Sunday, September 28, 2014

Breakfast Salsa Tacos - Leftovers Series

Usually when I make Carnitas Tacos from scratch there are leftovers. We threw a party for my father-in-law Bob on his 80th birthday this summer. There were 10 of us to feed and I cooked 2 whole pork shoulders (click here for my Pork Carnitas Recipe.) I also made homemade Pinto Beans and Mexican Rice. It was such a big hit, that all the Carnitas were eaten -- so no leftovers there.

To get the birthday party rolling I made 6 homemade salsas served with a big bowl of store-bought tortilla chips. Since the main entree, and the beans and rice, were made a day ahead, I wanted something fresh, so the salsas were made the day of the party with veggies, fruit and pungent dried (and rehydrated) chilis.

For my salsa party recipes, just click on any name listed here: Roasted Salsa Verde (tomatillo,) Red Chili (2 dried types - but same recipe,) Pico de Gallo, Mango, and Avocado Crema. I had a lot of salsa leftovers - mainly Mango, Roasted Salsa Verde and the 2 Red Chilis. Not that the guests didn't like the leftover ones, they raved about them, especially the Mango Salsa, I just made a lot.

So the easiest way I thought to use up the salsas was to make Breakfast Salsa Tacos. I combined two of my favorite Mexican Taco recipes, Scrambled Eggs with Refried Beans, and Mexican Chorizo and Eggs (click on the names to see the complete recipes.)

Homemade salsas are so delicious and will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 to 7 days. And the cooked salsas, Red Chili and Roasted Salsa Verde (tomatillo,) can be frozen for later use.

My homemade salsas add appetizing color and intense flavors. I also used Soy Chorizo that I get from my local 99 cent only Store. Corn tortillas, pinto beans and eggs are cheap too. It's quite impressive when you serve this colorful breakfast made from humble ingredients.

Using fresh made salsa is such a refreshing way to start the day. So read on as I take you step-by-step on my Breakfast Salsa Taco cooking journey.

Ingredients ( enough for 2-3 people)
  • 4 eggs - I used large eggs.
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons Mexican Chorizo - the soft kind. I used Soy Chorizo, okay to use beef or pork chorizo.
  • 3 tablespoon cooked pinto beans - homemade or from the can.
  • Corn tortillas - about 6 to 8. I used the small taquera or taco truck ones (measures 4 inches across.) Of course, okay to use regular larger ones. Also, you can use flour or wheat tortillas.
  • A few teaspoons of cooking oil, or leftover pork fat and broth from Carnitas - which I used.
  • No seasoning necessary as Chorizo and beans have plenty of salt - at least for me.

Get out the salsas to bring to room temperature, so they are ready to top your tacos.

In my original Chorizo and Eggs recipe listed above I cooked the two ingredients together. For this recipe I cooked the chorizo by itself, adding it to the Refried Beans and Eggs later.

I get things going by adding a teaspoon of oil (or leftover Carnitas broth/fat) in my frying pan, over a medium heat. I add the chorizo and cook and stir it until the liquid is cooked away the the chorizo is crumbly, but still a little moist - about 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove it from the pan when done and set aside. Add more oil if needed and spoon-in the 3 tablespoons of cooked pinto beans. Add a tablespoon of the liquid too. Use a fork and mash the pinto beans. You will form a chunky paste. Stir and heat beans through, about 3 minutes.

Now add the 4 eggs. I like to break the yokes and cook it a minute until the eggs start to set - without stirring. That way you get nice egg pieces and it's not all brown from over-stiring.

At this point see the paragraph below and start the tortillas heating up.

Once eggs are semi-cooked break it all apart and loosely stir it together. Just cook eggs until they are at your desired scramble doneness. About 3 to 5 minutes total.

(If you like your eggs well scrambled, so the white and yoke are blended, then mix eggs in a separate bowl, add them to refried beans. I would still let the eggs set for a minute, then start slowly mixing it all together.)

Once the eggs have cooked for a minute, that's when you start the tortillas heating up. I add a little pork fat or oil to a grill or frying pan and start heating the tortillas over a medium heat. If the tortillas cook too fast, then just drop the heat to low and stack the tortillas and flip them, from time-to-time, until eggs are done.

You can heat the torilllas a little or char them, it's up to you. It takes just 30 seconds, to a minute, for each side to heat through. It's okay to cook all the tortillas ahead and wrap them in a paper towel (to keep warm) and place them on a plate. You can even give them a 20 second microwave to reheat them when the eggs are done.

When the eggs are almost done, I move them to one side of the pan and add the cooked chorizo to heat it up, too. Cook eggs until desired doneness. You could also microwave cooked chorizo for 15 to 30 seconds, if your pan is too small.

That's it, now you just assemble the Breakfast Salsa Tacos by adding some eggs and chorizo to the warm corn tortilla and top with any salsa, or combination of salsas.

It's easy tweak the the main ingredients to balance the tacos your way. Do you like a lot of egg and no chorizo? How about mainly chorizo and refried beans? It's all good. Just break an extra egg or two, or add another scoop of chorizo and refried beans.

It's best to keep leftover salsa in the refrigerator until you get to cooking. Bring the salsas to room temperature before serving.

You can use a favorite cooking oil instead of leftover Carnitas broth/fat (if you are making these Breakfast Salsa Tacos from scratch.) And, of course, you can use your preferred jarred salsa, too.

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