My first experience of Machaca con Huevos was less than satisfying, a small amount of tasteless dry grey steak encased with dull rubbery overcooked eggs; the product of a good dish in the hands of a poor cook. When I experience just such a fiasco, I start diagnosing what when wrong and how I could improve it. Starting with the beef, I wanted to concentrate on texture and flavor. Traditionally machaca is made from reconstituted dried beef, and I am not excited with dried meat products. Although drying can concentrate and intensify flavor, I hate to lose the braised texture of the meat. What really sparked my interest is the shredded form of the meat, which led me to think about pulled pork and braised beef short ribs: both which could be infused with Mexican flavors. Then as chance would have it, I pulled out a corned beef brisket that I was going to slow cook. I gently cooked and shredded the corned beef; then crisped it in the oven before adding onions and peppers then served over crispy shredded hash browns with . Topped with your favorite eggs and topped with a little pepper hot sauce resulted in salty, savoury beef; crispy potatoes with spicy eggs with a noticable Irish twist just in time for Saint Patrick's day. This dish shows we can use multiple translation techniques; substitution using corned beef (plus I used some pickled red peppers instead of roasted), using Saint Patrick's day as an inspiration, and slow cooking the brisket and shredding it changing methods. The pulled pork and braised beef versions are waiting for another day when I have suitable leftovers.
1 pound corned beef
1 poblano pepper
1 large russet potato shredded
1 red bell pepper (optional)
2 Roma tomatoes
1 small sweet onion
2 cloves garlic
½ cup beef stock
6 Large Eggs
½ cup shredded cheese (optional)
dash favorite hot sauce (optional)
1 Tbsp. canola oil
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Garnish with cilantro, lime, tomato and some tortillas.
Shred the corned beef with fork or hands and reserve. Roast at 400 degrees for fifteen minutes or broil until browned and crispy).
Shred the potatoes and fry in oil until brown and crispy. Keep warm.
Skin, seed and dice the tomato. Roast, skin and dice the peppers. Dice the onion and finely chop garlic. Heat a skillet on medium heat; add butter and a little oil and sauté garlic and the onion for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, add peppers and continue to sauté until soft (about 5 min). Add the tomato, most of the corned beef, beef stock and reduce until most of the liquid is gone. Reserve and keep warm.
Cook your eggs and plate some potatoes first then some beef mixture then a little of the reserved potato and corned beef. Garnish with cilantro, avocado slices, a small wedge of lime and grilled tortillas.
Every now and then I'll come up with an idea that I think is totally original only to find someone has beat me to the punch. Nonetheless here is how I developed the initial idea, changing the method of preparing classic French toast. I have to confess to a serious addiction. Cooking shows! This idea came from watching three of Bobby Flays shows; "Brunch at Bobby’s" showcased Bobby cooking French toast in a waffle iron; in a "Throw-down" episode he sandwiched two pieces of French toast to make stuffed French toast and I remembered another episode making Chicken and Waffles. Suddenly everything came together! But why stop there; the ideas for filling are endless. Make it your own!
8 slices thin sliced firm bread
1 Cup Milk
1 Tbsp. Vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch fresh grated nutmeg
1 tsp sugar
Here are some fillings I have thought of or you can come up with your owwn -
Filling 1: "New York Cheese Cake" flavored cream cheese (I found some white chocolate), sliced fresh strawberries
Filling 2: "Chicken in Waffle" breaded chicken tenders sliced thinly on the bias
Filling 3: "The Elvis" peanut butter and sliced banana
Prep your filling(s) and reserve. If you want to try the chicken, make sure it is fully cooked before it goes into the waffle. Heat up your waffle iron. Beat the eggs in a flat wide dish then add milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk to combine.
Brush or spray waffle iron with oil. Dip first four pieces of bread and place on the waffle iron then add filling to the center of each waffle. Do not over stuff! Dip remaining pieces of bread in the egg mixture and position on top of filling. Close the waffle iron and cook until nicely browned. Hint - The steam will start to subside. Serve immediately. Serves two to four depending on appetite.
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How does a good chef think? What is the creative process a
chef uses to come up with new and exciting dishes? What do I need to know to enable that creative process? These are the questions I want to explore in this series of articles. As a chef and an avid cookbook collector I am drawn towards
ideas and techniques of cooking rather than just a collection of recipes. I believe to grow as a chef, I need to continually learn and hone new techniques along with perfecting each technique I use every day. Whenever I go to a restaurant, whether fine dining, neighborhood pub, avant garde, or even fast food, I continually ask myself how can I do this better, what works and more important, what doesn’t? Feel free to send me comments, ask questions. Together, we can explore and make creative cuisine.
Spending almost thirty years in the computing field, I was able to travel experiencing a wide variety of tremendous cuisine. First I became a foodie, and when the opportunity arose, I was able to attend culinary school following my passion. I work as a part-time private chef and volunteer time at the community café in North Bend Oregon providing affordable meals in a restaurant setting to my community.