Wow… the last time I did one of these was in April. (I am so sorry!)
To those of you who have been asking for the next instalment, than you so much for your interest and for pushing me to get back into the swing of things.
For those of you just joining, this is a little series I have been enjoying, in which I take cultural trips right in my kitchen. The idea? To cook breakfasts from around the world and showcase the deliciousness of them.
With no further ado, on to number 6 – Mexico!
When asking around the office for ideas for this project, one of the first suggestions I got was Mexican Huevos Divorciados. This literally translates to “divorced eggs”.
What makes this recipe special is that it uses 2 different salsas. The first one is the classic “Salsa Roja” (red salsa); made of red tomatoes, this is the one most of us imagine when we think of a salsa. However, there’s a second one in this mix, “Salsa Verde” (green salsa). Now, when I first looked this recipe up online, I thought the green side may have been a guacamole, not knowing that there is such as thing as green tomatoes! Not unripe ones mind you, but actually green; they’re called tomatillos.
They’re incredibly hard to find in Ireland, outside of Mexican speciality shops and I was told I could get tinned tomatillos in Dublin. Not wanting to travel that far for tomatoes, I put the idea on hold for a while. As luck would have it, one of the greengrocers at St. George’s market sells tomatillos – and fresh ones at that! I was thrilled to get to take a crack at this recipe. 😀
Now, you make the salsa verde recipe very much the same way you would a classic raw salsa, except you make sure to use green ingredients (obviously). The dish is classically served on tortillas (or with tortilla chips), with a wall of beans (or refried beans) as a dividing (or divorcing) line down the middle of the plate
For the Salsas Roja and Verde:
- 2 red tomatoes
- 2 green tomatillos
- 1/4 finely diced red onion
- 2 scallions (spring onions)
- 1/2 orange (or red) pepper
- 1/2 green pepper
- 1/8 tsp chopped chilly
- 1/4 tsp crushed garlic
- 2 tsp olive oil (don’t measure this out, just have the bottle handy)
For the refried beans:
- 1 tin of Kidney Beans
- 1 tin of Cannellini Beans (or any other beans you prefer)
- 2/3 finely chopped red onion
- 1/4 tsp crushed garlic
- 1/8 tsp chopped chilly
- pinch of each salt, pepper and corriander
- dash of olive oil
- splash of water
For the tortillas:
- 400 g self raising flour
- 300 ml water
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
+ 4 Eggs (this recipe serves 2 people)
Prepare the Salsa Roja – Finely dice all the red salsa ingredients (red tomato, orange pepper, 1/4 red onion, olive oil and red chillies) blend lightly until it looks like a sauce but still has plenty of chunky bits left.
Simmer the red salsa over a medium heat until bubbling lightly. This is to straighten the flavour. Once this is done, pour into a separate bowl to let cool. (As soon as it’s cool enough pop it into the fridge.)
Now the prepare the Salsa Verde. Using the same method as for the first salsa, dice all the green ingredients, [2 green tomatillos, 1/2 green bell pepper, 2 spring onions, 1/4 tsp crushed garlic, 1 tsp olive oil] combine in a bowl and blend to a slightly chunkier consistency. (This salsa stays raw to preserve the sweetness of the tomatillos, so just pop it in the fridge to chill when you’re done.)
The next step is to make the refried beans. I found this recipe very helpful. We did ours like this: Thoroughly rinse all the beans and set aside. Chop the remaining 3/4 red onion. In a pan, heat up a glug of olive oil, then add 1/2 tsp of garlic and the onions. Simmer until the onions are translucent. Add the beans to the pan (these are usually pre-cooked) and heat thoroughly. Season with remaining 1/8 teaspoon chopped chilly, salt, pepper and coriander to taste. Once the beans are soft, turn off the heat and mash the whole mixture (adding drops of water and olive oil as needed to keep the mixture moist). Fill the mixture into an oven safe bowl and keep warm at 50°C.
Finally, we made our first ever home made tortillas! 😀 (Thanks to an excellent recipe on BBC Good Food.)
Combine the tortilla ingredients [400 g self raising flour, 300 ml water, 1/2 tsp salt, 3 tbsp olive oil] either by hand or using a stand mixer and a dough hook, and knead until you have a smooth dough. Separate into 8 dough balls. On a lightly floured surface roll each ball out to be about the size of a dinner plate (or the centre of your frying pan). Heat a bit of oil in a pan, and fry each flat bread until golden and slightly crispy.
The last steps are to fry the 4 eggs to sunny side up perfection and then assemble! Place two tortillas (slightly overlapping in the middle) on a plate. Create a wall out of the fried bean paste along the middle and place one egg on either side. Generously add one salsa to either side; you want to add enough for lots of flavour but not too much as to drown everything. Enjoy!
As far as eating them is concerned, Derek chose to use cutlery, enjoying the different components that way, but I chose the messier route and rolled each tortilla up and enjoyed them by hand. 🙂
The Salsja Roja was mildly spicy and smoky, whereas the Salsa Verde was very sweet and fresh; they complimented each other very very well. The refried beans offered the type of heartiness that meat usually offers on a breakfast plate, and I was very surprised by how filling and delicious it was.
All in all this is a smashing recipe, but if you want to make everything from scratch be prepared to invest quite a bit of time in this culinary adventure.
You can read more about Huevos Divorciados here and you can also find this recipe in a compact and mobile friendly version on my personal profile over at Sorted Food: https://sortedfood.com/recipe/9059
There’s only one thing missing to enjoying this hearty, quirky and delicious mean; a polite table greeting. To say “enjoy your meal” in Spanish is: ¡Que aproveche!
And with that, thanks for reading! Take care. xoxo