In the 1990s and early 2000s, Jacqueline Higuera McMahan graced us with several cookbooks featuring the cuisine of the Southwest:

  • California Rancho Cooking
  • Rancho Cooking: Mexican and Californian Recipes
  • Red and Green Chile Cookbook
  • Salsa
  • Chipotle Chile Cook Book
  • Mexican Breakfast Cookbook

This Mexican Breakfast Cookbook came out in 1992. The recipes span the region from Oaxaca to Mexico City to Oxnard, California. They are recipes from friends, small restaurants, traditional peasant recipes.

Yes, peasant recipes. These are recipes you find in simple homes, recipes handed down by generations. Refined by those generations.

The book is filled with ideas you have not seen, not tasted, not had the pleasure to prepare over and over again in your home kitchen. Ideas like:

Nopal Omelet

Bread Pudding with Cream Cheese and Cheddar Cheese

Blue Corn Jalapeno Muffines

Stuffed and Marinated Jalapenos [goat cheese, mayo, yogurt, cilantro]

Pineapple Melon Conserve

Veracruz Chilaquiles with Red Sauce and Chicken

Fast Chile Verde [tomatillos in your microwave]

Orange Licuado [a smoothie by any other name]

You find ideas here that really were forerunners of our contemporary cuisine. Goat cheese in jalapenos? That Nopal or Cactus Omelet?

There are very authentic presentations of moles, including an Oaxaca Coloradito Sauce. No chocolate here, but there is plenty to enjoy:

  • Ancho chilies
  • Guajillo chiles
  • Sesame seeds
  • Almonds
  • Raisins
  • Banana
  • Cinnamon
  • Chicken broth

Those ingredients, and more, create a sauce that goes over breakfast eggs. Sesame and raisins on my eggs? Absolutely. These breakfast recipes will rocket your day.

The book is a shining example of authenticity. It’s a compendium of what home cooking should be: creative, delicious, yet not too simple. Great home cooks are not just cooks, they too are chefs.

Here’s a lovely recipe from the book: an early version of a smoothie using a can of frozen orange juice:

Orange Licuado

Yield:32 large, 48 medium or 64 small ones

Ingredients:

  • 1 can frozen orange juice [6 ounces]
  • 1 cup ice water
  • Juice squeezed from 1 orange
  • 8 ice cubes
  • 1 cup low-fat or whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 1 orange cut into slices

Preparation:

In a blender, please the frozen juice, ice water, orange juice, ice, milk, and vanilla. Blend until frothy. Serve in tall glasses adorned with a slice of orange. These are great to accompany any breakfast.


Source: Mexican Breakfast Cookbook by Jacqueline Higuera McMahan [Olive Press, 1992]