Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Wednesday Brunch: Bacon and Egg Tacos with Red Chile and Honey
I received Mark Miller's taco recipe tome, appropriately named Tacos, as a present from Jen's mom and brother just before we moved out here, and just recently, I finally got around to trying out a recipe from the book for the first time. I know some people prefer their cookbooks sans pictures, but personally, I love photo-heavy cookbooks. The first thing I did when I got this book--and the first thing I usually do when I get a new cookbook--was leaf through the whole book, looking at the pictures only, not even glancing at the recipe titles yet. That, I save for the second read-through.
As I've said before, I think such a large part of what makes food, and talking about food, compelling, is the aesthetic component of it, and those cookbooks that are heavy on the pics are deeply enjoyable just to look at, and also provide a good reference point for when you make a recipe in a cookbook and want to have some idea what it should look like. Maybe "should" should be in quotes there, because your version of a recipe from a cookbook might look very different from the picture provided, and still be delicious. That's what I find cookbooks most useful for: helping me to think about a dish someone else made and how to alter it or apply the principles behind it to other dishes. Miller's book is a valuable resource for this, because his techniques are so expertly executed, and that really shows through in the pictures of his food.
Today's Wednesday Brunch is the second entry about breakfast tacos on this still-pretty-new blog. These particular breakfast tacos are wildly different than the first ones, though, and pack some satisfying heat. Actually, these tacos do a pretty extraordinary job of taking you through all kinds of tastes and textures--sweet, spicy, crunchy, and more. Even better, they cost very little to make at home, and they don't take very long to prepare, so you can get up early on a weekday morning and treat yourself to these tacos with relative ease.
First, you're going to need some cilantro. I know some people really aren't crazy about it, but it's one of my favorites. We grow ours fresh in the windowsill. A cilantro plant (here, at least) costs $1 at the Farmer's Market and requires a little shade, and very little overall care. The result is lots of reward for very little effort, and no risk, unless you fear a Little Shop of Horrors-esque revenge on the part of improperly cared-for cilantro. If you don't like cilantro, you could use oregano (or Mexican oregano) instead. You just really want something herby to garnish these tacos with, because herbs do great things for eggs. As Shakespeare said, "all the world's a breakfast, and all the eggs and herbs merely players." See these terrible jokes I make? If you're tired of them now, you're really going to love it when I start writing posts in iambic pentameter.
Get your eggs (1 per taco), bacon, one red bell pepper, honey, chile powder, and corn tortillas out. Before you do anything else, though, start frying up your bacon so it can cook while you ready your veggies: chop your cilantro, core your RBP, and slice up one side of the RBP for every two tacos. So one RBP is enough for 8 tacos' worth of red pepper.
Once the bacon is nice and crispy, remove it to some paper towels and blot some of the grease off. Then, glaze it with a combination of honey and chile powder. We love this Orange Blossom honey we got from the Energy Bee Farm's stand at the Torrance Farmer's Market. It's very sweet, but it has some depth of flavor, too.
While you're making your scrambled eggs, be sure to warm your corn tortillas. You don't want them super-hot, but you'll be glad they're warmer than room temperature.
Okay, assembly time:
1) Spoon your cooked eggs over the corn tortillas.
2) Divvy up the glazed bacon and place it on each taco-in-progress.
3) Lay your sliced red bell pepper on top.
4) Add some salsa.
5) Sprinkle on your cilantro, and enjoy!
Thanks for stopping by Beach City Cooking, and I'll see you all very soon for an easy recipe for another cilantro-heavy dish. Have a great night, and stay cool!