Chorizo and Potato Breakfast Tacos Recipe

In Austin, Texas we eat a lot of breakfast tacos. But if local bad guy Tom Ramsey has his way this may become a thing of the past. Til then we’ll revel in this Tex Mex delight til the gendarmes come and drag us away from our favorite taco truck kicking and hollering.

Even though good breakfast tacos can be had for under a dollar hereabouts, sometimes it’s still fun to make them at home. You only need a handful of ingredients and perhaps 10 minutes of time and you can be sitting down to a delicious Austin, Texas style first meal of the day.

Ingredients

2 each Eggs,from a farm out in the country if at all possible

1 T. Cream, Heavy,Whipping

1 link, Chorizo, Spanish, Air dried, minced

1 each, Potato, Redskin, Cubed finely

4 each, Tortillas, Corn

Salt

Pepper

Salsa

Method

* Heat 10″ skillet with a little oil

* Add cubed potatoes

* Add 2 T. water, cover immediately, let cook 2 minutes

* Remove lid

* Add chorizo, cook til lightly crisped, perhaps 1 minute

* Whip eggs in separate bowl with cream

* Add to chorizo/potato mixture in hot pan

* Cook til just set

* Season with salt and pepper

* Spoon into warm corn tortillas- El Milagro is a good market brand

* It’s traditional for each taco to have two tortillas-helps structurally

* Top with salsa

Voila! Sit on down and peer off into the distance towards Austin,Texas. Take a few bites of your delicious taco and pretend like you’re at the Tamale House over on Airport Boulevard. You’re .92 cents richer for not stopping by Bobby’s breakfast taco palace and Austin’s crowded and hot. Yep, it’s better that you’re not here. Nothing to see here really. Just enjoy your taco.

Here in Austin, Texas the iterations of enchiladas are endless in all their glory.

We’ve had crab enchiladas in golden tomato butter reduction, carne molida enchiladas in chile seca sauce, roasted chicken enchiladas in sour cream sauce…and about 100 other variations on the enchilada format.

Whenever we need inspiration in the kitchen We just drive up the street to Fiesta Mart (our neighborhood mega super market) and walk through the seafood and produce section analyzing what looks the most appetizing.

The bright pink salmon beckons so we ask the seafood lady for a sniff. She obliges and the wonderful aroma of freshly sliced watermelon has us immediately reaching for our money. We walk over to the nearby produce section and pluck some fresh goods for a quick sauce and head back to the house.

Here’s what transpired back in the kitchen:

Ingredients:

2 lbs Salmon, the fresher the better

6 each, Tomatillas

4 each, Poblano Chiles

1 each, Giant Green Onions, bunch

1 each, Cilantro, bunch

1 c. Stock, Chicken

1 c. Cream, Heavy Whipping

20 each, Tortillas, Corn

1 lb, Cheese, Grated, White, Jack, Provolone, Mozzarella-your choice, a nice white

Method: Part I * Smoke salmon for two hours (I use a Weber grill, building a small fire on one side out of hickory and placing the salmon on the cold side)

* Char tomatillas and poblano chiles under broiler in oven til nicely blackened

* Pulse in food processor along with green onions and cilantro

* Add stock, pulse til sauce consistency is reached

* Pour into saucepan, add cream, bring to boil, be careful as sauce will try to climb out of pan

* Simmer for 15 minutes Method:Part 2

* Heat comal (cast iron pan) on high til hot

* Using small amount of oil cook each tortilla for ten seconds per side * Make stack of cooked tortillas

* Remove salmon from smoker, chop coarsely

* Pour skift of sauce in bottom of casserole pan (I use a 9×14 Corning Ware)

* Roll 2 T of chopped salmon into tortilla forming a tube

* Place in casserole

* Repeat til casserole is filled with little flutes of salmon stuffed corn tortillas

* Pour Verde sauce over the assemblage then top with grated cheese

* Bake at 250 degrees for 30 minutes

* Place under broiler and broil til cheese is nicely browned

This is a classic one dish meal much like a King Ranch Casserole. Typical Texas household side dishes for this might include a big bowl of fresh fried totopos with a homemade salsa, rice simmered in chicken broth and/or pinto beans. We usually forego the side dishes and just hunker down over a big plate of these delicious enchiladas.

Bon appetit y’all.

Out here in Austin,Texas the prevalence of queso in all its glory often has me wondering if it might start coming out the faucet when I go to wash my hands at one of our two hundred plus Mexican restaurants in the city.

It’s everywhere.

To the point where you really don’t even have to look at the menu when you walk into a new joint. If you want queso. you just ask the waitress when you sit down, much in the same way other people around the country might ask for a glass of water or tea.

