Oh, the joys of a Mexican breakfast! I must say, I do enjoy breakfast full stop, a weekend breakfast, that is. Not that I could stomach anything on a work day, which would mean digesting before 9 am... no way! Too busy waking myself up!
Now, you should think that while I lived in Mexico, I should have had plenty of time to breakfast ... and judging by the fact that I gained a whopping 25 kg in less than 6 months, I probably did. In hindsight, I supersized myself way more than Morgan Spurlock could ever imagine ;-).
They really know how to breakfast down there, no croissant and jam nonsense there, a full and hearty breakfast is required to face the hardships of a working day (never mind that I didn't do any real work there). So think eggs (fried sunny-side up, scrambled, poached, you name it), a slab of red meat if you do do manual work or can afford the luxury of a personal trainer, and the omni-present and much-loved frijoles (black refried beans with onions and a sprinkle of cheese). Of course all this is accompanied not only by your (maize) tortillas, which the pros use very much as a replacement for cutlery, freshly squeezed juices and a whole load of fresh fruit, mostly mango, pineapple and papaya, the two latter sprinkled with lime juice and dried chilli.
The way you prepare your eggs is a matter of personal preference and, having tried them all, I can assure you you won't get bored. The quickest and easiest to prepare in your own kitchen are probably "huevos a la mexicana" (Mexican eggs), Mexican in the culinary field being a common denominator for anything containing something red, something green and something (even if only remotely) white - like the national flag.
Let me confess here and now that I do not prepare my frijoles from scratch - they can be delicious, but if you're lucky enough to find the black variety here, the dried beans we get are older than my granny and will never, ever, go soft, not in a million years. Not to mention the hassle of cooking them for hours on your stove with grey foam invariably burning into the pristine white enamel of your stove. (I rent, remember?). I can very well live with frijoles refritos en lata (canned refried beans) - I used to import them from Austria through a company called Casa México, but have now found a London supplier: Mestizo is a new (real) Mexican restaurant near Euston Station (expect a review soon) and they sell all the staple foods at the premises as well... chile, tortillas, pre-made sauces incl. mole - a great find, as they happen to be round the corner from where I work... (Mexican) bliss!
Huevos a la mexicana
1 medium-sized onion (finely chopped)
1 green chilli
2 medium-sized tomatoes (roughly chopped)
1 handful coriander leaves (roughly chopped)
6 large eggs
1 can frijoles (ca. 400 g)
1 handful grated cheese (use gouda or other quick-melting cheese)
oil for frying
maize tortillas (fresh, not a certain Old something forgettable) to serve
Have two non-stick pans at hand. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in both and fry the half of the chopped onion in each. Add the frijoles to the one, topping with just a few splashes of water, making sure the beans boil down into a uniform mass, with all the liquid evaporating eventually, but the beans not burning. Keep warm while you prepare the eggs.
In the meantime, cut open the chilli, removing the seeds and as much of the membranes as possible (remembering that it is the latter which carry all the capsain and therefore spiciness. Take off as much as you feel is necessary) and add to the other pan. Fry until the onions are soft, but not too brown. Scramble the eggs with a fork, pour into the pan and top with the tomatoes.
Heat the tortillas (I heat them one by one over my open gas flame, but you can also use a non-stick pan without any oil or heat them in the oven instead).
When the eggs are starting to set, turn off the heat and continue your stirring until they are cooked, but still creamy and soft. Sprinkle with the coriander.
Top the frijoles with the grated cheese, then serve the lot with the heated tortillas.
Enjoy with some freshly squeezed orange juice.