breakfast tacos and austin-style black beans

April 11, 2012

If you’ve been reading my blog a while you might know that Austin, Texas has a special place in my heart. It’s where I experienced America for the very first time as a student; it’s where I met Dan; and it’s where Dan and I got married.

Beyond the sentimental value, Austin is pretty easy to love. It has everything I didn’t expect from Texas when I first arrived: green grass, hills, lakes, springs, waterfalls, and damn good live music everywhere you turned. My life as a student there was spent staring in awe at the everyday blue skies, getting used to always having a reddy-brown glow, and eating waaaay too much of everything. I fell in love hard.

Of all the food delights that I came to know and love, breakfast tacos are up there as a perennial fave. We used to go to this place called Juan in a Million (geddit?) where the Don Juan taco came stuffed beyond all reasonable measure with potato, egg, bacon, and cheese in a deliciously hot tortilla. It set you back all of $3 and required loose fitting clothes and a can-do attitude.

These tacos don’t really require a recipe; simply gather some or all of the ingredients listed below, roll ’em up, and dig in! They’re pretty spectacular for brunch with friends alongside a greyhound and some salty chips and hot salsa.

The other mega-spectacular thing I’m sharing with you today is these black beans. I’ve (unsurprisingly) found a lot of inspiration from The Homesick Texan cookbook, and these beans are no exception: they’re smoky and tender, with a lovely kick.

Enjoy y’all.

Breakfast Tacos


  • 4 flour tortillas (or 8 soft corn tortillas, since they’re about half the size of the flour ones)
  • 8 eggs
  • Dash half-and-half, cream, or milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • Canola oil
  • 12 rashers streaky bacon (or swap this for sausage patties or chorizo)
  • Austin-style black beans, recipe below (or swap re-fried beans)
  • 1 large handful grated cheese (pepper jack is great)
  • Salsa


  1. Whisk together the eggs in a large bowl with a dash of half-and-half, cream, or milk and a pinch of salt.
  2. Heat a pan or iron skillet over medium-high heat, and add oil. When oil is warm, pour in eggs and scramble for about three minutes or until done to your liking. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Warm your tortillas on a clean, dry skillet. When tortilla starts to puff (about 20 seconds) turn it over and cook for another 20 seconds.
  4. Serve tortillas with all the fixings for people to make themselves including: black or refried beans, scrambled eggs, salsa, grated cheese, and either a slice of bacon or sausage patty.
  5. Fold in the bottom of the tortilla, and then roll from left to right until self-contained. Gobble, with a greyhound in hand. Serves four.

Austin-Style Black Beans
adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook


  • 1 lb dried black beans
  • 1 tablespoon of lard, bacon grease, or canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • Salt to taste


  1. Rinse and sort through the beans, removing any stones. Place the beans in a large pot and cover with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and then cook for 15 minutes. Drain the beans in a colander in the sink.
  2. Return the empty pot to the stove and warm the vegetable oil (or lard/bacon fat) over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots while occasionally stirring and cook until the onions are translucent and the carrots are lighter, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic to the pot and cook for a minute more.
  3. Return the drained beans to the pot, along with the chipotle chiles and 1/4 cup of cilantro. Cover beans with 2 inches of water, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours.
  4. After 1 1/2 hours, add the remaining cilantro, cumin, tomato paste, and lime juice. Taste and add salt. Cook for 30 more minutes or until beans are tender. When done, smash a few against the side of the pot with a spoon to thicken the broth. Stir the pot and serve.
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