A Most Excellent Breakfast Taco

One reoccurring theme you’ll discover on Amateur Gourmet 2.0 is that I watch a lot of PBS cooking shows. I learned how to make a daiquiri watching Simply Ming, and then, watching Rick Bayless’s show, I learned how to make a most excellent breakfast taco.

If Ned Flanders became human and grew obsessed with Mexico, he’d have a show a lot like Rick Bayless’s. There’s an “aw shucks” charm to Bayless, but also a huge breadth of knowledge, which–at the end of every episode–he translates into something you can do at home. (Some have accused Bayles of cultural appropriation, but I don’t think that’s true of his show: most of it is a platform for Mexican chefs to show off what they do.) Anyway, this breakfast taco…

The main ingredients are all pictured here:

Well, except the tortillas and the eggs. These are just the ingredients for the salsa, which is really a matter of taste: chop a tomato or two. It’s prettier if you use heirloom tomatoes. Then add some chopped red onion. And, the key ingredient, a finely minced habanero (less if you don’t like spicy, more if you do). Before Bayless’s show, I was scared of habaneros; but using it here, it added so much to the flavor of the dish, a kind of fruity heat (the kind of heat I generate too). Add chopped cilantro, FRESH lime juice (no bottled, please), a glug of olive oil, and a pinch of salt.

(You’re going to ask for a recipe at the end, but really this is just to taste: trust yourself!)

Once you have your salsa, you can do your eggs. Bayless heated a little olive oil in a pan and then cracked the eggs (two) directly into it, breaking up the yolks as they cooked so you get streaks of yellow and white, which I thought was pretty cool (don’t forget salt and pepper):

While that’s happening, you get to do my favorite thing to do in the kitchen: set something on fire!

Lay your corn tortillas (buy the best you can get, look in the refrigerated section) directly on the gas burners and turn on the heat. Watch as they char around the edges and flip, repeatedly, with tongs, until they look something like this:

That’s it… it’s just a matter of assembly from there. Lay in your eggs, top with your salsa, fold, and eat right away. Rick Bayless added extra cilantro to his. He really likes cilantro.

And there you have it. A most excellent breakfast taco, indeed.

P.S. If you really want a recipe, here’s a link to the one on Rick Bayless’s site. Turns out, he doesn’t use olive oil… but I did. And I’ll live with that mistake for the rest of my life.

P.P.S. Just realized, looking at the picture, that I also added crumbled queso fresco. Really, I’m the worst at this.

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6 comments

  1. Love it! Love too your encouragement to try a habanero. They have scared me too, but my combo of jalapenos and seranos just isn’t doing it for me these days. Will try your habanero and see how she rides. Thanks sooo much! Ohh, and welcome back, again!!!

  2. “Fruity heat”! Love it. Welcome back to food blogging. Looking forward to more fun and delicious posts.

  3. A few years ago a neighbor from India taught me how to make roti, and I realized I could make tortillas almost exactly the same way. Put some flour in a bowl, add a tiny bit of baking powder and salt, put in enough water to make a soft dough and stir it with your fingers until it just comes together. Roll out the dough, brush it with oil and fold it into a square, then roll it out again. Make sure you use a lot of flour to roll it out and to get the flour off the tortilla before cooking it. Cook it on medium heat in an ungreased heavy skillet. That’s it! I promise you’ll never buy a flour tortilla again.

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