On my last trip to Austin, I was lucky enough to stumble into Tamale House before driving back home to Dallas. I'd read about the hole in the wall in The New York Times, but my friends who have spent time in Austin all tell me the taqueria is old news; they've been eating at Tamale House for years.
What struck me about the the breakfast tacos I ordered were the eggs and bacon tucked inside each one. The tortillas were run-of-the-mill, but the bacon was crisp, crunchy and not at all rubbery, and the eggs were soft and moist with an almost custard-like consistency.
I've been searching for a comparable taco here in Dallas, and I think I may give up. I've found great tortillas and good bacon in various renditions, but the one error I can't get around is overcooked eggs. It's gotten bad enough that I've decided to make my own. My apartment still smells delicious.
I'm pretty sure I stumbled on this technique for scrambling eggs in GQ Magazine several years ago. The article prescribed low heat, lots of butter, and patience for a plate of eggs so rich, and so tender and moist, they're good enough for breakfast on their own. Tucked into a fresh tortilla and topped with bacon and salsa, though, they make for what may be the greatest breakfast taco of all time.
Melt an absurd amount of butter in a non-stick skillet over very low heat. One tablespoon for every three eggs works perfectly. If the butter sizzles your pan is too hot. You want it to slowly melt before you add the eggs.
Crack the eggs right in the pan and watch as the whites slowly set. Again, there should be no sizzle, bubble or pop -- make sure you're working low and slow. When the eggs look like the picture above, you're ready for your first turn.
Use a rubber spatula to gently push the eggs around the pan. Don't overwork them. By keeping the whites and yolks separate you'll be able to taste each component in your finished taco.
After another minute give the eggs another push around the pan. You're more than halfway there.
Give them a third turn right before you take them out of the pan. Residual heat will keep cooking your eggs long after you've turned off your burner. Remove the eggs from the pan when they're still loose and runny, to take your scrambled eggs to the next level.
Use a spoon to gently portion the eggs into pre-warmed tortillas and top with some chopped bacon. (See page two for a great bacon technique.) Add a little salsa from some brightness and piquancy. And forget the cheese. With all that butter you've got plenty of flavor in these eggs already. You won't miss the extra dairy.
Bonus Bacon Tip
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The image of bacon strips sizzling away in a cast iron skillet is a romantic one, but if you want evenly cooked bacon without the mess try baking the strips on a baking sheet for about 20 minutes in an oven preheated to 375 degrees. The bacon will cook up perfectly, and you wont have to wipe bacon grease off your stove and counter tops when you're done.