I’m sure I left all of you hanging at the edges of your seats when we took our last break from this Cooking Segment, “Chorizo & Eggs”. I apologize. Kind of. Well, not really. I don’t know why I even started this. Oh right. For you. I do this for you. Because I care.
I had to run out and get an onion. And by “run out” I mean I had to remember to buy one when I went to the supermarket. The last 6 times. Maybe 7.
But I kept forgetting. Maybe it’s because I am now 60. Or maybe it’s because after reading the label on the thick plastic coated Chorizo package, I subconsciously did not want to make Chorizo & Eggs.
Or maybe it was more conscious than that. I don’t know.
But I finally remembered to buy an onion and I brought it home and was about to start making Chorizo & Eggs (for you), when I looked into my cupboard for a can of ReFried Beans and saw – or didn’t see the can. Because it was not there.
Now I know that you can make Chorizo & Eggs without a side of refried beans, but you can clearly see in the Rudolf Becerra video that re-fried beans are an integral part of the plate. As a matter of fact, there is a lower third that says, “Serve Refried Beans.” There are also tortillas on the plate (in the video) and some kind of green thing. I’m thinking it must be a sliced jalapeño. It usually is when it comes to Mexican food. They must feel the way about jalapeño the way Italians feel about garlic. But garlic is better. Way better.
I’m not about to argue with a Mexican when it comes to a traditional dish. So I decided to run out and get a can of refried beans so I could re-create the Rudolf Becerra Chorizo & Eggs Experience perfectly.
And by “run out” I mean I had to remember to buy one when I went to the supermarket. The last 6 times. Maybe 7.
By this time, I was pretty much done with Chorizo & Eggs. I mean, I really don’t even like Eggs and after reading the ingredients on the Chorizo package, I don’t think I like Chorizo, either.
But I do this for you. Because I care.
So here we go.
I’m going to post Rudolf Becerra’s Video again so you can follow along and make sure I did it correctly and because the music made all of this more palatable and this dish needs all the palatable help it can get.
First let me tell you I was going to follow along with the video on my iPad so I can watch and take photos for you at the same time. But my iPad had no battery life left. I’m sure it’s because it was thinking we were in for another marathon screening of Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares. Or Hotel Impossible, with Anthony Melchiorri, which is where all of this binge watching really started. Followed by Restaurant Impossible, with Robert Irvine. I really don’t blame my iPad for shutting itself down and refusing to power back up. It’s been through a lot, too. I watched all of the episodes of all of those shows 5 times. At least.
So I have to go back and forth between my camera and YouTube on my iPhone. But that’s ok. I do this all for you. Because I care.
The first thing I did was to assemble the ingredients. My friend, Bob DelGrosso is some kind of amazing chef, although he has yet to invite me to dinner and we have been friends since High School. He calls this “Mise en Place”. I don’t remember enough High School French and I don’t remember Bob DelGrosso using such stuck up phrases in High School, but things and people change. Just get all the stuff you need together in one place so you can tell right away if you have to go back to the supermarket. In the photo above you can see that once again I forgot the freaking onion. I knew that would come back to haunt me. Luckily, it was on top of the microwave in a basket.
Then I cut up some tortillas to fry because I do not like store-bought tortillas in their natural state. I like homemade tortillas but I am not anywhere near Mexican enough to try to make them. (In another Cooking Segment, I will tell you what happened when I tried to make Potato Latkes. It was not pretty.) Even trying Chorizo & Eggs is making me nervous.
I used a knife I bought from Big Lots, but you can use any knife you want. This one says it’s from the Sharper Image. Remember when that actually meant something? Sharper Image was a really cool store full of really cool stuff you never even knew you wanted or needed until you saw it at the Sharper Image. Except everything at the Sharper Image cost about $500. Everything.
Now you can buy their knives it at Big Lots. Set of 2, $6. Sad.
I also use Olive Oil to fry the tortillas because I’m Italian and that is how I roll. I know that somewhere in my cupboard is some other type of oil, but I just use that to grease the bottom of my brownie pan when I make brownies. I don’t think I ever used to cook anything in because there is only one kind of oil to do anything with and that is Olive Oil. Olive Oil is green and when I was growing up, it lived under the sink at my Grandma’s house because it was in such a gigantic can it couldn’t fit on any of her shelves. To this day when I open the cabinet under the sink, I always expect to see that huge highly decorated can of Olive Oil. Also sad.
