Friday, 9 August 2013

Chorizo Huevos Rancheros

Hello food? It's me Diane. Hahah after a lot of soul searching, I realize that I'm not really a blogaholic after all. I just have too much time on my hands because of this bloody diet I'm on! All the times when I would have been happily munching away on something, I sit and stare at the four walls waiting to lose another pound. Don't get me wrong - I have no regrets at all. I've lost a ton of weight and I was feeling positive all the way until tonight when I made one of my favourite meals. And Mario got the real version of it while I had to settle for the "healthy" (read Diet) version. So I write blogs like they're going out of style because believe it or not, it takes my mind off food.

But the main reason I decided to go on a diet is because I'm going to Mexico with Kelly in November, and being a woman of some years, I wanted to have one last kick at the can. Not to ever wear a bikini again, but just not to have to waddle down the beach sweating and gasping for air while my thighs are still 3 feet behind me. And Mexico is such an enchanted place. I adore everything about it. The food, the culture, the beloved people, the art, but most of all the most amazing food on the planet!

Now I didn't set out to make my favourite Mexican dish right on the home stretch of my diet. Mario came home with a dozen farm fresh brown eggs yesterday. They still had farm bits on them. Hay and shit and tufts of tiny feather chicken type stuff. Or whatever. They were farm fresh and we'll leave it at that. I appreciate the freshest of anything, so I had no choice but to make eggs for supper! And I'm so blessed that I live in the vegetable growing capital of Canada, so during the summer months, my favourite little market stocks up lots of fresh Mexican ingredients to please all the homesick migrants workers we have in town. Yay for me! But God Bless those poor guys being so far away from home and missing their families. So let's get started.

You'll need:
Corn tortillas for your bottom layer

For the base:
A pack of fresh chorizo. Get the Mexican one and get mild unless you adore lots of heat
It looks like a chorizo of the dried variety, but read your label and make sure it's fresh. It's in the meat section as opposed to the deli section.
A can of pinto beans
1 finely chopped Vidalia onion
3 or 4 cloves of finely chopped garlic
1 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of coriander
1 tsp of chili powder
freshly ground pepper. Hold off on the salt until I talk about that in a minute
1  chopped red pepper
1 chopped jalapeno pepper, seeds removed unless you want it really hot
1 can of plum tomatoes or I use my own that I jarred, or 2 freshly chopped tomatoes
And now for the salt - if you use canned, don't use any salt. If you use fresh, wait till the end to season as need be
zest of a lime
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped cilantro
Taste before you serve and add hot sauce if you like.
Add your fresh herbs in as you start your tortillas and increase the heat to a simmer.

Remove your chorizo from the casing and brown it on medium heat for about 8 minutes. Just like browning hamburger meat. Remove it into a bowl leaving as much fat in the pan as possible. Saute your onion in the fat for a minute or two, then add your garlic and chopped jalapeno and red pepper. Add the cumin, coriander, chili powder and pepper and let it sauté for a couple of minutes. Add your tomatoes and drained pinto beans, and the chorizo back in. Let it simmer uncovered for about half an hour until the liquid reduces to almost nothing. Your sausage will break down and your beans will plump up. Add your lime zest and reduce the heat to low.

For the next layer you'll need eggs, canola oil and about a cup or less of grated semi soft Mexican cheese. Or use Monterrey Jack if you can't get it. We'll come back to this because you'll do this step just before you plate.

So let's make a nice, fresh salsa for the top.
1 chopped tomato
1/2 finely chopped Vidalia onion
2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
zest and juice of a lime
1 tsp of salt
Stir it together and let it hang out in the fridge till you're ready to plate.

So let's get the magic underway.
In a small skillet, heat a tablespoon of canola oil on Med heat. Put a tortilla in the pan for about 30 seconds, then flip it over and heat the other side for about 30 seconds. You want to heat and moisturize them sort of like a nice facial, but don't let them crisp. Do one for each person and set them aside under foil wrap to keep them warm. Now fry an egg in the canola oil sunny side up. Reduce the heat to Medium Low so the bottom doesn't scorch. I put a cookie sheet over it as a cover to let it steam and cook the top. But I'm a redneck that way. If you have covers for your skillet, by all means use that. As you see the egg is almost done, sprinkle some of your cheese over the egg and put the cover back on to let it melt.

To plate it, place a tortilla on the plate, add a layer of the chorizo mixture about 1/2 inch thick, but leave a circumference of visible tortilla so people can see just the edge (aren't I so Scientific?) Slide the egg over that and top with a spoonful of your fresh salsa. Garnish with a sprig of cilantro and a wedge of lime. And that's it! It's ridiculously delicious and it can be served for breakfast, brunch or dinner. Eggs aren't just for breakfast anymore!

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