Perico is a savory Venezuelan breakfast dish of scrambled eggs seasoned with sauteed onions, tomatoes, and peppers. It's often served inside arepas, a Venezuelan egg McMuffin of sorts.
If you don't want to make arepas, serve with corn or poppyseed muffins, English muffins or multigrain or whole wheat toast. A side of bacon or sausage, just like with any egg dish, makes a nice addition for a weekend breakfast or brunch.
Perico means parakeet in English. Some believe the name for this dish derives from its colorful presentation of the red in the tomatoes, the green in the pepper and the yellow of the eggs. Perico is made most often at home, and every family has its own version it likes best, similar to omelets in the U.S.
- 4 to 6 eggs
- 3 tablespoons cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped fine
- 1 medium tomato, chopped fine
- 1 green pepper, chopped fine (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Whisk the eggs together with the cream. Set aside.
- Melt the butter with the oil in a large nonstick skillet.
- Add the chopped onions to the pan and saute over medium heat until they are translucent.
- Add the tomatoes and green pepper and cook over medium heat until soft, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Pour the egg and cream mixture into the skillet and cook gently, stirring them lightly and flipping them as they cook.
- Cook the eggs to the desired doneness and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve warm with arepas or other bread choices.
This recipe is the traditional mix of eggs, tomatoes, onions and green peppers cooked in butter. You can change up this mix in many ways.
Some Venezuelans prefer scallions or red onion to yellow or white onions, and it can be made with egg whites only if you want to watch your egg intake.
Tasty additions include garlic, hot chili pepper, cayenne pepper, ham, and bacon. It goes to a whole new level with melted or grated cheese on top. Serve with a slice of cheese on the side or topped with chopped tomato. Or garnish with slices of avocado either on the plate or inside an arepa "sandwich." Black beans pair well with perico, especially if it is being served for brunch.
If it's brunch, Venezuelans often rinse it down with a beer. Bloody marys or mimosas always make brunch an occasion.
And of course, have espresso if you want to go totally authentic Venezuelan. Otherwise, drink cappuccino or your favorite dark roast.