So the chips are fried & salted and are sitting on some paper towel to drain and we are on to the next step: Chopping the Onion.
The video shows Rudolf, or his hand model, chopping half an onion.
DO NOT DO THIS!
I watched the video and saw Rudolf was using half an onion, so I cut my onion in half. I also wrapped the other half of the onion in plastic wrap to use another time. Most likely when I make filet mignon because I like grilled onions with my steak. And by grilled I mean caramelized in the pan on top of the stove with butter and olive oil. It’s the only way. Trust me.
So I cut the onion in half and started to slice and realized that there would be way too much chopped onion for this dish. I am not Mexican but I do know too much onion when I see it. So I cut that half in half. (You can also start by just cutting a quarter of an onion, which is easier now that I have made that mistake for you). Then I had to take the plastic wrap back out of the draw and try to wrap a quarter sliced onion. The half onion I keep in the fridge. The quarter sliced onion I threw in the freezer. I don’t know why I do that. Either way the next time I need an onion, I am most likely going to buy another at the supermarket because after this whole Chorizo and Egg thing, I am now terrified of not having an onion in the house when I need it. The things I always have in my kitchen are 1) Onions 2) Garlic 3) Olive Oil 4) Lemon & 5) Dogs. Not always in that order.
Chop the quarter onion into pieces. Most Great Chefs, like my friend Bob DelGrosso, and to also Robert Irvine and also Gordon Ramsay, will tell you to chop the onions into consistent sized pieces so that they all cook at the same time. I don’t know about you, but I have neither the time nor the desire to hone my knife skills that well. I’m Sicilian, we know our way around knives, and most times our knives are used for more practical things, like stabbing enemies in the back. Or some friends. Like Bob DelGrosso. Just chop the freaking onions the best you can and move them way over to one side. Way over. You’re not going to be doing anything with them for a while and the last thing you want is to be crying during these next steps.
In the video it says to crack 2 eggs into a bowl. I didn’t have this kind of bowl so I used the one I bought at the Dollar Store while I was buying cleaning supplies to clean the tiny trailer I used to live in. You can use any bowl you want to also. This is America and freedom to choose bowls to crack eggs in is our birthright, which is probably why so many Mexicans cross the border to start restaurants. Or kill and rape, depending on which political side you’re on.
After you crack the eggs, beat them with a fork. I always use a silver fork. Well, silver plate. It’s not that silver or silver plate are better than regular forks for beating eggs.
It’s just that I prefer to use silver or silver plate.
I’m fancy that way, but you can use those Oneida Stainless steel forks you think are so fancy. But really aren’t.
After you beat the eggs, move them to the side. You can move them as far away as you moved the onions. I’ll leave that up to you. I always think of eggs as Chicken Babies, so I tend to move them very far away because if I don’t, I’ll start crying, stop this whole cooking segment and go out for breakfast.
But that’s not why I’m here. I’m here for you. Because I care.
Next in the video, it says fry the Chorizo.
This is not as easy as they make it out to be. First, as I might have mentioned before, you have to open the package. So just sit down and relax. This is going to take a while.
In our previous segment, I showed you what Chorizo looks like. It’s not really sausage. If you read the ingredients (and I strongly suggest you don’t do that), you will see it’s barely meat. It comes in a tube. A heavy plastic tube. I don’t know if the tube protects the contents from the world, or the world from the contents, but either way, opening the tube is not easy or pretty.
I used my Big Lots Sharper Image Knife and cut the tube into thirds. Rudolfo put a spoonful of Chorizo in the pan, but I don’t know what size spoon he used. My Sicilian Grandmother had a spoon as big as the big can of Olive Oil she had under her sink. No one wanted to see that spoon come out. Ever.
So I just cut the tube in thirds, more or less. Those Big Lots Sharper Image knives were pretty sharp but still most of it came squishing out of the tube.
The other 2 thirds I wrapped up, first in wax paper, then in tin foil, and put them in the freezer.
