Plain scrambled eggs? Not when you have a little chorizo on hand. (Photo/Betty Cortina_

3 delicious Latin egg recipes to get your day started

You’ve heard the controversy: eggs or egg whites? Here’s the truth: unless you already suffer from high cholesterol, or are among the 10 to 15 percent of people for whom eggs can cause a significant increase in cholesterol, these little white orbs of deliciousness are not only safe but a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids (as in the kind we eat lots of salmon for!) And the yolk—once vilified for its fat and cholesterol— today is being hailed as a good source choline, an essential nutrient for brain health.

A few things to be mindful of: a whole egg does contain about 200 milligrams of cholesterol, and the daily recommended limit is 300 milligrams. But while doctors once thought cholesterol levels were determined exclusively by dietary cholesterol intake, today we know our own genetics have more to do with our cholesterol levels and, by extension, our risk of heart disease. (Indeed, research indicates that 35 percent of coronary heart disease occurs in people with low cholesterol levels.) Bottom line: our bodies, and the effect of certain foods, are far more complex than we once thought.

That said, if you do suffer from heart disease or are at risk of it—as are many Latinos—consider using egg whites instead of whole eggs in certain recipes and limit other sources of cholesterol. In the meantime, read on for three tasty, classically Latin egg recipes.

Scrambled eggs & chorizo
4 oz fresh Mexican chorizo, casing removed
5 whole eggs
1/8 cup whole whole milk
Salt, to taste
Chopped cilantro or parsley, for granish (optional)
Fresh tortillas, (optional)

1. In a large non-stick skillet, cook the chorizo over medium heat, stirring and breaking up the meat until completely separated and browned, about 4 minutes.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Stir into the chorizo and immediately lower the heat to medium-low. Allow eggs to set slightly without stirring, for about 30 seconds. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir a few times until the eggs are ribbon-y and cooked through. Add salt if necessary. Garnish with cilantro or parsley, if desired. Serve with tortillas or on its own. Makes 2 servings.

Huevos rancheros

Huevos rancheros - fried eggs and colorful, rich salsa over tortillas - are a hearty and delicious dish that's perfect for breakfast or brunch.

Huevos rancheros – fried eggs and colorful, rich salsa over tortillas – are a hearty and delicious dish that’s perfect for breakfast or brunch. (Photo/Nina Terrero)

It may be a weekend brunch staple, but huevos rancheros also makes a great weeknight dinner. This hearty and smoky recipe from Chef Julian Medina, a Mexico City transplant who owns a string of six successful pan-Latin restaurants, is inspired by the ones his dad would make him and his brother before sending them off to school. Click here to get the recipe.



Chilaquiles (Photo/Courtesy Patricio Sandoval)

Consider them a superior and vastly more authentic version of the American-invented nachos: tortilla chips bathed in fresh salsa, then simmered until the chips begin to lose their crunch. Cotija cheese, crema fresca and a fried egg—runny yolk and all—are added. Could anything go wrong here? This recipe comes from Chef Patricio Sandoval, the Mexican-born star chef behind Chicago and Miami’s celebrated Mercadito restaurants, who says it’s one of his most ordered dishes. Click here to get the recipe.

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