Saturday, June 27, 2009

What's in that...Friday...Culebra time

Hey, I'm open sometimes closed others all the time, not just during business hours! Before we get to breakfast burritos, I thought I'd do a little SAL review. It's easy, living here and having a good majority of friends who also live on islands, to assume people know what I'm talking about concerning some weather terms that really, I'd never heard about before I got to the islands. One of them is SAL, which stands for Sahara Air Layer. It's what we call Sahara dust and that is literally dust from the Sahara desert in Africa. There's a lot more and it's pretty interesting, but if it bores you dusty, just don't click on the link.

This is the SAL satellite photo for this morning *cough*
(that's us, on the leading upper western edge)

And now, on to Breakfast Burritos, a la Island Woman, just in time for Saturday morning breakfast! See, I can be on a manner of speaking.

This recipe makes 8 burritos. There are two reasons that 12 eggs make 8 burritos, especially because they are also stuffed with other ingredients. The first one is that I can't buy large eggs all the time here. In fact, hardly ever. And the medium eggs are really more like small eggs. So, I figure it's the equivalent of 10 or even 9 eggs. Another reason I need to get those chickens some day soon. These are 8 FAT burritos!

1/2 onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup sausage or bacon

1 T. butter or olive oil

12 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1/4 t. cumin

salt / pepper to taste

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I also threw in some olive oil marinated feta - use the cheese you like best, or as many kinds as you like, totaling no more than a cup or so)

1 cup refried beans (I used vegetarian refried black beans, but any kind, even beans you cook and mash on your own are fine).

1/2 cup salsa (I made my own, it's easy and I know what's in it, recipe below)

8 large or extra large flour tortillas

The most important thing I know to tell anyone cooking is to have your ingredients together before you start doing anything. A couple of reasons are 1) you'll know if you have everything and either need to substitute or go to the store and 2) it's just easier to work. If your hands are covered with onion juice, it's messy to go hunting for salsa in the fridge. That sort of thing. I'm a firm believer in washing my hands a LOT while I'm cooking, but not between every move.

Salsa recipe:

2 fresh tomatoes or one 16 oz. can peeled tomatoes (whole, diced, doesn't matter) chopped fine

1 medium onion, finely minced

10 cloves garlic, finely minced (more or less; I think I've mentioned I like garlic - a lot)

hot peppers of choice, to taste (I used peppers out of my garden and some dried poblanos because I had them, you can use canned jalepenos or any other kind, but something with some smokiness in it would be good)

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro / 10 leaves racao finely minced

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Now, I know I keep writing finely minced. You can toss all of this in a food processor and avoid all of that mincing, but if you do that, just use the pulse feature to keep it rough. For some reason this makes a more full flavor salsa. That's what I think, anyway. And that's it. There are lots fancier salsas, but for a fast good salsa, this works. Put in a covered container and let it sit for a couple of hours minimum to get a better flavor. But if you can't wait, no one will complain.

Crack all the eggs into one bowl and whip, adding milk, cheese, salt, pepper and cumin as you whip. Set aside.

In a large skillet or wok, heat olive oil or butter. Add onions & garlic, saute until onions are barely browned and translucent.

Add bacon or sausage (sausage can be removed from casing or cut into 1/2 inch pieces) Cook until done - bacon shouldn't be *over crisp* though.

Add whipped egg mixture. Let the bottom set a bit and stir to turn bottom to top. Repeat that until egg is completely cooked. It's not a fast process, don't try to hurry. It will have a bit of a wet consistancy, but there will be no runny egg white.

While cooking the eggs, put the refried beans in another pan, along with the salsa. Stir to mix over gentle heat. Turn off heat. You can put this in a separate container or just keep it in the pan, your choice.

When heated, you're ready to build your burritos. Tortilla advice: warm tortillas are easier to work with than room temperature or cold. There are lots of ways to warm a tortilla, the point is that you only are aiming to warm it, not cook it. I put them in the oven one at a time as I'm making burritos. One tortilla being filled, one in a very low oven.

I use a slotted kitchen sized spoon for this. Take one spoonful (not heaping, just a regular spoonful) and place it in the middle of the tortilla, spreading the spoonful a little bit lengthwise, leaving an inch or so of tortilla uncovered on the sides.

Use one heaping tablespoon of the bean mixture and spoon it on top of the egg mixture. There is no way to make refried beans look pretty, but they sure taste good! Especially with the salsa added.

Fold in both sides of the tortilla to the edges of the egg and bean mixture. Fold the edge of the tortilla closest to you over the egg and bean mixture, holding those side in at the same time. Continue to fold the whole thing over the last part of the tortilla farthest from you. If the sides flop open, don't worry, just gently open it back up and tuck them in. Burrito folding is easy but practice helps keep it a nice package rather than a falling apart mess.

If you can serve right away, fine. If not, you can wrap in foil and these will keep warm for literally hours if wrapped in a warm kitchen towel. To freeze, you can wrap in waxed paper and then the foil.

Buen provecho!

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