Remember a few years ago when the movie Julie & Julia came out, and everyone was briefly obsessed with Julia Child? I wasn’t inspired to recreate every recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking (although I will continue to bastardize the line about some recipe being delicious because it is basically butter that’s been whipped into submission forever), but I did come across this video around that time:
This is brilliant. Somehow, reducing your omelet to a 20-second process makes it even more delicious than it was before. I also love that Julia Child’s main cooking utensil in this clip is a set of chopsticks, proving that you don’t need a fancy kitchen at all to make pretty great food.
Tasting good and being complicated to make are not the same thing. Eggs were among the first things that I learned to cook on my own when I was growing up, and they’re still probably the food I eat most often. I literally have to remind myself not to have eggs for dinner because I’ve already eaten them for breakfast at least twice a week. The fact that an omelet now only takes me 20 seconds to cook doesn’t help. Frying, poaching or boiling eggs doesn’t take much longer. Even the more complicated egg recipes, like meringues and soufflés, don’t call for many more ingredients than the eggs themselves, though they do take a bit more finesse to cook.
I’m a firm believer that there’s not much that can’t be improved by dumping salsa on it, and eggs of any variety are no exception. The day I discovered chilaquiles, then, was a very good day. Chilaquiles is a Mexican breakfast dish traditionally made by frying leftover tortilla chips in green chili sauce and serving them with eggs and cheese. In restaurants, you will frequently see chorizo or chicken and sour cream added to the combination. I prefer this version because it contains things that I generally have in my kitchen already, and doesn’t take much longer to cook than Julia Child’s omelet once the ingredients are prepared.
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbs water
Tortilla chips (enough to cover the bottom of your frying pan without falling out)
1/3 cup salsa
2/3 cup zucchini, cut into ¼ inch thick half rounds
¼ cup tomato, finely chopped
½ tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
Sour cream and cilantro to garnish (optional)
1. In a small bowl, beat the eggs, salt and pepper, and water just until the white and yolk are combined. Set aside.
2. Pour just enough oil to coat the bottom of a nonstick frying pan and place the pan over high heat. Add the tortilla chips and pour the salsa over them. Toss a few times with a spatula until the chips are coated and slightly soft. Pour them out onto a plate.
3. In same pan, still over high heat, add the zucchini, tomato, and garlic powder. If the vegetables seem to be sticking at all, add a little more oil. You can also add more salt and pepper if you like. Toss a few times, until the zucchini starts to soften.
4. Add the egg mixture and cheese to the pan and scramble with the spatula until the eggs are just cooked.
5. Pour the egg and vegetable mixture out on top of the tortilla chips, and top with sour cream and/or cilantro if you like. I never have either of these, so this doesn’t happen in my kitchen.
I’d also like to add that all I could think about while writing this was that I wanted to share the numerous grocery lists where I’ve written, “It has eggses in its pocketses, Precioussss,” instead of just, “eggs,” but couldn’t find a good way to work that in. So here it is, at the end. I hope everyone else likes The Hobbit as much as I do, because otherwise I look sort of ridiculous now.
Seriously, stop laughing at me and go eat your second breakfast or whatever.