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Yucatan breakfast ... and other Mexican surprises.

One of the two most popular Sunset cook books is our Mexican book (the other? The Barbecue Cook Book), first printed in 1969; about 2 million copies are in use. But now we have dramatically revised this classic, with 70 percent new material and the size increased to 128 pages. Why, when the original is still a standard? The foods of Mexico are changing, and the ingredients to which we now have access have changed even more. Foundation dishes like enchiladas, tacos, and tamales are still there, along with instructions on how to use masa, make tortillas, and prepare your own salsa. But newer recipes reflect the lighter touch and changing traditions of today's Mexico. In the revised book (introduced in April by Lane Publishing Co., Menlo Park, Calif.; $7.95), the first chapter orients you to today's ingredients for Mexican cooking, and the second presents favorites from the original edition. Subsequent chapters, arranged by courses, from appetizers to desserts, offer many fresh and innovative discoveries.

One of the traditional dishes Western cooks can now make with ease uses fresh plantains (or green-tipped bananas), convenient canned black beans, homemade chili sauce, and domestically produced Mexican cheese (or parmesan).

Huevos con Frijoles Negros y Platanos

(Eggs with black beans and plantains)

Preparation time: About 45 minutes

Assembly time: About 15 minutes, including time to fry eggs Refried black beans (recipe follows)

8 fried eggs

Fried plantains (recipe follows)

Red chili puree (recipe follows)

1/2 cup grated or crumbled cotija cheese or parmesan cheese

Lime wedges

Spoon beans equally onto 8 warm plates and top each portion with an egg; arrange plantains alongside. Spoon chili puree, to taste, onto eggs; then sprinkle with cheese. Offer lime wedges to squeeze over individual servings. Makes 8 servings.

Per serving without red chili puree: 737 cal.; 25 g protein; 43 g fat; 66 g carbo.; 1,368 mg sodium; 277 mg chol

Refried black beans. In a 4- to 5-quart pan, cook 12 slices (about 3/4 lb.) diced bacon over medium-high heat until fat is melted. Add 1 large onion, chopped; cook, stirring often, until limp, about 5 minutes.

Drain 4 cans (about 1 lb. each) black beans, reserving about 1/2 cup of the bean liquid. Mash beans with a heavy spoon or potato masher and add to pan. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until hot, moistening mixture with reserved bean liquid as necessary, Season to taste with salt. Keep warm.

Fried plantains. Peel 3 large ripe plantains (skins should be almost black) or 4 large, firm, green-tipped bananas. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick diagonal slices; set aside.

Pour salad oil to a depth of 1 inch into a 10- to 12-inch frying pan and heat to 375[deg] on a thermometer, Drop plantain slices, several at a time, into hot oil and cook, turning as needed, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, line a 12- by 15-inch baking sheet with paper towels. With a slotted spoon, transfer plantains as cooked to baking sheet; keep warm in a 150[deg] oven.

Red chili purge. Arrange about 9 (3 oz. total) dried New Mexico or California chilies on a 12- by 15-inch baking sheet, Bake in a 300[deg] oven until chilies smell toasted, about 4 minutes. Let cool slightly. Discard stems and seeds.

In a 3- to 4-quart pan, combine chilies, 2 cups water, I small chopped onion, and 2 cloves garlic; cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until chilies are very soft, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly.

In a blender or food processor, whirl chili mixture until smooth; rub puree through a fine strainer and discard residue. If made ahead, cover and chill up to a week. Makes about 2 cups.

Per tablespoon: 9 cal; 0.3 g protein; 1 g fat; 2 g carbo; 1 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes; excerpts Sunset Mexican Cook Book
Publication:Sunset
Date:Jun 1, 1989
Words:651
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