Tea for Brunch: Mexican Quiche and a Sparkling Tea-Garita

Tea for Brunch: Mexican Quiche and a Sparkling Tea-Garita

Are you ready for some variety in your humdrum breakfast routine? Sure, oatmeal is nice and Frech toast is always delicious, but for your next brunch, you want something different.

Say hola to Mexican quiche!

Loaded with chorizo and cotija cheese, sprinkled with jalapeno peppers and encased by a classic flakey crust accented with cornmeal. Wash it down with a sparkling hibiscus tea-garita (with or without booze—your choice!), and you’ve got yourself brunch—¡que bueno!

What is a Mexican Quiche?

To the best of my knowledge, there are no classic or traditional Mexican quiches. Unlike the more familiar chilaquiles or tamales, Mexican quiche is not a dish you might find in many restaurants, homes, or food carts south of the border.

So in many ways, this quiche can be whatever you want it to be!

To me, Mexican breakfast has always meant tortillas, refried beans, and what we used to call “grandma’s potato,” which were basically potatoes my great-grandma would cut into fourths, slice, and sauté on the stove. This was sometimes served with a side of scrambled eggs, occasionally cooked with chorizo if things were getting really fancy.

Those were the breakfasts of my youth. The breakfasts my Mexican great-grandma used to churn out for dozens of extended family members. (Followed by lunch of Monterey Jack-filled quesadillas made with leftover tortillas. The best!)

For this Mexican quiche recipe, I wanted to draw on the flavors of my childhood as well as ingredients commonly associated with Mexican food. So let’s meet the cast of characters.

Chorizo: A no-brainer to mix with eggs. Chorizo and eggs are a breakfast staple, either on their own or stuffed into a delicious burrito. The slightly spicy meat is flavorful enough that the quiche requires very few additional spices.

Cotija: A crumbly, salty cheese to give the quiche a bit of bite. I wanted to use a classically Mexican cheese in the recipe. Because cotija holds its shape fairly well rather than melting when heated, the quiche is also delicious augmented with a handful of a meltier cheese such as Monterey jack or pepper jack!

Jalapenos: Naturally. Depending on the level of heat you like, leave a couple of seeds or veins in when you chop your peppers. If you, like me, are a spicy wimp, then make sure you remove all the seeds and veins, or you will be sweating through brunch!

Chef’s tip: When handling spicy peppers, try not to touch the seeds or veins directly with your hands. If you do touch them, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly! And whatever you do, don’t touch your eyes, nose, or any other sensitive body parts unless you are sure your hands are free from spice! (The burning sensation will leave your nose eventually, but putting ice cubes up your nostrils will not help.)

Potatoes: I don’t know that this is a classic ingredient, but again, our Mexican quiche is what we want it to be. I wanted to pay homage to my grandma’s potatoes and to add a little substance to the quiche. And who doesn’t like breakfast potatoes?

Cornmeal: The quiche crust calls for 1/3 cup cornmeal. This is optional, and a fun thing to try if you have cornmeal on hand. It gives the crust a touch more earthiness than a classic quiche and is ever so slightly reminiscent of a corn tortilla. Be warned, though, that it does produce a drier crust than plain flour. Serve your quiche with an avocado crema or your favorite salsa, and no one will be any the wiser!

Wild card: Quiches are so versatile that there’s plenty of room to play around with your own add-ins. If you love tomatoes, throw them in! Want a spicier pepper? Use it? Love the crunch of bell peppers or corn? Crunch it up! I made this Mexican quiche my own…now it’s your turn!

What is a Tea-Garita?

A tea-garita is a margarita made with tea!

This tea-garita is made with Happy Hour herbal tea, a zippy blend of hibiscus, lemon verbena, and lime extract. The lime comes through really clearly, making it the perfect base for a margarita-themed tea cocktail.

Whatever kind of margarita you prefer—traditional, strawberry, mango, peach…there is a Plum Deluxe tea to build your cocktail around. Try the Happy Hour blend, or pick another tea and choose your own adventure!

Margaritas are, at their core, straightforward cocktails. Often nothing more than tequila, lime juice, orange liqueur, and ice. For this tea-garita recipe, therefore, we kept it simple: tea, fresh lime juice, fresh orange juice, and sparkling water.

Because who doesn’t love bubbles at brunch?

I didn’t find a sweetener necessary—I’m not often one for sweeteners in my tea, and margaritas are not an overly sweet drink—but if you taste your tea-garita and are craving a little extra sweet, a splash of simple syrup or agave will work wonders!

Simple syrups are another fun way to add flavors to your drink. Play around with fruity or herbaceous syrups to give your cocktail a little something extra!

Or, to play off of the classic salt rim, a sugar rim is always delicious and festive.

Whip up a single cocktail or an entire pitcher and make it a fiesta!

Mexican Quiche

Ingredients for Filling:
  • 1/2 pound chorizo
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and veins removed*
  • 1 medium potato, cut into quarters and sliced
  • Oil for sauteing veggies
  • 8-10 eggs
  • 4-6 oz cotija, crumbled**
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1/2 - 1 cup additional add-in of choice. (Tomato, bell peppers, etc.)

*If you like heat, leave some of the seeds or veins. I’m a wimp and take them all out!
**Substitute with feta if cotija is hard to come by. Monterey jack is also an excellent cheese option for a meltier texture. Or do a combo! Ingredients for Crust:***
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 stick butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal (optional)
***For great gluten-free options, check out this hash brown or sweet potato crust recipe. You can always omit the potatoes from the sauteed veggie blend and use them as a crust instead!
Tip: Your crust, meat, and veggies can all be prepared the night before for an exceptionally low-prep brunch the next day!
Assemble your crust:
Stir together flour, cornmeal, and salt. Either by hand with a pastry cutter or with a stand mixer on low speed with paddle attachment, mix in butter until it is broken up and the mixture is sandy.
Add the egg and mix until the dough begins to form a ball. Use your hands to shape the dough into a disk. Wrap it in plastic and chill at least 30 minutes while you assemble the rest of your ingredients, or overnight. (Can be made up to 2 days in advance.)
For the meat and veggies : Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle with oil of choice, add onions, sauté until translucent. Add potatoes and peppers, cook several more minutes until potatoes begin to soften.
Push the veggies to one side of the pan and add your chorizo. Brown the meat. Combine veggies and meat, cook a few minutes more to combine flavors, until meat is cooked through. (Note: if you are not assembling your meat and veggies the night before, be sure to let them cool before you add them to your egg mixture—hot ingredients added directly to eggs will start to cook the eggs on impact!)
When you are ready to cook your quiche:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove your crust from the fridge. Roll into 14” circle.
Arrange on 9” or 10” pie pan or springform pan. (If using springform pan, it’s a good idea to wrap foil around the bottom or cook on a rimmed baking sheet in case there are any leaks in your crust!)
Press the dough gently into the pan and trim excess dough at the top, if desired for aesthetic purposes. You can also use any excess dough to patch up any tears that happen along the way! Store in the fridge as you assemble the rest of your ingredients.
Crack eggs into a large bowl. Whisk thoroughly.
Add salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cotija, and chorizo/veggie mix. Stir to combine.
Retrieve prepared crust from fridge. Pour egg mixture into crust.
Bake in preheated oven 35 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Crust recipe originally appears in My Paris Kitchen cookbook by David Lebovitz. Thank you, Mr. Lebovitz!

Erica Jolly

Erica Jolly is a born and raised Pacific North Westerner. Rainwater flows through her veins. She is a tea drinker by day, wine drinker by night, and lover of food, yoga, and rambling conversations.
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