Sunday, April 30, 2023

Shrimp, Jalapeño & Egg Tacos - Video Recipe

This Breakfast Taco blows all the others out of the water! And my Shrimp, Jalapeño, and Egg Tacos are Tex-Mex cuisine at its tastiest. 

I have my Mom to thank for the recipe. It was handed down from her mother and I first had the taco as a child when we lived with Mom's parents for a few months in Port O'Connor, Texas. Her father was a shrimp boat captain and he would bring home fresh-caught Gulf of Mexico shrimp. We had shrimp all the time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Most breakfast tacos and burritos have scrambled eggs, bacon, Mexican rice, and pinto beans. Locals in our small fishing town added shrimp to their Breakfast Tacos. And it's easy for anyone to make Shrimp, Jalapeño, and Egg Tacos.

All you do is saute a little chopped onion and jalapeño until soft, cook peeled shrimp for a couple more minutes, then scramble in some eggs. As the eggs scramble heat up a couple of flour or wheat tortillas. 

When done stuff the tortilla, add your favorite salsa or hot sauce, and chow down!

Texans usually make their tacos with flour tortillas, but it's okay to use corn tortillas. Tortillas are still cheap at my local 99c only Store and Dollar Tree. 

Onion and  jalapeños are cheap enough. I get mine from my local Latin grocer.

6 eggs for $1.25 have not shown up at Dollar Tree this year. I can still get small packs of frozen cooked bay shrimp in the cold deli case. It's enough shrimp for a couple of tacos. You only need a few shrimp for this recipe.

For larger fresh shrimp, you may peel them and remove the black vein (small/medium shrimp may not have these) along the back of the shrimp. The vein can have a subtle mealy flavor. Fresh shrimp only take a couple of minutes to cook pink and frozen cooked shrimp need defrosting. I've also eaten fresh boiled shrimp where you do not remove the "vein." 

You can use cheap jars of salsa, I do. Tapatio is my favorite Mexican-style hot sauce. 

Shrimp, Jalapeño, and Egg Tacos come together quickly and I know you will like this recipe, courtesy of my Mom and her Mom. 

Shrimp, Jalapeño, and Egg Tacos - Video        Play it here. Video runs 3 minutes, 13 seconds.

My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here

Ingredients (about 2 tacos)

  • 4 to 5 Shrimp - medium size, peeled, and back vein removed (if necessary.) 
  • 2 to 3 Eggs - I use medium size eggs.
  • 1/4 Onion - or about 2 tablespoons chopped.
  • 1/4 to 1/2 Jalapeño - okay to add more or less according to your spice limits. 
  • 2 Teaspoons of Cooking Oil.
  • Salt and Pepper to taste.


Add a teaspoon of oil to an omelet pan or regular frying pan over medium heat. Add chopped onion and jalapeño. Saute for a couple of minutes to soften.

It's okay to leave out jalapeño if you can't stand the heat. Remove the seeds and white ribs and the jalapeño will be milder in spiciness.

While veggies cook get shrimp ready. Defrost frozen shrimp. You can defrost them in a heated frying pan. For shell-on shrimp peel and devein (if necessary.) 

When you peel a shrimp check along the back of the shrimp and you may see a shadowy black line that is called the "vein." The vein is actually a shrimp's digestive tract. It has a gritty taste if it is a thick line. Very small shrimp often do not have one large enough to fool with.

After you peel a shrimp, slice with a knife along the back of the shrimp to expose the vein. Remove the vein. Small shrimp may not have a vein to remove. Again, it's up to you if you want to remove the "vein."

Add frozen or freshly peeled shrimp to the frying pan. If the shrimp are large it's okay to slice them in half. 

Raw shrimp cook for two or three minutes until done. They will turn from white/grey to pink when finished cooking. Frozen cooked shrimp only need to be warmed for a minute.

Add another teaspoon of cooking oil then add eggs to scramble. Scramble eggs any way you like. You can premix eggs in a bowl or just add them right to the pan with shrimp and veggies.

Scramble eggs for a minute or so until done. Salt and pepper to taste.

