Mexican Egg Dishes

I was talking with my friend Bill Moran from Texas Chef about Mexican Egg dishes the other day, so of course the Border Ranch classic Huevos Rancheros came up. I made Bill’s recipe from his book Cookin’ Texan for breakfast the other morning, delicious! What a wonderful combination of fresh flavors for breakfast! Also check out another Mexican Egg dish, Huevos Motulenos, at Texas Chef. Here is his recipe:

Bill Moran’s Huevos Rancheros Recipe
(Ranch Style Eggs)

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Eggs, depending on how many persons are served.
Use 2 eggs per person.

Viva! Salsa Ranchero (Recipe Below)

If you are preparing more than four eggs you will need to double the recipe for Ranchero Sauce. Most people like lots of sauce so prepare plenty.
Prepare the sauce per the recipe. Break the eggs into a small bowl (two per bowl) and when the sauce is simmering (not boiling), ease the eggs into the sauce and “poach” the eggs in the sauce. When done to order, remove eggs to a warm plate and keep warm. Repeat the process until all the eggs are cooked.
Some places serve the eggs atop a heated corn tortilla and top both eggs and tortilla with the sauce. Serve with warmed corn tortillas and hot Mexican chocolate.

VIVA! Salsa Ranchera Recipe

3 Medium-size Ripe Tomatoes, chopped, reserving juice or 1 – 15oz. Can Whole Peeled Tomatoes, drained, reserving juice.
1 Yellow Onion, chopped chunky
1/2 Cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped coarse
1 Large Chile Jalapeno, cut in half length-wise and seeds removed from one half, then chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, smashed then cut-up a little
2 Tbs. Oil

Heat skillet over high heat. Reduce to medium and saute onions, garlic, and jalapeno until onions are slightly brown.
Add tomatoes with their juice to onion mixture and simmer until sauce thickens a little. If tomatoes don’t have enough juice, add a little tomato sauce if available – if not, add water.
At the last minute add cilantro and mix into salsa.

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Do You Want A Super Automatic Espresso Machine?

capsule-espresso-makerIf you’re shopping for a super-automatic espresso machine, the first thing you’d have to get in check is your budget. Super-automatic espresso machines can range from $140 to a whopping $3500 on Amazon. Depending on how much you’re willing to spend and what you actually want in a machine, you could get a good espresso maker for about $200 if you are on an extremely tight budget.
The first thing you’d have to understand if you purchase a super automatic is that you’d always end up losing some taste for the convenience it gives you. For the casual coffee drinker, a super automatic espresso machine will make you extremely happy. I’d recommend getting a pod super-automatic which I read about on this best super automatic espresso maker review for 2016 website.

The Nespresso super-automatic espresso maker line up is easy to operate and offers remarkable taste. You get your prefered cup of coffee just with the push of a button. The only downside to this machine is its custom pods or capsules that have to be bought and placed into the machine.

These pods come in a variety of flavours. You’ll even find chocolaty drinks for the young ones or #noncoffeedrinkers. The machine is easy to clean and the capsules that can be purchased at many convenient stores are rather affordable. A nespresso espresso machine is about the quickest way to get a decent cup of coffee without all the hard work of making it yourself or driving to the store. Here is a video that demonstrates how the machine works.

citizI personally own the Nespresso CitiZ. It is a tiny little slugger but it works
extremely well. This Nespresso machine uses pods from the originalline. These pods are amazing, you can get everything from decaf to full fledged mochas.

If you enjoy trying new flavors, you may want to give all these different capsules a shot. Amazon even sells a pack of a variety pack with 50 pods that come in 5 flavors for about $40.

To add to the convenience, you don’t even need to worry about washing or taking this glorious machine apart. To clean it, just use the descaling solution the machine comes with. This video has an excellent step by step guide that shows you exactly how simple it is to clean.

