My Breakfast: A Recipe and a Ritual

Posted Wednesday, November 28, 2018

I like cooking. I’m not necessarily good at it, but it’s fun to experiment and try new variations.

This is a breakfast I prepare almost every morning. Each time I make it, I change something about it or try and focus on a specific technique. It’s like a cooking kata. The repetition of most of it means that I’m not devoting brain time to anything other than the particular focus of the morning.

Scrambling eggs is more of an art than you’d think. The butter is key to making great scrambled eggs. So is the figure-eight pattern. Some people add water or milk to the eggs before scrambling, but this isn’t necessary and I feel that it negatively impacts the texture.


  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 1 green bell pepper, washed, then julienned or diced
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup of chunky salsa
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • lime juice
  • sea salt
  • various spices


Step Zero: Prepare all ingredients. Prepare your station. Mise en place is a vital part of this process.

  1. Heat a nonstick pan on medium heat
  2. Add the olive oil and bring up to temperature. Don’t let it smoke.
  3. Add the minced garlic. Toast it for just a few moments.
  4. Add the onion. Sauté until caramelized.
  5. Add the bell pepper. Sauté until slightly browned.
  6. Add the black beans. Throw in some spices and lime juice, stir, and let cook for a couple more minutes on medium.
  7. Reduce the heat on the veggies to low.
  8. Heat a second pan on medium heat.
  9. Melt the butter in the second pan. Don’t let it brown.
  10. Add two generous pinches of sea salt to the eggs and stir.
  11. Add the eggs to the pan. Stir continuously in a figure-eight motion.
  12. Once the eggs have set, shut off heat to both pans.
  13. Plate. Eggs first, then veggies, then salsa.

Interesting variations that I’ve tried include:

  • garnishing with fresh cilantro
  • using sour cream as a final topping
  • stirring the eggs in a circular pattern instead of figure-eight
  • adding sea salt to the veggies at varying times in the cooking
  • adding fresh spinach to the veggies
  • replacing black beans with chili beans
  • replacing black beans with pinto beans
  • using garam masala for the veggies
  • putting all the ingredients in a flour tortilla instead of a bowl

I’ll continue to experiment and explore the possibilities of this dish.

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