While eggs scramble you can heat up the corn or flour tortillas in a pan or microwave for 15 to 30 seconds, or until warm and soft. Tortillas need to be heated through to soften or they may crack and split when folded and loaded with filling.

When the eggs are done and the tortillas heated, build your Shrimp, Jalapeño, and Egg Tacos, and don't forget the salsa and hot sauce!

Monday, April 24, 2023

Spaghetti alla Carbonara with Bacon Bits - Video Recipe

My shortcut cheap$kate spin on this Italian pasta classic will have you digging into a steaming plateful in no time. And my outre entree will never be taught in culinary colleges -- you can only learn it in The 99 Cent Chef's kitchen of hard knocks!

Watch my new Spaghetti alla Carbonara with Bacon Bits cooking video for simple step-by-step directions. It doesn't come cheaper than this, and my new pièce de résistance is outrageous enough to fit into my blog of outré entrée recipes perfectly!

Typical Carbonara's main ingredients are eggs, pasta, black pepper, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and Italian bacon (pancetta or guanciale).

I use cheap Parmesan from a plastic container that I get from my local Dollar Tree. It says it's real Parmesan. Of course, use real Parmigiano-Reggiano if you can afford it.

I prefer fresh ground Black Pepper, but any type is fine. A lot of Black Pepper is used in this recipe.

I normally use a couple slices of browned and crumbled bacon because it's convenient, and bacon fat enriches any pasta dish. However, those are a lot of calories, and real Bacon Bits are already cooked so most of the fat is rendered out, thus making my Carbonara lighter.

I can get one serving out of a .8-ounce package of Bacon Bits. I used to get Bacon Bits and eggs from my local Dollar Tree and 99c only Store but this year they are a no-show.

I've been eying Imitation Bacon Bits but have not had the guts to use them yet - The 99 Cent Chef has standards, too!

Real Bacon Bits are a bit dry and slightly powdery. The Bits are quite small so I do miss the larger crunchy pieces from broken crispy cooked bacon slices. While mostly bacon meat and a little bacon fat, Bacon Bits are a light version for all your calorie counters. As with a lot of diets spin on fatty meals you do lose that luscious taste.

This is a rich-tasting dish when you add a raw egg blended with parmesan and black pepper to hot pasta. The trick is to assemble it all in one pan and bring it right to the table before the egg scrambles.

The egg mixture thickens into a decadent sauce, coating the spaghetti, studded with crunchy bacon pieces. *If you are worried about using raw eggs, I have an alternative method at the end of this post.

If you have an Italian deli nearby or a well-stocked meat market, you should try Italian pancetta at least once; you only need a couple of slices for this dish. It cooks like bacon, but it's dryer, leaner, and with flavorful curing spices.

So, check out my latest recipe video and get cooking! It is a simple and delicious dish.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara with Bacon Bits - VIDEO            Play it here. The video runs 2 minutes, 59 seconds.

My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.

Ingredients (one serving)  

  • Spaghetti - 1/4 package. I used a quarter of a one-pound package of dried spaghetti for one serving. Cook per package directions. I usually shave off a couple of minutes of cooking time for pasta al dente.
  • Bacon Bits - 8-ounce package of real bacon, not imitation. Bacon Bits come in different package sizes, totaling about 3-4 tablespoons. Okay to use a couple slices of crumbled cooked bacon. Authentic Pasta alla Carbonara calls for Pancetta.
  • Black Pepper - 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground if you have it. 
  • 1 Egg - I used a cheap medium-sized egg.
  • Parmesan - 2 tablespoons of grated or shaved. I used grated parmesan from a container. Keep it real with a block of Parmigiano-Reggiano to shave from. Add more parmesan to suit your taste.
  • Water for boiling pasta - about 4 cups. Double the amount for 2 servings or half a one-pound package of pasta.


Bring one pot of water to boil for pasta. Add pasta when the water boils. Some cooks add a lot of salt to the water, I don't but go ahead if you like.

Cook pasta to package directions -- but stop a couple of minutes early for al dente pasta, or pasta with a little chew to the texture.

You should stir the pasta a few times as it cooks so the spaghetti does not clump and stick together.