Fry or Oven Cook Meatballs

Pan-frying and baking are among the more common ways to cook meatballs, whether they’re ground beef, chicken, pork or a combination of meats. Whatever meat you use, most meatballs are prepared in a similar manner — combined with bread crumbs and eggs for binding and seasoned generously with spices and herbs to enhance the flavor. While pan-frying is the fastest way to cook meatballs, baking them is simple and can save you a few calories.

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Prepping the Meatballs

You can use any type of ground meat for your meatballs, including beef, lamb, turkey, pork and chicken. Combine the ground meat in a bowl with bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and eggs. You’ll want to use roughly a half cup of bread crumbs and one egg per pound of ground meat for balanced meatballs. Add about a teaspoon of salt per pound as well and a few pinches of fresh herbs, to your taste. You can also add a handful or so of Parmesan cheese, but you’ll want to reduce the amount of salt in that case. Other optional additions include onions, garlic powder, chili powder and a dash of nutmeg. Combine the mixture well with your lightly oiled hands, then roll into roughly golf ball-sized meatballs.

Fried Meatballs

Meatballs can be cooked in a variety of ways but are often pan-fried in the Italian tradition. If you plan to add the meatballs to a sauce, you can just sear them quickly in a pan coated with oil over high heat, then add them to a simmering sauce to finish cooking. To fully pan-fry the meatballs, you’ll want to bring the oil-coated skillet to a medium heat level and fill the pan with meatballs, without overcrowding them. Let the meatballs cook for about three to five minutes on one side, then carefully roll them over and cook for another few minutes, or continue turning frequently until they’re cooked through. Although not traditional, you can also deep-fry the meatballs in a pot of oil heated to a medium-high temperature. Fry them plain or rolled in flour and bread crumbs.

Baked Meatballs

Baked meatballs are ideal for those who want to reduce the fat a bit by avoiding the excess oil that comes with frying. They’re also a easier to prepare, as you don’t have to stay by the stove to turn them frequently. The oven should be preheated to a medium-high temperature, about 400 F. Add the meatballs, spaced about an inch apart onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or oil. Spray the lining lightly with cooking spray to avoid sticking. Once they’re in the oven, cooking time will depend on the meatball size and type of ground meat you are using, but should be roughly between 15 and 25 minutes.

Need To Know

Meatballs made with ground beef, pork, veal or lamb need to be cooked to a minimum of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, as recommended by the FoodSafety.gov, for safe consumption. Ground turkey and chicken should be cooked to 160 F. You can roll the meatballs ahead of time by freezing them uncooked. Stick them on a baking sheet, spaced apart and place them in the freezer until frozen solid, then put them in a freezer-safe airtight container until you are ready to use them. Store the meatballs for up to three months in the freezer. If you cook them and have leftovers, you can store them in the freezer as well, for up to one month.

Best Latte Art Brew

latte-artIt isn’t that hard to be your very own personal barista. I came across a recipe the other day that I tried out. The results really amazed me. I couldn’t believe I made such an amazing drink myself. The Mrs is a sucker for a hot latte. So I wanted to show off my skills and surprise her with the best homemade latte that I could whip up.

I wanted to try out latte art. Once I mastered how to make perfectly brewed espressos, it was time to step up my game. Snapguide had a perfect stream of images that demonstrated how to make a nice heart shaped latte.

As usual, I ground my Italian roast and made a well balanced cup of espresso. I then frothed the milk using the milk frother on my espresso machine. Well, snapguide even had a guide for frothing milk that really came in handy.

I tilted the cup and started pulling/pouring the milk into the cup. I swirled it around to create ripples so my heart shape would be accentuated. When the cup was 3/4 full, I moved the milk pitcher closer to get the foam to rest on the surface of the latte. Finally I pulled a tail and the heart formed. Plot twist.. That only happened on my FOURTH attempt.

My first attempt failed miserably. The only form of art I got was a big blob of foam (it could have been a ball). The same happened on the second and third try. But on the fourth try, with a few flicks of the wrist, I created the perfect heart shape to serve the queen with. The smile on her face was well worth the effort I’d put in.