Nobody has ever said the Super Bowl is about self-restraint. From heaping platters of spicy Buffalo wings to overloaded slices of pizza to jumbo bowls of potato chips, this weekend the country will eat like a ravenous and bored teenager.
But in order to fortify yourself for the drama of the game and the hours of nonstop noshing, I suggest you have a hearty and nutritious brunch. That way you’ll have at least one square meal and your body will thank you for it.
No, I’m not suggesting you start this weekend with a bowl of wheat bran and prunes. Save the healthy eating for later. The Super Bowl deserves a super brunch menu. So, whether or not you’re watching the big game, start your day by eating a gourmet Green Bean and Egg Taco from the new cookbook Guerrilla Tacos. The volume features the inventive recipes of Wesley Avila, the owner of an acclaimed Los Angeles taco truck. It’s the only cookbook I’ve have ever seen that includes an endorsement from DJ Skrillex as well as a recipe that calls for 7-Up as an ingredient.
“There are some combinations of food that remind me of specific times and meals in my life and are very strong emotional triggers. This one in particular is close to my heart,” Avila wrote about the recipe in his book, since it was a favorite of his mother’s. “She used to make it with canned, gnarly green beans and scramble it with a little bit of lard and eggs. In this version, I upped the ante and used seasonal baby green beans and elevated it a little bit with nicer ingredients. This is one of the most comforting tacos that I make.”
Between the eggs, the greens beans and the warmed corn tortillas, it’s the perfect way to begin your weekend. You can save the chips, wings and pizza for kickoff!
Green Bean and Egg Taco
2 pounds Haricot verts or other baby green beans (yellow, purple), the skinnier and smaller, the better, stemmed
6 Tbsp Unsalted butter
4 Garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with side of a knife
2 Thyme sprigs
Freshly ground black pepper
.25 cup Pine nuts
.25 cup Golden raisins
12 Corn tortillas, warmed
Arbol Salsa for topping*
Minced chives for garnishing
Prepare an ice-water bath in the largest mixing bowl you have by stirring together water and a tray of ice.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the haricot verts and blanch for about 2 minutes, or until al dente. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the haricot verts to the ice-water bath to cool immediately so they don’t overcook. Once cooled, place onto napkins to drain excess water completely.
In a large, cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Add the garlic and thyme and cook until aromatic, about 10 seconds. Add the haricot verts and sauté for 2 minutes, until they’re slightly blistered. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the garlic and thyme. Add the pine nuts and raisins and continue sautéing for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and zest the lemon on top and season with additional salt and pepper. Set aside.
Crack the eggs into a large bowl and lightly beat.
In a large, nonstick pan over medium-low heat, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Add the eggs and, using a rubber spatula, stir constantly so they’re totally mixed and not sticking to the pan. When the eggs are still slightly runny, remove the pan from the heat and keep stirring. When the eggs are just set, leave them alone.
Place a portion of haricot verts onto each tortilla and add some soft scrambled egg. Use about 1 tablespoon escabeche to garnish each, breaking the peppers apart a bit, and top with some salsa** and sprinkle with chives. Serve immediately.
Red Pepper Escabeche*
4 Red bell peppers, roasted, skins removed, and left whole, or from a jar
4 Garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
4 Thyme sprigs
.5 cup Sherry vinegar
.5 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
.5 cup 7-Up or Sprite
In a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine the roasted peppers, garlic, thyme, sherry vinegar, olive oil, and 7-Up. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced by about half, about 20 minutes. You’ll be left with a very seasoned oil and the peppers will have a very deep red color. Set aside. You’ll want to serve them lukewarm.
.5 cup Dried chiles de árbol
2 to 3 Tbsp Vegetable oil
1 tsp Cumin seeds
2 cups Tomatillos, husked and rinsed
6 Garlic cloves, peeled and halved
.25 cup Water
.25 cup White vinegar
Put the chiles de árbol in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Get those nice and toasty; if it’s getting hard to breathe in the house, you’re doing it right. Maybe you’re coughing a bit. Add the cumin seeds and cook for 2 minutes, but do not let them burn. Add the tomatillos and garlic. Add another 1 tablespoon oil; you’re not going to taste it, but you want to coat the tomatillos, so maybe add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Roast the tomatillos enough to get a little color on them and then add the water so they don’t burn. Cook over low to medium-high heat for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the tomatillos are squishy and completely soft. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the solid ingredients to a blender and blend on high speed until thoroughly mixed. Season with salt and add the vinegar. This can be done ahead of time; if you’re doing it more than a half day ahead, transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge.
Reprinted with permission from Guerrilla Tacos, copyright © 2017 by Wes Avila, with Richard Parks III. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Dylan James Ho and Jeni Amuse.