Bits & Bites: Tocina en la México

Happy 2015 everyone! I am so excited for this year and it has truly kicked off with a bang! Matt and I rang in the New Year with very close friends in Colorado and then flew to Mexico to relax, read, and sleep the day away. I’m currently in heaven barefoot, listening to the ocean, and blogging. I wish this was my every day life!

Casa_Mexico

I also shared some exciting news on the Bacon Bites Facebook page just before the New Year. In case you missed it, Matt and I are expecting our first kiddo in July! Since I’m out of the first trimester woods my energy is stabilizing and I am thrilled to be blogging again. We are so excited and the next six months will be an amazing ride.

So why did we come to Mexico? Well, it seems like an “ah, duh question.” Sunshine, beach, delicious tacos, and…. to visit my mom! She moved north of Puerto Vallarta in 2006, opened her own business, and has been living in paradise ever since. It’s been two years since I visited and this may be the last time before she’s a Grandma, or, if you prefer, Abuela in Spanish.

When I visit my mom there are a few traditions that we have:

  • Tailgating at the airport. Don’t ask why…. just imagine getting off a long flight, blasting Bruce Springsteen or Bon Jovi, drinking a beer, and eating guacamole before ever leaving the parking lot. We may get strange looks, but who cares! (Of course, this trip I opted out of the cerveza’s and enjoyed the snacks.)
  • Hosting a group of friends. It’s no secret that I love cooking and hosting friends. I am my mother’s daughter after all! There are so many of my mom’s friends that I want to see when I visit, so we like to invite a small number of amigos to the house for drinks, food, and music.

  • Making Tocina for breakfast. Tocina = Bacon. And in Mexico it’s amazing! I don’t say this lightly. We buy over a kilo of bacon that has been cut into a number of different sizes: small and large pieces, to fatty and meaty, to thick and thin. The variety is incredible and the flavor is incomparable.

Bacon_Mexico

Here’s how the Tocina is wrapped. It’s a mix of pieces that you pull apart and separate before cooking on the stove. Bacon_Mexico_CloseupYou can see in this sample, there are very thick slices, meaty pieces, and (my favorite) fatty sections. The meaty pieces are especially tasty and remind me of a delicious slice of Honey Baked Ham. No matter which piece you grab, you can’t go wrong.

This vacation, we hosted an impromptu brunch (I literally woke-up and my mom had just called guests to come over). One thing I relish in Mexico is the ease of the culture here. No need for formal invitations, a dress code, or even make-up. Just show up, bring your drink of choice, and be ready to have a good time! Below are the dishes we made, which of course included plenty of Tocina to go around.

Mexico_Quiche

We had an onion and green bell peppers to mix with eggs, so we whipped up a baked omelet and put it in the oven on 400° for 25 minutes. Of course, any assortment of vegetables or meats could have been added to this dish. Many of our guests also topped off their slices with hot sauce of their choosing.
Breakfast_Potatoes

My mom frequents Costco in Puerto Vallarta and had this Spanish tortilla on hand. It’s pre-baked thinly sliced potatoes, onions, eggs. All you do it put the pre-made dish in the microwave for 3-5 minutes and you’re good to go! For a home-made option, mom is obsessed with The Latin Kitchen and they feature a similar dish
Tortilla de Papas y Chorizo.”

Breakfast_BaconAnd of course we had Tocina! We also served freshly sliced tomatoes and avocados, as well as freshly squeezed orange juice.

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