese will be completely melted. If you want to brown the cheese, switch the oven to broil and brown for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Slap them on a plate with some good refried beans and have a margarita to wash it down and you’re golden!

Cookingly yours,
Anamaris