Monday, August 30, 2004

Huevos Motuleños



When I was a kid, probably about five, a friend of my father's came over one sunday and made breakfast for us. I just remember this guy showing up with a big brown grocery bag stacked in a cast-iron skillet. For some reason that meal, huevos motuleños, stuck with me. I finally decided to try to make it for myself.

The dish, literally "eggs in the style of Motul," consists of fried corn tortillas topped with mashed black beans, a Yucatan-style tomato sauce, eggs, peas, ham, fried plantains and farmer's cheese. The recipe I used was from Poore's 1,000 Mexican Recipes, as I couldn't find it in my Bayless book.

All in all, it's a pretty simple dish. It's just a matter of making the various components. I cheated and used canned black beans instead of starting with dried ones. I think I made up for that by actually managing to find the Mexican herb epazote. The local health food store had it, go figure. I'm guessing it was a special order for someone who didn't need all of it. Anyway, the canned black beans were added to sauted onion and garlic with dried oregano, epazote and a bay leaf. The mixture was simmered and then mashed coarsely.

The tomato sauce consists of broiled whole tomatoes, pureed in a blender with chopped serranos. This mixture is then added to a pan of sauted onions and simmered for about 20 minutes.

The plantains were left to ripen in a brown paper bag until their skins were nearly all black. They were sliced and fried in a thin layer of vegetable oil until they carmelized.

The one component I wasn't completely happy about was the corn tortillas. I don't do much frying at home, and really, this recipe required me to fry more stuff before noon than I usually do in a month. Anyway, the fried corn tortillas were a little tough because I didn't get the oil temp quite right. Still, they were crisp, and that was good enough.

With all of these things ready, all that was left to do was scramble the eggs and prep the ham and peas. There were about seven people over, so I figured two eggs per person. Another first, along with all the frying, was scrambling 14 eggs. I had my doubts at first, since the eggs didn't form curds too readily, but by the end, they actually formed very nice, very large curds, which I really enjoyed. The recipe calls for fried eggs, but I don't eat eggs that way due to an allergy. I gave everyone the option of making some sunny-side-up eggs for themselves, but they all seemed fine with scrambled eggs--more pragmatists than purists, my friends.

So, with the eggs done, I warmed up the peas, diced the ham, and set out the farmer's cheese. All that was left to do was stack it up.

I'm pretty happy with the way it came out. It made a very satisfying breakfast. I don't know when I'll do it again, though. Probably right after I make another batch of breakfast risotto.

18 Comments:

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OMG. That looks so tasty. And filling. Can your day go bad when it starts this good? I don't think so. Man, after I upload this post I'm running off to the local mercado and making me some huevos motulenos, yo. thanks for sharing!

 
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