The Downtown Chef: Breakfast Saves Lives!

07/06/2005 12:00 AM |


I’m an early riser. It’s time I admit it in some public forum. Apparently it’s a sin in this city to leave the basement soul-searching of some Lower East Side bar before 1am. Well, I’ve got something better on my mind than another drink and a less-than-satisfying, consensual engagement. Breakfast. 


Most 20 year olds don’t participate in this conventional third meal. Two a day seems the norm. I know y’all had breakfast as children, so when did it become less of a priority? My mother would shove an English muffin down my throat right before the school bus came, and I would regurgitate it on the driveway. Yeah, we’ve got long wonderful driveways in the Midwest. Although my mother’s attempts were futile, I got the point. Without a little something in your stomach, you have no energy. Those of you running on fumes from last night’s greasy slice of pizza are at a disadvantage. And you will fall and the breakfast eaters of this world will trample you and leave you dead and mangled. So please go to bed at a reasonable hour and have a little something to eat before you start your day. 

HUEVOS RANCHEROS (serves four)

8 eggs

8 small corn tortillas

Canola oil for frying

2 cans black beans, drained

2 ripe tomatoes

1 small red onion

1 small bunch cilantro, picked and chopped

Juice from one lime

1 Serrano chili, use the seeds if you like it spicy

Salt to taste

1 avocado

1 block pepper jack cheese

Turn the oven on to 350 degrees. Place the beans in a small pot with a bit of salt and a tablespoon of oil. Cook them on low heat until they’re soft and warm. Fry up the tortillas on each side in a few tablespoons of canola oil until they start to turn golden brown ? set aside. Fry up the eggs, two at a time until the whites are almost set. Place two tortillas on each plate and slide the eggs onto the tortilla. Mound up some beans on the plate, shred cheese on top and stick it in the oven for three to four minutes. Meanwhile, make the salsa by combining the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, limejuice, chili and some salt. Taste it to make sure you like it. Remove the plate from the oven, spoon salsa on top and garnish with a couple slices of avocado