Cooking with Kids: Mastering the art of breakfast with Mason

TABLE is proud to encourage the love of good cooking in the youngest of generations. We are excited to have a local food-lover (and budding chef) as our featured guest food writer: Mason.

Mason love

A little about Mason, in his own words:

“I have been interested in cooking since, well, forever.  I love coming home and making snacks that look like they could be on a menu, only so that I can eat them in ten seconds. Recently, I took interest in documenting my food experiences.  I enjoy trying new foods when I travel, and have eaten in 5 countries.”

Mason makes Chilaquiles for breakfast

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals, so when we recently went to Mexico I thought it would be a great chance to find out what they ate for breakfast. After a little more thought, I decided to compare a Mexican breakfast to an American breakfast.

The Mexicans use all the same ingredients: it’s just the way they’re prepared that’s different.  For instance, one of the Mexican locals I had talked to often had eggs.  Just like what we might have in America -just very spicy.  He was saying that they put things like chile peppers in them.

There were a few people (whom I met) that had ingredients and dishes I had never even heard of. 

An example of this is when I was talking to someone named Miguel. He was saying that often after a “Fiesta” he would have Chilaquiles. Chilaquiles (pronounced chee-la-kee-lays) is a Mexican breakfast that is very similar to what I would call “Breakfast Nachos.”  It’s tortilla chips cooked in beans and salsa and avocado, all served on a plate together just like nachos.

Refried beans Kennebunkport Resort Collection Table Culinary School Kids Cookery

I had to try them for myself. As soon as I saw them at the resort, I took a huge plate of them.

This was the best breakfast I had ever had.

The tortillas were a tiny bit soft from being cooked with the other ingredients, but at the same time, crunchy enough to have the perfect texture in your mouth.  The beans were already refried, but only enough so that when you cook them with the chips, the combination is perfect.

Corn Ships for Chilaquiles Kennebunkport resort Collection table Maine recipes kids cookery

Another person I talked to, Eliel, told me that he often would have eggs in tortillas.  Unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to try this.  It was interesting to me that this was almost like a Mexican take on a breakfast sandwich.

He also mentioned that he had two breakfasts.

One breakfast was eaten around six a.m. to hold him over to the main breakfast at around eight a.m.  This six a.m. breakfast almost seemed like a snack, (something to hold you over until the next legitimate meal).  This really interested me because of how different and similar it is to what we do in the US.  One thing that was very similar was the snack-related part of it: it’s like the snacks you might have at 2 PM to hold you until dinner, but at the same time it is also very different.

It makes more sense to me if you have something later in the day rather than setting an alarm only to get up and eat a snack.  Another thing he mentioned is that it was almost like a treat for his two kids to eat cereal — pretty much the reverse of what happens here in America. Normally having cereal is an everyday thing (for me) and eggs are more of a weekend treat.

Over the week I was there I found that we eat a lot more starch than they do and they eat a lot more eggs and beans and spice.

Over all, I definitely prefer the Mexican way of breakfast.

By Mason of West Kennebunk, Maine for TABLE Culinary Programs.

Want to try authentic Chilaqulies while you are in Maine? David’s KPT at the Boathouse serves them up for a delicious breakfast.

Mason has taken a TABLE culinary class with his mother at Abbondante. The duo learned how to make authentic gnocchi. Many of TABLE’s classes are kid appropriate.  Find out the schedule and feel free to all 207-967-1510 with any questions.

Buon Appetito!

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