I don’t know why I do that. The odds of me taking out the frozen Chorizo, defrosting it and using it again to make Chorizo and Eggs are very slim. As a matter of fact, pretty much everything I wrap in wax paper, then in tin foil, then put into plastic ziplock freezer bags to put in the freezer eventually wind up in the trash.
I used to date everything I put in the freezer and then every 3 months I would go through the freezer and throw out everything that had past that date. Eventually I realized I never defrosted or used anything I dated and put in the freezer so I stopped dating everything.
I still wrap and put things in the freezer, but I know it’s going to wind up in the trash before it is ever used again. I have recently developed a fear of Gordon Ramsay going through my freezer and yelling at me. I’m not really sure where that fear came from. But it’s real.
After the 2/3 of the Chorizo went into the freezer, I put the remaining 1/3 of the Chorizo in the pan, with some oil leftover from frying the tortillas, because I was too lazy to wash the pan after I fried them. To be honest, I don’t think there is anything you can leave in the pan before you put in the Chorizo that would change the texture or flavor of the Chorizo. Chorizo seems to be like Coca-Cola. It will be able to survive a nuclear war and still have the same molecular structure. There is something about that thought that is oddly comforting and terrifying at the same time.
By accident, I had the temperature on high. And by high, I mean whatever the heck #8 is on an electric stove. The house I am living in right now is all electric, which means the stove and hot water heater are electric. If the house had any kind of heating system, it most likely would be electric too, but it doesn’t. It has a fireplace. My landlady tells me the fireplace is Swedish. I don’t know if that is supposed to impress me but it doesn’t keep me any warmer. I don’t use the fireplace because as I might have said in another post, I am not a camper. All I want is to flip a switch and have the house be warm. So I am moving. Partly because of the Swedish-Fireplace-In-Leiu-Of-Central-Heating. Partly because I can’t cook on an electric stove. But mostly because my landlady is certifiably crazy. But that is another episode for another day.
Even with the temperature on the Chorizo on #8, it never changed color to golden, the way it said on other recipe sites I checked. It never smoked, it never burned. It just stayed the same reddish greasy mess it was in the tube, except it was hot. Now would be a good time to add the onions. Just grab them from wherever you put them and fling them in and stir them around a bit. Your choice of spoon is up to you. You’re an adult. Decide for yourself.
I’m not a fan of adding raw onions to anything. I like to cook mine first so they get a little soft. Not as soft and caramelized as the kind I like with Filet Mignon, but soft and translucent. (I learned that word from Robert Irvine). There is nothing worse than taking a mouthful of something cooked and biting into a raw piece of onion. Ok, maybe there are a lot of things worse than that, like poverty and war and Two Broke Girls. Maybe it’s a Mexican thing, Like Menudo. You are never going to catch me trying to make that.
Take it off the stove when you think it’s done. I really couldn’t tell you when that it is. None of it ever changes color, not even the onions. They get a little reddish from whatever they use to colorize the Chorizo (it says Paprika but I have my doubts). But there is really no way to tell if it all is cooked. You’re guess is a good as mine. Let’s just hope for the best.
Now we are going to address the sides. This is were everything can go wrong, so pay attention. I bought a can of refried beans and a pouch of Uncle Ben’s Spanish Style Rice because if this dish goes south, and there is every indication that it might, I want to have something to eat. I don’t know if there is a big difference between Spanish Style rice and Mexican Style Rice but I do know that Uncle Ben is Black, at least he was when I was growing up. Now I guess he is African American but either way he is neither Mexican nor Spanish so whatever is in this pouch is probably not authentic.
But it is microwavable. And that is what is important. because no matter what night terrors I have recently developed about Gordon Ramsay sneaking into my kitchen in the wee early morning hours to discover my secret trove of non-dated frozen left-overs, I am not going to make rice from scratch. Rice from scratch is at least a 20 minute endeavor and the main purpose of making Chorizo & Eggs is to get to eat to the Chorizo and Eggs. This whole thing has been taking up way too much time as it is. Uncle Ben’s Spanish Style Rice comes in a pouch that can be microwaved in 90 seconds. Just get it. You’ll thank me later.
