Early into quarantine, one of my best friends who happens to also be a neighbor (well, as close as a neighbor can really be when you live in the country, but you get the idea) dropped off a jar of homemade salsa.
This salsa was perfection. It was spicy and bright with a little smokiness. I immediately hounded my friend for the recipe, and in true 2020 fashion she sent me a Marco Polo video of step-by-step instructions for the recipe. Two quick notes: If you don’t know, Marco Polo is an app where you can send your friends videos; it’s a great way to stay connected with friends and family, especially during these crazy times. The other is that sometimes a recipe can seem really intimidating until you watch someone do it. I typically avoid making homemade salsa because I hate chopping tomatoes. Then I watched my friend used canned tomatoes and her salsa is better than anything I’ve ever made and now my mind is blown.
Of course, now I make this recipe regularly and it’s hands down my family’s favorite salsa. We smother our tacos and quesadillas in it, but one of my favorite ways to use this recipe is with breakfast tacos. Sometimes we eat these tacos for breakfast, but it sure hits the spot as a quick and tasty dinner. You can make these your own and add as many toppings as you like. We keep the recipe simple: perfect scrambled eggs, sliced avocado, a scoop of salsa and a sprinkle of chives. You could add bacon or ham, some spicy arugula or a dollop of guacamole. I don’t think it’s possible to mess up breakfast tacos.
The homemade salsa comes together in no time at all. Give the ingredients a rough chop and pulse it all in a food processor. Save in a sealed container in the fridge for salsa all week. It’s five minutes out of your day for a delicious snack all week long.
• Andrea McCoy writes the column Kitchen Captivated for Yakima Magazine and at The Salt and Stone, a home cooking blog. She also writes this weekly column for SCENE. The Salt and Stone is a nod not just to the essence of cooking, but also to the Yakima Valley. Read more at www.thesaltandstone.com.
Perfect Breakfast Tacos
12 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons butter
3 ounces crumbled goat cheese (sub in whatever cheese you like best)
8 to 10 corn tortillas
1 large avocado, sliced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Smokey chipotle salsa
1 tablespoon minced chives
In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until well combined. Melt the butter in a large skillet over low heat. Use a spatula to spread the butter around the pan. Pour the eggs into the pan and immediately begin stirring and scraping the eggs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Continue stirring until the eggs begin to clump and gather. Sprinkle goat cheese over the eggs and gently mix in.
When the eggs are finished cooking, turn heat off and remove pan from the burner so the eggs don’t overcook. Warm the corn tortillas in the microwave or crisp slightly in a pan using a little cooking spray.
To assemble, scoop eggs into a tortilla. Add a slice or two of avocado and garnish with a scoop of salsa and a pinch of fresh chives. Serve immediately. Recipe makes 6 to 8 tacos.
Smokey Chipotle Salsa
28 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 large Walla Walla sweet onion
2 cloves garlic
Juice of 2 limes
1 bunch cilantro, stems removed
1 chili in adobo plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of black pepper
Peel onion and quarter into four even pieces. Peel garlic and smash with a knife. Rinse jalapeño and cilantro in cool water and pat dry with a paper towel. Slice jalapeño in half and remove seeds. Cut the stems off the cilantro. You don’t need to pick individual leaves, just remove the bare stems at the bottom of the bunch.
Combine the canned tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, garlic, chili in adobo and sauce in a food processor. Give a few pulses to break down ingredients. Juice the two limes into the mixture and add the kosher salt and pepper. Pulse until desired consistency. I prefer a “restaurant style” salsa so I pulse mine until pretty smooth. Taste salsa and adjust flavors as needed. Add more chili in adobo for added smokiness or an extra pinch of salt if the salsa is a little bland. Pulse again to mix the ingredients. Pour salsa into a container with a lid and store in the refrigerator for up to five days.