Chorizo con Huevos

Breakfast for dinner is always a great idea, I say. This dish–chorizo mixed with eggs and fried tortilla strips–I’ve made for dinner far more often than I have for breakfast. When the kids were younger, the everything-mixed-in-one-pan quality of this dish was kind of a turn off, but somewhere over the past year I have won all three of them over.

As with many meals, there’s some pretty heated debate in our household over what is actually the star of this dish. Clearly not the eggs–note it’s chorizo con huevos, and not the other way around. But is it the chorizo, or those super-tasty fried tortilla strips? In the name of authenticity, I suppose I should note that while I have ordered chorizo con huevos at a number of hole-in-the-wall restaurants and taquerias in my area, I have yet to find a place that adds in the fried tortilla strips. I got the idea  off of the back of a bag of locally made tortillas, but honestly, I question my memory on this one–it could be that I misread or misremembered what was really a recipe for chilaquiles. No matter, though– it’s the way we make chorizo con huevos in our household, and it’s how we love them.

As with caldo verde, this is a meal that my father ate growing up–and one that he insists is really a Portuguese dish that somehow worked its way down from East Cambridge to Mexico in the late 1930s.

Canola oil for frying
6 corn tortillas, cut into strips (about 1-1/2″ x 1/2″)
8 ounces chorizo, removed from casing and crumbled
8 eggs, beaten
Salt, to taste
Salsa picante

Heat up 2″-3″ of oil in a heavy bottom, deep pan (I use a cast iron chicken fryer–great for these sorts of things, and a great way to work on your forearm strength). Add in your tortilla strips and fry them until they are golden and crispy. And please–if you are balking at the deep frying here, should you really be making chorizo con heuvos in the first place? (I don’t think you are going to find this meal on anyone’s list of “heart healthy” dishes!)  Transfer your fried tortilla strips to paper towels or a brown paper bag to absorb the excess oil. Salt while hot, and then set aside.

In a separate frying pan, cook the chorizo crumble until it is browned. Add the beaten eggs to the cooked chorizo and let stand for a minute or so. A note on seasoning: you will want to add some salt to the eggs, but be careful–depending on your brand of chorizo, and how aggressively you salted your tortilla strips, you might need to go a lot lighter on the salt than you think. When the eggs have started to cook to the bottom of the pan, begin to scramble the mixture together. Cook to your preference–I normally go pretty soft on my scrambled eggs, but with this dish I tend to cook them a bit more fully so that the tortillas stay crunchier in the next step.

When your eggs are cooked, remove from heat and add in the tortilla strips, combining thoroughly.

I always serve this dish with refried beans and rice. Oh–and don’t forget to bring a bottle of salsa picante to the table as a condiment.

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