Open the can of refried beans. I use a can opener like this:
You can use an electric can opener. This pot is Revere Ware. I’m not sure it was created by the original Paul Revere. The one with the horse during that war. The war we liked. Because we won. Americans like to win wars and I think that first one is where it all started. Now, it’s just gotten to be a bad habit.
I got my pot from my friend, Kathryn Bishop, who wasn’t sure what it was because she microwaves everything. She was the one who told me about microwavable rice in a pouch. When I see her, I will thank her for you. Just use any pot you have. Don’t overthink this.
Dump the refried beans into any kind of pot and put it on the stove on low. If you have a gas stove you know what low is. If you have an electric stove like I do, you will have to guess. It might be a 3 or 4. Maybe a 5. You just don’t really know. Don’t put it over a 6. Stir it around. While the beans are heating, read the directions on Uncle Ben’s Pouch of Microwavable Spanish Style Rice, but don’t take your eyes off the beans.
I can’t hold your hand through this whole thing. Here are some photos to help:
By now, your beans should be burning like mine did because you took your eyes off the beans to read the Uncle Ben’s Spanish Style Microwavable Rice instructions. Don’t worry. They are only beans. There is nothing life or death about this. Just stir them around a bit and they should be fine. Then take them off the heat. You don’t want to make the same mistake twice.
The microwave should be beeping, so take the Uncle Ben’s Microwavable Pouch of Spanish Style Rice out and rip the rest of the top open. It says to open it carefully because of the steam, but I just ripped it open because I like to live on the edge sometimes. If you have any experience with microwavable popcorn, it will serve you well at this point. If you don’t, feel free to play it safe. Pull out a plate and put some of the rice on it and some of the beans. I like white plates because it is easier to tell if they are clean. Your plate should look like this:
Now that the sides are done, we’ll turn our attention back to the reason we are all here. The Chorizo and Eggs. Put the pan that you took off the heat containing the Chorizo and chopped onions and put it back on the heat. Maybe medium. Somewhere between a 4 and a 6 on an electric stove.
God, I hate electric stoves. Why were they even invented? I know i said I wasn’t a camper, but somewhere back in my DNA there must have been a Caveman or Cavewoman because I think all food should be cooked over fire. Electric Stoves are just so depressing to cook on. They remind me of hot plates in some cheap motel. The kind Anthony Melchiorri tries to fix. Not that I’ve ever been in a cheap motel. But I’ve seen photos. I just hate those electric rings on top of an electric stove. Why do they have to be different sizes? You have to use the correct size pot for the correct size ring. It’s just too freaking complicated. I had to buy a new set of pots and pans to match these rings. It got expensive.
Even now when they make them so fancy by covering them with some heat resistant glass top, they are still depressing to cook on. And dangerous. I had a stove like this in Florida. Once you turn it off, it’s still hot. Very hot. They have a tiny light that tells you it’s still hot but if you’re not paying attention, bad things can happen. I know this because once or twice I put something on top of the stove when I had turned it off but it was still hot. And by something I mean my hand.
Ok, so the pan with the Chorizo and Onions should be hot by now. Don’t worry about burning the Chorizo because that stuff just doesn’t burn. Grab your eggs and give them another go round with your not-so-fancy-as-you-think Oneida Stainless Steel Fork, then throw them in the pan with the Chorizo and Onions and smoosh them around until the resemble something close to cooked scrambled eggs. Once it all looks like it is cooked – and I have to tell you that you’re going to have to decide this for yourself. It’s a personal preference and I am not going to impose my hatred of eggs on you, but I like them so well done that they are no longer yellow. That’s not a big concern with Chorizo and Eggs because whatever they put in the Chorizo to turn it red and has already turned the onions red, are going to turn the eggs red too. That’s ok with me but might not be ok with you. I don’t really care how you like your eggs so just do whatever you want at this point. I wouldn’t even worry about the eggs not being cooked enough because whatever is in the Chorizo is going to kill you long before salmonella kicks in.
Dump some Chorizo & Eggs on the plate, put some tortillas next to it, or tortilla chips like I made and you’re done. I hate eggs so much, even so heavily disguised with Chorizo and onions, I added torn up slices of sharp cheddar cheese. Extra Sharp. Just in case.