Tex Mex Queso

Tex Mex Queso

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When I first came to Texas almost 20 years ago, I kept hearing people speak in reverential tones of something called King Ranch.

“It’s the king of casseroles”

“It will change the way you think of casseroles”

“I couldn’t make a King Ranch and my man left me for a woman who could”- that sort of thing.

It’s not a dish you’ll find on many menus in restaurants but it’s importance in Texas households is not to be underestimated. Many housewives will bang out a batch in a few minutes using cans of creamed soup and whatever’s on hand in the fridge but I’ve been fortunate enough to sup at the tables of some ladies who take their preparation very, very seriously. Here is the fruit of those meals: Ingredients:

1 Whole Chicken Fully cooked (I smoke mine over hickory with the
cavity stuffed full of chopped onions and garlic)

24 Corn Tortillas

6 Poblano Chiles

1 Garlic, Bulb

1 Giant Green Onion, Bunch

2 Pepper, Red, Bell

1 lb, Tomatillos

1 c. Stock, Chicken

1 lb Colby Cheese, shredded

1 lb Jack Cheese, shredded

1 Bunch, Cilantro

2 Cups, Cream, Heavy

Method

* Preheat oven to 300 degrees

* Shred chicken off bone

* Char Poblano, tomatillo, Garlic and Red Bell Peppers under broiler in oven

* Thinly slice and reserve Red Bell Pepper

* Pulse tomatillos, Poblanos,green onion and garlic in food processor til almost smooth

* Bring chicken stock to boil

* Add heavy cream, return to boil, reduce til thick

* Combine with tomatillo mixture

* Cook tortillas in hot fat til right at crispy

Now let’s build the casserole

* Coat 9″ x 14″ casserole pan with olive oil

* Pour a skift of tomatillo sauce in bottom of pan

* Add 6 corn tortillas

* Place enough shredded chicken to cover tortillas

* Drizzle with tomatillo sauce

* Cover with cheeses

* Add sliced red bells and chopped cilantro

* Repeat order above til casserole is finished making sure top layer is cheese, sliced red bells and cilantro.

* Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes

* Let casserole sit up for a few minutes before slicing

I like to serve my King Ranch simply as a one dish meal with each wedge getting nothing more than a squeeze of fresh lime and a big dollop of crema Salvadorena or sour cream.

There are rules to be followed when you make a King Ranch. Here they are http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2010/2/10/The-Rules-of-King-Ranch-Casserole

https://twitter.com/#!/RLReevesJr

 

How disheartening to read a recent Serious Eats article wherein a writer in San Francisco posits a recipe for the iconic Texas casserole: King Ranch, including rice, beans (or ANY diced cooked vegetable!), shredded pork or beef or chicken, and just when it couldn’t get any worse she allows how a vegetarian version would work just fine with ROASTED WINTER ROOTS.

While the rules of Texas Red chili have long been established, I can find no rules (other than the common law of good Texas kitchens) regarding King Ranch casserole. So here they are:

A good King Ranch will always use chicken as the meat; sure it might be delicious with pork, beef, or goat, but an authentic King Ranch incorporates chicken as the backbone of the dish.

Authentic King Ranch always calls for layer after layer of delicious corn tortillas. Griddled prior to the layering, they offer a textural counterpoint to the soothing softness of the chicken and sauce.

No rice in the King Ranch. It’s fine to make as a side, but you just don’t put rice in your King Ranch.

Cheese. King Ranch has layer after layer of cheese with cheese always being the final layer. Common Texas cheeses for the casserole include Longhorn Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Colby or a combination of these. Make sure you have lots of cheese on hand when you tackle the casserole. It’s integral to the recipe.

No beans. Once again, a side of charro beans, borracho beans or refrieds is always a good idea when it comes time to serve your King Ranch but IN the casserole? That’s not how we do it in Texas.

While I’ve known some fine vegetarian folks over the years the thought of one of them making a vegetarian casserole and calling it King Ranch makes me wonder what one of them might taste like cooked up in a big pot. Vegetarians have plenty of their own casseroles and I’m certain a few of them are good but they’re not King Ranch.

A King Ranch is always carefully constructed. Would you make all the ingredients for lasagna in a big bowl then just dump the contents into a baking dish? No. Nor shall the King Ranch be treated in such a way. She must be coaxed into being with each layer being carefully built in such a way that the flavors, though separate, ultimately combine to form a coalition of deliciousness simply unparalleled in casserole cookery.

The ground rules for King Ranch have now been established. My recipe (which inspired an honest woman I once knew to resort to skullduggery in an effort to best me in a casserole cookoff) shall be published in a fortnight.

Recipe