Tag Archives: guacamole

CHILAQUILES BRUNCH

Not much has changed in two years… I still have a faint loathing of the brunch ritual, unless it’s chilaquiles. In which case, yes, yes, yes. Chilaquiles for breakfast, that I can give a thumbs up. This batch was topped with not just guacamole but also my famous tomatillo salsa, made extra spicy with a habenero or two, and served warm. And also: refried black beans with salsa fresca, pan-fried breakfast potatoes with chorizo, pineapple in lime juice, and Sasha’s amazing sauerkraut.

As if it weren’t already a brunch that demanded a post-meal nap, there was dulce de leche-filled churros, too. (Thank you, Sabor Latino.)

Carlo, framed by two bunches of peonies, makes me sad that peonies here are gone so fast. When they were in season, we were picking big bunches from bushes every morning. You couldn’t keep up — the bushes would hang so heavy with the blossoms and be destroyed in an hour of rain or a day or two of sunshine. But while they were here, our apartment was full of magic.

EATING MY WORDS

Contrary to popular belief, I love being proved wrong. I admit I was overly adamant about my resistance to brunch as being a legitimately trendy/awesome thing. Although I still stand by that opinion, I also concede that sometimes I end up craving that particular meal with a strange ferocity. This was one of those days. I woke up thinking, migas!! My man calls them chilaquiles, although I guess we are both right.

I made tortilla chips from scratch, by frying triangles of blue corn tortillas in an inch of vegetable oil, and then dousing in salt and lime juice in honor of my favorite secret snack. I whipped up some guacamole — using avocado, diced red onion, hot sauce, lime juice, cilantro, and liberal amounts of salt and pepper — and learned that a pastry cutter gives guacamole the most perfect texture ever. I know plenty of San Diego people who insist the authentic way of preparing guacamole is using lemon juice, but I prefer lime’s tanginess.

We fried up some breakfast potatoes, using tiny cubes of potato coated in smoked paprika, cumin, Mexican oregano, and chili powder, slowly frying in butter until crispy and tender. (So good in tacos the next day). And finally, the migas themselves — butter, fried onions, garlic, black beans and corn folded into soft scrambled eggs, bits of tortilla chips mixed in, then finished in the oven. Our migas gets topped with crumbles of soft cotija cheese, cilantro confetti, and thick wedges of lime. All finished off with a bottle of Mexican coke, of course. Hello brunch, let’s be friends!

AM IN LOVE WITH THE HOOK UPON WHICH EVERYONE HANGS

Sometimes above all else, I value vivid color in my food. The other night I fried farmer’s market banana fingerlings in butter, smoked paprika and with a handful of roasted beets. The potatoes turned a lovely deep blush fuschia color. The next day, when I cubed the leftover fingerlings for a simple potato/beet hash, I saw that their creamy white insides formed an insane gradient. Ombre potatoes!!!

Three-day old (!) escarole salad still crisp, cold and bitter the next day, with thinly sliced Belgian white endives, roasted walnuts and a mustard-lemon vinaigrette.

Leftover broiled salmon, marinated in cumin, olive oil, lime zest and cilantro.

Any excuse to make guacamole. Salmon and avocado is one of the most blissful combinations ever. Fat, with more fat. Creamy, on top of creamy. Somehow you’ve convinced yourself that it’s all so healthy, too. PS I bought a bag of 9 avocados at the farmer’s market for $2. WHAT! I love so much being back in California.

I sat down to eat lunch inside but right away I saw how beautiful it was outside and fled to the deck.

Ahhh, that’s better. If you could pan out on this shot you would see Joni sprawled on the patio table eyeing my salmon with desire. Reread ‘Self-Help’ for the twentieth time under the clear gaze of the chilly February sun and tried to convince myself that it’s not extravangant and/or pathetic to cook elaborate meals just for yourself.

“KEEPING YOUR FINGERS CROSSED MAKES IT DIFFICULT TO HOLD A PEN, BUT I MUST SAY, IT’S WORTH IT.” -Lorrie Moore

seven hundred little records, all rock, rhythm and jazz

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ah, summer. there are many things i love about you, but grilling is one of the best. a quick trip to wegman’s resulted in the spontaneous purchase of fresh salmon fillets, a handful of zucchini & heirloom tomatoes, two overripe avocados on sale, and a french whole wheat batard.

after a quick marinade made of limes, garlic, cilantro, red pepper flakes and olive oil, the salmon was ready for the grill (the tempeh got the same marinade treatment, too). i cooked mine about 8 minutes each side on moderate heat. the grill i used was small (and unreliable), and therefore my advice is no good for you. the zucchini was sliced lengthwise and was doused with the juice of a lemon, salt, pepper, cumin and a bit of olive oil. after throwing those on the grill, i mopped up the leftover juices with the bread, and threw that on the grill, too. the lemon gave the bread a nice tang.

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see how small the grill was? i had to cook in batches, which meant that i had eaten nearly half the plate of zucchini before the salmon was done. whoops.

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oh yeah! i made guacamole, too. from scratch, because that’s the ONLY way to enjoy guacamole. despite the slight overripeness of the avocados, this turned out spectacularly. 2 avocados + the juice of 1 lime + 1/2 finely diced red onion + red pepper flakes + 1/2 cup packed finely minced cilantro = pure, unadulterated heaven. i like my guac chunky, so all this really needed was some light mashing & mixed with a regular ol’ fork. if you like a smoother consistency, throw it in the food processor and pulse.

i could eat this stuff with a spoon, straight-up, somewhat like my gluttonous peanut butter jar tactics. the guac was excellent on the salmon, but it’s nice to let it shine on its own with some unsalted blue corn tortilla chips.

have a lovely friday, all! xo