Rudolf Becerra uses some kind of Mexican Cheese but I didn’t find any at our local Supermarket and with gas prices the way they are here in Los Angeles, I’m not about to drive around looking for Mexican cheese. Rudolf suggests putting it on the beans, but I think cheese should go on everything. All The Time.
And there you have it. Chorizo and Eggs.
When I first started this cooking segment, I went online to see how long it would take, or should take. Almost every Recipe Site said it would take about 10 minutes of prep and 10 minutes to cook. It sounded fast and easy. Twenty Minutes and breakfast is served.
Things are not always how they appear on the internet. Let’s Recap:
- 10 minutes to find a suitable recipe with music.
- 10 minute roundtrip to the grocery store for Chorizo and Eggs.
- 10 minutes in the grocery store looking for Chorizo and Eggs.
- 6 – 10 minute roundtrips to the grocery store for an onion.
- 3 – 10 minute roundtrips to the grocery store for rice & beans.
- 15 minutes in the grocery store looking for rice & beans.
- 15 minutes at the checkout stand behind a woman with expired coupons.
- 10 minutes at home assembling “MIse en Place”
- 10 minutes taking out pan, taking out oil, cutting & frying tortillas, taking out sheet of paper towel, lining plate, putting fried tortillas on plate to drain.
- 5 minutes chopping too much onion.
- 5 minutes wrapping leftover onion in plastic wrap, putting it in the freezer and washing and drying hands.
- 5 minutes cracking eggs and mixing them in a bowl and washing and drying hands.
- 14 minutes trying to open Chorizo package, ( -1 minute for using the same pan as tortillas, without cleaning out the oil), deciding how much Chorizo to use, glopping it into pan, stirring it around, wondering what it is supposed to look like when it’s cooked.
- 3 minutes throwing chopped onion in the pan, stirring, hoping for the best, washing and drying hands.
- 5 minutes getting out pot, opening can of beans, putting beans in the pot, turning on the heat, smooshing them around, throwing can into recycle bin, can opener into sink and washing and drying hands.
- 5 minutes reading and understanding Uncle Ben’s Spanish Style Microwavable Rice directions.
- 1.5 minutes microwaving Uncle Ben’s Spanish Style Microwavable Rice.
- 1 minute stirring burnt beans and taking them off the heat.
- 1 minutes opening Uncle Ben’s Spanish Style Microwavable Rice Pouch.
- 3 minutes grabbing plate, dumping beans and rice onto plate. Throwing pouch into garbage, putting pot into sink, washing and drying hands.
- 3 minutes reheating Chorizo and Onions, grabbing eggs, mixing them up a bit, pouring into pan, stirring around until everything was more or less cooked, putting them on plate.
- 1 minute to add torn slices of Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese on top of Chorizo and Eggs, Rice and Beans.
- 10 minutes to eat Chorizo and Eggs, Rice & Beans with Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese on everything.
- 15 minutes to wash, dry and put everything away.
- 4 hours to write Cooking Segment and add photos.
TOTAL TIME: 8 hours and 10 minutes.
That, Ladies & Gentlemen, is time I will never get back. Ever. But I think it was worth it. First, because I started it, and I like to finish things I start. Most times. Second, because you asked and I care about you. Most times. But third, and perhaps most important, is that I suspected that once I made Chorizo and Eggs at home, I would never make them at home again. And I would never complain about paying $11 for Chorizo and Eggs at my hole in the wall place. Here is the cost to make this at home:
- Eggs – $1.99
- Chorizo – $1.99
- Onion – $.45
- Tortillas – $1.99
- Rice – $1.99
- Beans – $1.00
- Cheese – $2.99
TOTAL COST: $10.45
And if you include gas and my time, this plate of Chorizo and Eggs ran about $60. Maybe $100. I don’t know how valuable your time is, but as I have said before, I am now 60 and I don’t have quite as much of it as I used to and absolutely none of it should be wasted making Chorizo and Eggs ever again.
Thank you for joining me in my kitchen and in my life.
Tune in Next Week for another Cooking Segment when I try to teach my Jewish Friend how to make Italian Meatballs.