Breakfast Tacos with Griddled Cotija Cheese & Chipotle Lime Salsa

I know everyone is still probably thinking about sweet Christmas goodies right about now. Recipes for cookies, fudge and candies rule right now. Don’t get me wrong now, I do truly love cookies, and the majority of those other sugar laden sweets. But I might have possibly had my fill of sweets at this point. I know, that seems strange. Cookies are definitely a weakness of mine. But my husband and I also have another weakness. We love spicy food, and by spicy I mostly mean hot, the hotter the better. (Well, one Thai restaurant did give us a run for our money as far as our spiciness tolerance is concerned…) In fact, I have a confession to make. Jay, Gimlet and I are absolutely addicted to these chorizo breakfast burritos sold by Anita’s, a “New Mexico Style” Mexican restaurant which is located entirely too close to our house. It really does take amazing restraint on our part not to go there every week, which if we did, might be a joy for a taste buds, but would become oh so burdensome for the bathroom scale. That being said, I’m always on the lookout for spicy breakfast recipes that will keep me home rather than out on the highway, headed for Anita’s. Because believe me, if we walk in that door, we don’t just place an order for one breakfast burrito for that day. We inevitably leave with a Santa Clausian style sack full of burritos for the forseeable future, chips, dips, dinners, etc. Their food is that good and we are that weak! Go out and try it at your own risk, and don’t say we didn’t warn you! Anyway…I was very happy when I spied this recipe on one of my favourite blogs, Spoon With Me. Jenny was able to recreate this recipe from a breakfast taco served by a taco truck out in her neck of the woods. And let me tell you, this breakfast taco is fantastic! The griddled Cotija cheese adds amazing saltiness and crunch to the dish and the chipotle lime salsa gives it just the right amount of spicy kick! My first question when I read her recipe though was “What is Cotija?” Well, Cotija is a Mexican hard, salty, cow’s milk cheese. It is somewhat similar to parmesan. It is sold in small rounds or  in packages already grated. I have seen it in Whole Foods and Harris Teeter grocery stores. It may take you a bit of time to find it, but it is so worth it! These tacos are very easy to assemble. You just place a bit of Cotija in a hot pan, cook it for one minute or so until it is golden brown. Flip it over and cook the other side.

Griddled Cotija

Place the Cotija disc on top of a warm corn tortilla. Place scrambled eggs on top of the Cotija. Sprinkle freshly chopped onion, avocado and cilantro over the top. Finally, drizzle liberally with the chipotle lime salsa. And although the salsa is used as a topping in this recipe, it is really an attention grabber. Fantastic adobo chili flavour with quite a spicy kick as well.

Woah! Good Morning! This taco is just bursting with fresh, spicy flavours! I’m telling you, one bite and you’ll be addicted too!

Breakfast Tacos with Griddled Cotija Cheese & Chipotle Lime Salsa

yield: 8 tacos

Recipe from Spoon With Me

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces Cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 8 large eggs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • Canola oil, to fill a small frying pan to 1/2 inch
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted and sliced
  • Chopped onion and cilantro for garnish
  • Chipotle Lime Salsa (see below)

Directions:

Griddle the Cotija:

Heat a nonstick frying pan over medium heat.  Wait until the pan is hot, then place 1/4 cup crumbled Cotija in the middle of the pan.  Spread the Cotija into a circle about 3 or 4 inches in diameter.  Cover the pan and cook for one minute, or until the Cotija is bound together, and the underside is speckled and golden.  Press it down with a spatula for 10 seconds, then flip.  Press down the other side and cook for an additional 30 seconds.  If not using immediately, the Cotija patties can be kept warm in an oven set to the lowest temperature for up to 10 minutes.

Soften the Tortillas:

Set a plate covered with paper towels beside the stove.  Heat the oil in a small frying pan until hot and shimmering.  Cook each corn tortilla until softened and just beginning to puff up in spots.  Remove from the pan and set on the paper towels to drain.  Blot any excess oil from the top with additional paper towels.

Scramble the Eggs:

Whisk the eggs, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Scramble them as per usual.

Assemble the Tacos:

On top of each tortilla, layer the griddled Cotija, scrambled eggs, salsa, avocado, chopped onions and cilantro.  Devour while hot.

Chipotle-Lime Salsa

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce, from one small can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 2 chipotle chiles, from 1 small can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

In a food processor, puree the adobo sauce, chipotle chiles, lime juice and salt.  Add the  onion and cilantro, and pulse until everything is finely chopped.

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12 Responses to Breakfast Tacos with Griddled Cotija Cheese & Chipotle Lime Salsa

  1. Theresa says:

    There is no chance of me getting cojita here in Ireland. What could I substitute-Parmesan?

    • liadh1 says:

      I think parmesan would work well. Give that a try and let me know how it is. Cotija does seem pretty similar to parmesan.

    • Celery says:

      Cotija is lovely if you can find it. I wouldn’t use parmesan as a subtitute, though, because I think it would be too nutty/fragrant — but that’s just my personal preference.

      Halloumi does fry well, so if sliced thinly or crumbled (does it crumble? I’ve never tried) you might be able to get a similar effect. I think it probably has a more similar taste to cotija… fresh, hard, a little bit salty.

      I’m drawing a blank on the other kinds of cheeses that fry well, but halloumi is all kinds of delicious so I’d recommend it!

      Luckily, I have cotija… so I’m totally making this recipe next week. :)

      • liadh1 says:

        Thanks for the cheese recommendation. I will pass it along to anyone looking for a substitute. Hope you enjoyed the tacos!

  2. That’s a wholesome breakfast! I love all the flavours.

  3. This looks so good! I love the Cotija layer.

  4. This looks fabulous! I’m a big breakfast person, as well as a fan of anything Tex-Mex.

  5. spoonwithme says:

    Your photos look fabulous! Thanks for posting–I’m glad you enjoyed the tacos:) Somebody told me that halloumi cheese acts like cotija when melted…haven’t tried it, but it might make a good substitution if people can’t find the cotija.

    • liadh1 says:

      Thanks Jenny! We’ve made these tacos many times! Thanks so much for the recipe. I will pass along the info about the cheese substitute as well.

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