By Tim Hazell
We associate Mexico with the unique geography and the special characteristics of its mountainous landscapes. Brooding and rugged sierras framing Mexico’s spectacular sunsets harbor plants and animals adapted specifically to complex microclimates. The country is an enigma, easy to stereotype, impossible to categorize, from its high plains deserts and temperate central plateaus to the sweltering, impenetrable jungles of its southern lowlands, where timeless Mayan roof combs suddenly emerge between the crowns of trees.
Names of cities such as Palenque, Uxmal, Monte Alban, and Tenochtitlan reach across millennia to fascinate us anew with their strangeness and allure. Impenetrable expressions of kings, gods, and monsters of the cosmos peer from within the iron grip of dismantling roots and creepers recounting their histories in pictographs and glyphs of civilizations in flower and decline.
Mayan portraits of monarchs such as Pakal, Chan Ballum, and 18 Rabbit have no cultural connections with Western art movements. Travel writers have given us impressions of carved figures adorning great temple complexes such as Cambodia’s vast Angkor Wat that bear a striking resemblance to Mayan, Zapotec, and Aztec sculpture and reliefs.
Mexican cuisine at its finest reflects the passionate and indomitable spirit of its people with unforgettable combinations of flavors, exotic presentations, and refined food aesthetics. Try these superb “lunch bowls,” robust combinations of ripe tomatoes, black beans, sweet potato, silky avocado, smoky chorizo, cheese, and eggs—as you like them!
Chorizo Lunch Bowls
For Pico de Gallo:
4 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
Juice of 1 lime
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of salt
1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp olive oil
1 sweet potato, diced into 1/2 inch cubes (about 2 cups)
Ground black pepper to taste
2 or more links chicken, turkey, or vegan chorizo sausage
4 large eggs
4 avocados, peeled, pits removed and sliced
1 cup crumbled Cortijo, Parmesan, or Mexican Ranchero cheese (queso fresco)
Mexican-style hot sauce
For Pico de Gallo: Combine tomatoes, onion, coriander, jalapeno, lime juice, minced garlic, and salt in a bowl. Transfer 1/2 cup pico de gallo to a second bowl and stir in the black beans. Cover both bowls and set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sweet potatoes and season with black pepper. Cook and stir until browned and crispy, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cook and stir chorizo with a small amount of olive oil in a second skillet over medium heat until browned and cooked through, breaking it apart into crumbles; about 10 minutes. Distribute sweet potatoes, cooked chorizo, black bean/Pico de Gallo mixture, and sliced avocado amongst 4 bowls. Sprinkle with crumbled cheese. Prepare the eggs to your liking–either scrambled, over easy, sunny side up, or poached. Top bowls with the eggs, extra black pepper and chopped coriander. Serve with the additional bowl of Pico de Gallo and your favorite hot sauce on the side.