If this is a book of simple “foundation” recipes from the Mexican kitchen, this preparation is part of the bedrock on which that foundation is laid. No doubt all of you, at one time or another, have enjoyed a big forkful of scrambled eggs shot through with Mexican spirit—that is, with tomatoes, chiles, onions and cilantro. If those eggs were rolled into warm corn tortillas, I’ll bet the experience seared itself into your brain. You can find eggs like this everywhere in Mexico, from simple market stalls to the trendy dining room at the W Hotel in Mexico City’s chic Polanco section (where the chef adds roasted cactus to the mix). They are always served with warm tortillas for making tacos or simply eating alongside; I always want a spoonful of fried black beans to make the meal complete.
Riffs on Huevos a la Mexicana: You probably know that the classic preparation for these eggs starts with browning hand-chopped onions and tomatoes with minced chiles and garlic, but that requires both time (or very proficient knife skills) and really great summer tomatoes. I devised this simpler, year-round version for quick home suppers. Sometimes I add crisp-cooked bacon or chopped cooked shrimp to the skillet with the eggs. Or I’ll fry chorizo in the skillet, then scoop it out with a slotted spoon and make the dish using the renderings; I add the chorizo back to the skillet with the eggs.