Mexican Brunch

It was March 8th, 2020. I was happily noshing with my brunch group in my home. We had no idea just one week later we would be quarantined. Somehow, I subconsciously might have known because I made a quasi-Mexican spread. And here we are, Cinco de Mayo week while we shelter in place. Oh, the irony! I miss sharing meals with friends and sitting in my favorite restaurants. My heart aches for my restaurant worker friends in Joplin, Kansas City, New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle. How will they come back? Will they come back?
     Please continue to support our local food culture as you can. Joplin Empire Market and the     Webb City Farmers Market have adapted well to curbside. Our local restaurants need our dollars, as well. I worry about the health of our community as I see the drive-thru at fast food joints miles long. Keep cooking for you and your family’s health!

Meanwhile, try this delicious brunch I served my friends pre-Coronavirus. The margarita and casserole are the stars. The spinach salad has a simple creamy Greek yogurt, lime juice, and salt dressing topped with crushed beet tortilla chips. The bean dip is black beans, Greek yogurt, cilantro, lime juice and salt blitzed in a small food processor. Dessert was fresh berries over vanilla bean ice cream with a sprinkle of honey, cinnamon, and sliced almonds. 

Enjoy! We will dine together again very soon. Be well.

My favorite margarita


Kosher salt (for serving)

½ thick lime wheel (for serving)

2 oz. tequila

¾ oz. fresh lime juice

¾ oz. simple syrup


Place some salt on a small plate. Rub rim of an old-fashioned or rocks glass with lime (reserve for serving); dip in salt. Fill with ice and set aside. Combine tequila, lime juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously until outside of shaker is very cold, about 20 seconds. Strain cocktail through a fine mesh strainer or a slotted spoon into reserved glass. Garnish with lime wheel 

Mexican brunch casserole

Serves 12


1.25 pounds ground sausage or Mexican chorizo (optional)

1 small white onion, peeled and diced

1 poblano or green bell pepper, cored and diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 (15-ounce) jar red or green salsa (approx. 2 cups)

1 (15-ounce) can black or pinto beans, rinsed and drained

2/3 cup whole-kernel corn, frozen or canned

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

12 large eggs

1/3 cup milk

8 corn tortillas, halved

3 cups shredded Mexican-blend cheese, monterey jack, cheddar or combo

optional toppings: diced avocado, diced red onion, chopped fresh cilantro, diced green onion, sliced fresh jalapeños, and/or crumbled cotija cheese


Heat oven to 400. Lightly mist a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
Cook the sausage (optional) in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until browned, crumbling the sausage as it cooks. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a clean plate, reserving a tablespoon or so of grease in the sauté pan. (Or if there is no grease remaining, add a tablespoon of oil to the pan.) Add the onion and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. Add in the salsa, beans, corn, cumin, salt, cooked sausage, and stir until the mixture is completely combined. Remove pan from the heat, and set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk until evenly combined; set aside. Layer half of the tortillas in an even layer in the bottom of the baking dish. Then top evenly with half of the sausage mixture, half of the egg mixture, and half of the cheese. Repeat with another layer of tortillas, sausage mixture, egg mixture and cheese.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the center of the casserole is cooked through and no longer jiggly (or when a toothpick inserted in the center of the casserole comes out clean). Transfer baking dish to a wire cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Then sprinkle with your desired toppings, slice and serve warm!