Monday, April 5, 2010

Scrambled Eggs al la Mexicana (Mexican-Style)

This is a simple recipe for scrambled eggs.  I make it several times a week because of all of the Mexican breakfasts, it is by far the easiest and quickest.  That's right, I make it several times a week--here in Mexico we eat eggs for breakfast nearly every day.  And if we don't eat them for breakfast, we eat them as part of another meal.

I added a mild option, replacing chile with green bell pepper.  It's sacrilegious, but I know that not everyone likes chile.

Mexicans generally prepare their eggs (and all other food) in vegetable oil.  I don't like vegetable oil because it is generally at least half soybean oil (and who knows what else), which is very high in saturated fat.  Saturated fat is one of the worst fats: your body turns it into cholesterol.  While diet's role in a person's cholesterol levels is still being debated, one thing's for sure: saturated fat is not your friend.  For that reason, vegetable oil is not your friend, either.

When I'm cooking, I prioritize two things: health and flavor.  Vegetable oil is neither healthy nor flavorful, so I never use it and you won't find it in my kitchen.  Olive oil, which I use in this recipe to fry the vegetable ingredients, is relatively low in saturated fat and contains some "good fats."  It is also very flavorful and makes a wonderful combination with the vegetables.  However, I've found that frying eggs in olive oil has less-than-desirable results.  Butter, however, is by far the best fat to fry your eggs.  It's not healthy, but it sure is flavorful!

Another thing you won't find in my kitchen is non-stick cookware.  That stuff causes cancer.  For frying eggs, I use a heavy-duty stainless steel frying pan.  You need to use more oil with a stainless steel pan than you would with a non-stick one, but I do think it's worth it.  If you are using a non-stick pan, feel free to reduce the oil.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 plum or roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 chile, chopped (jalepeño for milder eggs, serano if you want a very spicy breakfast) OR 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced white onion
  • 5 eggs
  • salt to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil in an 8-inch frying pan over medium heat.  Don't let the oil smoke; that means you're burning it.
  2. Add tomatoes, chile, and onion.  Fry until onion is translucent.  Add a little more olive oil if the tomatoes start to stick during frying.
  3. Add butter.  Use less if a decent amount of olive oil remains from frying the vegetables; use more butter if the vegetables have soaked up a lot of the oil.  The goal here is that your eggs don't stick.
  4. Add eggs.  You can either crack them right in the pan or you can crack them in a separate bowl and beat them and then add them.  Obviously, cracking them straight into the pan is much easier.
  5. Scramble the eggs and add salt to taste before they're cooked through.
  6. Serve with warm corn tortillas and Basic Beans, Mexican Style.
Serves 2.

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