Thursday, August 2, 2012

Gringa Food

I am a New Yorker. This means that when confronted with a slice of pizza, I can NEVER say no, even if it were offered to me after a full Thanksgiving dinner. This is not my fault, it is in my New York blood. This also means that on-the-go breakfast has always meant getting either Dunkin Donuts or stopping by your local bagel place and getting an unbelievable bagel.

My little world was blown when I moved to Denver. First of all, Dunkin Donuts doesn't exist out here and no one even knows the glory of a New York bagel. In Denver, the go-to on the go breakfast food is a breakfast burrito. Just as you see bagel breakfast combo specials advertised on the side of bagel places up and down the streets in NY, Denver is loaded with restaurants advertising, "Open at 6 AM, $1.99 breakfast burritos."

And, oh man, are they phenomenal! Almost enough to make me not miss my NY bagels, almost. Another phenomenal Mexican favorite that I barely knew existed...the chili relleno.

In honor of my world being blown by the amazing Mexican food that Denver has to offer, I submit to you two easy gringa [white girl] takes on some delish Mexican dishes.

First, and easiest of all, my delicious and simple take on chili rellenos.

Gringa Chili Rellenos
6 Anaheim Peppers [feel free to use whatever type you like, Anaheim is just the right amount of heat to me...peppery tasting without blasting my face off] 
8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese [again, in true pantry bustin style...use up whatever cheese you like].
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lime sliced into six slices
Optional: Tortilla chips for dippin'

Turn on your broiler. Slice one lengthwise cut in each of your chilies to create a cheese pocket. If you are nervous about heat levels, feel free to remove the seeds at this point. It will reduce the heat level.

Stuff 1/6th of your cheese into the cavity/cheese pocket of each chili, leaving a little bit of cheese coming out of the cavity. 

Sprinkle the top of each chili with salt and pepper. Place onto a cookie sheet.

Broil until cheese has melted and the chilies have begun to char on top.

Serve the chilies with the lime slices or squeeze some lime juice over the top of each chili before serving. The acidity is great with the pepper and cheese!

Now that all I want to eat is gloopy, cheesy Mexican food, let me give you some quick instructions on the ultimate breakfast pantry buster...breakfast burritos.

Pantry Bustin' Breakfast Burritos
6-8 tortillas
6 eggs, scrambled
Literally empty out your fridge or pantry of anything with a Mexican flare. 
Refried beans, black beans, corn [we used leftover cumin-roasted corn], cheese, chopped tomatoes, sliced onions, green onions, green chile, cilantro, sliced jalapeno, any breakfast meat you want [the breakfast burrito places often put crumbled chorizo in their's...oh my gosh!], defrosted frozen hash browns or some cooked potato chunks.
Salsa and Sour Cream to top or dunk in. *Don't put either of these in before hand because they might make the tortilla a little mushy.

Preheat the oven to 325 while scrambling eggs and preparing any of your other fillings. 

Assemble your fillings around your tortilla filling station so that every thing is close at hand.
Layer your fillings in your tortilla and roll into a burrito. 

Helpful hint: To get a well-rolled burrito, place your fillings in a horizontal line towards the upper part of your tortilla [I know because I rolled it oddly and lengthwise in the above picture and my burrito looked dumb]. Before rolling downward, roll up about an inch of the left and right sides of the burrito to slightly cover your filling. Then roll downward while keeping the sides folded in. This method will make sure that your fillings stay in place. 
                                      My cute Aunt Tis rolling burritos for the Big Fam in Pittsburgh.

You can eat these as soon as they are rolled BUT I found that they tasted a lot better after sitting in the oven for about 15 minutes. The cheese melted, the tortilla softened and the flavors melded together amazingly! 

I placed all of my burritos in a casserole dish but you can also roll each individual burrito in aluminum foil. This helps you if you truly want them to be on-the-go!


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  2. I had no idea you were a New Yorker! These look delightful and like a lot less work/mess/grease than the chile rellenos I normally make. Yummy!

  3. Hey Alex! These are delish, not quite the same league as a true chili relleno but delicious and easy all the same!