About fifteen years ago, on my second trip to Mexico, I arrived from San Francisco to meet Lara who was already in Mexico City. The next morning, bleary eyed, we headed off to a small cafe near our cheap hotel that served brilliant breakfast eggs.
It was the first time I had tried huevos revueltos con chorizo — scrambled eggs with chorizo sausage. The touch of heat, the way the chorizo became one with the eggs, colouring it with the oil released when the sausage was cooked… it became my favourite dish of all the breakfast eggs that I tried on that trip.
In those days I wasn’t as fanatical about food, or taking notes about food, so the scrambled eggs with chorizo sausage that I made when I returned to Australia were a million miles removed from the ones that I had tasted, mainly because I couldn’t get fresh, uncured, chorizo.
I’ve been refining the dish for fifteen years, never ever really making them the same way twice until the last 12 months when I settled on a version that I really thought was my favourite. But the recipe I had developed — and used for Weekend Eggs: the Jerez edition — used cured chorizo, because fresh chorizo was not available in the United Arab Emirates, my home for the past dozen or so years.
Soon after we arrived in Mexico City, I returned to Cafe El Popular and ordered the huevos revueltos con chorizo again. As I waited for the dish to arrive, I noticed that nothing had changed about the cafe. The solo dining men still sat at the bar and ordered the daily specials — and it looked like these guys came in daily! The waitresses looked familiar in their starched uniforms and aprons. And the huevos revueltos con chorizo looked no different to the one I tasted all those years ago.
So how did it match up to my memory? It was a little overcooked for my taste — but then most eggs I eat that are not soft poached are generally overcooked for my taste — thanks to a million hotel breakfasts! But the flavour of the dish took me back 15 years, when I was 15 kilos lighter, and 15 years less travelled, and with 15 years less experience in the kitchen. But I still enjoyed it immensely.
With this in mind, I’ve gone back to the kitchen and made a version that more resembles the one from this café. Still, take care not to let it cook too much. It’s delicious and I still love the little puddle of refried beans with the fresh, crumbled cheese sprinkled on top, punctuated by a couple of corn chips. And speaking of corn chips, Lara says this version of the dish is so good she’d serve it as a dip!
- Four farm-fresh eggs
- ¼ of a medium sized white onion, very finely chopped
- 2 fresh chorizo sausages, skin removed
- Extra chili if you like it hot
- Salt and pepper to taste — and always taste first, chorizo can be salty!
- Refried beans — you don’t need to make these yourself
- Corn chips
- Queso molido
- Place the chorizo in a pan over medium heat. As the chorizo starts to cook break the sausages apart with a fork.
- When the chorizo starts to take on a richer, deeper colour, add the onion.
- Allow both the chorizo and the onion to brown.
- Heat up your refried beans in another pan — add a little water if it starts to firm up too much.
- Add the eggs to the pan and stir — no, don’t beat them first, crack them into the pan.
- Leave the heat on medium and keep stirring occasionally.
- When the mixture if fully combined and the eggs start to really firm up, remove from heat.
- Serve with the refried beans on the side, a couple of corn chips, and the queso molido sprinkled on top.