While the pasta cooks, mix one raw egg with 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan and half a teaspoon of black pepper in a small bowl. Whisk together until well blended. Set aside for final assembly.

(If you like really big pieces of bacon, then saute up a couple slices instead of Bacon Bits. Crumble bacon when done. You can drain off the grease, or leave a tablespoon or two for flavor.) The same goes for Pancetta, although you usually cube Pancetta first then saute it until browned.

Over low heat carefully add cooked pasta right from the pasta pot Into a large pan. I don't drain the pasta, just fish it out of hot water and go right into the frying pan.

Now time to bring it all together.

Finally, pour in the egg, black pepper, and parmesan mixture. Mix well and allow to heat through for about 30 seconds - careful not to make scrambled eggs. The egg mixture will thicken to make a slightly thick sauce. 

Finally, sprinkle on the Bacon Bits. I usually add Bacon Bits last, as they become mushy if they soak too long.

It is ready to eat. You can add an extra tablespoon of grated parmesan per serving. (If you are using freshly shaved parmesan, then add it as a topping when ready to serve.)

For 2 servings, just double everything. 

* Since I add my raw egg mixture to hot pasta over a low-heating pan, the egg is heated through.  If you are wary of raw eggs, it's okay to drop a separated whole egg yoke into boiling water for about 1 minute (or a little longer.) When pasta is done and parmesan/black pepper is added, finish the dish by adding one lightly poached egg yoke on top.


Thursday, April 20, 2023

420 Celebration - High Times & Recipes

   Acapulco Gold, Texas Tea, Panama RedMaui Wowie, Mary Jane, chronic, ganja, pot, weed, grass, kush, herb, joint, blunt, roach, cannabis, reefer, spliff, fatty, jay, doobie, and locoweed, are just some of the euphemisms for marijuana.

Click on any photo to see larger.

Many pot shops have a green cross or green type somewhere on their building. This comes from when marijuana was first legal in L.A. for medical purposes only - I guess it's a play on the Red Cross?

Click on any photo to see larger.

This month 420 is celebrated and I missed the Smokeout because I was shooting marijuana store customers in line and store facades for this blog ironic is that? 
Patients/customers practicing social distancing with masks during Covid-19.

I'm not the Wake-and-Bake type and I don't blaze up every day, anyway.

If you're out of the loop, 420 or April (4th month) and day 20, is an international celebration of all things marijuana. The term "420" supposedly originated in 1971 here in California by a bunch of high school buddies who would meet at 4:20pm to smoke weed. You can read about it here.

When California introduced medical marijuana legally in 1996 I waited a couple of years before I got a prescription. Like a lot of locals, I was paranoid about putting my name in a database of users. But after a while, I realized that I'm never gonna run for President or head the FBI.

FYI my medical condition was a pain in the...elbow.

Getting a prescription was a farce really, just pick your ailment and the doctor charged $100 bucks back in the day. Now it's legal in California so that song and dance are no longer played.

I've been a contributing citizen to the economy and a creative artist most of my life so all the boogeyman stories of reefer madness don't fly here.

When I was in high school I primarily used it when listening to music, as it was the 1960's and getting high brought a heightened experience and meaning to the lyrical and sonic content of songs by The BeatlesRolling StonesThe KinksJefferson AirplanePink FloydBob Dylan, etc.

And it was just a fun thing to do with friends on the weekend and long summer dazes.

Just watch my Mom's recipe for Tex-Mex Enchiladas to see my high school buddy Marvin and I have a 1960's flashback hanging out and listening to album rock in my bedroom.

These days I like a cannabis-infused edible from time to time. They will last an hour or so, just right for an art show, movie, or musical concert at the Hollywood Bowl.

Check out some of the concerts I've seen there, including a Willie Nelson concert where I've never smelled so much marijuana in my life!

I'll leave you with another recipe should you be in need of some munchies while celebrating 420  - that is, not my recipe, but one from my brother from another daddy, the Swamp Chef! Check out a tasty cheesy Cajun Nachos video made with nephew Zak!

Cajun Natchos calls for cooked crawfish tail meat, but it's easy to substitute small shrimp or any favorite protein.
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