WRITTEN BY MIKE PRINS
Desayuno Chapin is your classic Guatemalan breakfast, literally "Breakfast of Champions" (You know you deserve this!). It's got a few morning staples common enough with most breakfast plates the world over, but it's the twists that make it amazing! The frijoles volteados, chirmol, and fried bananas are a few flavours that will make you regresando por más!
Thanks to Nico for introducing this to us! Nico works with Food for the Hungry Guatemala, hosting foreign visitors and helping with Child Sponsorship projects. He is native to the Cotzal area in the northwest mountainous region of Guatemala, and knows all the best places to eat! If he had his way, he would have corn tortillas with every meal.
Desayuno ChapinWhat's all in it, that makes it the champ of all morning meals (according to nearly every Guatemalan we've met anyway)?
Eggs, fried or scrambled
Frijoles Volteados (refried black beans)
Chirmol (fresh & sweet tomato salsa)
Corn Tortillas (or bread rolls)
Queso Fresco (or white cheese)
Sour Cream (for on the frijoles)
Papaya (or fresh fruit of your choice!)
Strong Black Coffee
Prepare the eggs how you like them, and the coffee too. And to be honest, we advise you buy some fresh tortillas or rolls and queso fresco at a local shop. You'll want to save your best festive energy on whipping up the more unique parts of this meal...! Here's how to make the Guatemalan highlights:
- 1 lb dried black beans
- 6 spring green onions, all parts diced
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 3 tbsps chicken bouillon
- vegetable oil
Fill a large pot with about 10 cups of water. Add the black beans, garlic, and half of the spring onions. Cover and simmer for 50 minutes, then add the chicken bouillon.
Meanwhile, saute the rest of the spring onions until brown.
Ladle the cooked beans with a bit of the cooking water into a blender and blend into a liquid pure. Add the sautéed spring onions to the blender and blend. (You will likely need to do this in batches.) You can do this step in advance and refrigerate until a later date.
Canned black beans will work too. But the colour may not be as solid (more grey) and the beans will be a little more mushy. However, it does work! And spares you the cook time as canned beans are already soft.
Frying up the pureed black beans is where the magic happens. Heat a frying pan, add oil, and spoon in some of the pure. When it starts to sizzle, stir the beans with a wooden spoon to reduce to a paste. Be prepared to push that paste around for a little while! The end result should be a lump of black bean paste (that may look odd, but tastes amazing!).
- 6 plum tomatoes
- ½ small onion, diced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- a squeeze of lemon juice
- salt (to taste)
In a pan, char your tomatoes on high heat until they start to turn dark and the skin splits. Be sure to char several sides or the skin will not peel all over. Remove from heat and cool, then peel off the skin. Crush the tomatoes (with your hands works best - believe us!). Add the jalapeno, lemon juice, onions, garlic, and salt.
- 3 bananas
- 2 tbsp brown sugar (to taste)
- cinnamon (to taste)
Cut the bananas into long slices or into oblong coins. In the same pan you prepared all the other dishes (provided nothing burned!), fry the bananas on medium heat. Sprinkle on sugar. The sugar will heat up and turn into a sticky syrup. Add cinnamon to taste.
What will make you just that much more of a champ, worthy of a Breakfast of Champions? Helping children in Guatemala enjoy breakfast too. Nico sees daily many kids in Guatemala suffering from malnutrition, with not enough to eat daily. Kids go to school hungry and their learning is impeeded by a hungry stomach and low energy. But you can help! Support Breakfast Clubs for kids in Guatemala, and help them start their school day right!
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