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Drowned Eggs: Huevos Ahogados


“I’m still here, El Guapo,” shouted the mustachioed bandit to his distraught jéfe, as they caught sight of the rest of their outlaw gang fleeing in panic, away from the tiny Mexican village defended hysterically by the Three Amigos (and a band of Three Amigos look-alikes).

Never mind that after he said that he promptly got shot.

The point I’m trying to make is that, despite being an outlaw, he was a faithful sidekick. A Robin to his Batman. A Watson to his Sherlock. An Iceman to his Maverick. He gave him a sweater for his birthday, for God’s sake.

The type of friend who’s always there for you. In the kitchen, when all seems lost, when it seems there’s nothing to eat, I imagine a tiny voice coming from the vegetable drawer (no, I’m not insane): “We’re still here, La Guapa” (because, of course, I’m female and very good looking).

Tomatoes, onions and garlic. The Three Amigos of so many dishes – including those from the Italian part of my family and the Mexican part of my husband’s. A true marriage of the old and new worlds. It’s amazing how different these three ingredients can taste, even when you don’t do much different to them. Think: pasta sauce, salsa, bruschetta.

This recipe is the latest incarnation of the Trinity. During a recent visit to my in-laws, I got a front row seat to the alchemy that is one of my favorite Mexican breakfasts: huevos ahogados. I was very excited to find out that it’s a really simple dish to make and would be perfect for feeding a crowd for brunch.

Serve with refried black beans and warm corn tortillas.

Huevos Ahogados

- serves 5-6 -

1 chile poblano
8 tomatoes (plum or regular – juicy tomatoes are good)
½ onion
2 cloves garlic
2 cubes Knorr chicken bullion cubes (or equivalent to make 4 cups broth)
¼ c. vegetable oil
Eggs (as many as you need to feed your crew, up to about 10-12)

In a dry sauté pan over a high flame, roast the tomatoes, onion and garlic until skin is blistering and brown. On another gas burner flame, blacken the chile poblano, turning with tongs until blistery and black.

huevos_ahogados 006huevos_ahogados 004When the chile is roasted, put in a plastic bag to sweat for 10 minutes. When tomatoes, onion and garlic are done, cut tomatoes into quarters and put tomatoes, onion and garlic in the blender, along with the 2 cubes of chicken bullion and a splash of water. Blend until you get a sauce.

Take the poblano chile out of the plastic bag and peel off the blackened, blistered skin. Then cut open to remove the stem and all the seeds. Cut into strips (called “rajas”).

In a dutch oven, heat the ¼ cup vegetable oil on high (don’t use olive oil, flavor won’t be right). When the oil is hot, put in the rajas and fry for a minute to flavor the oil. Then add the sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil. If it looks too thick (should be consistency of a typical salsa, or thinnish tomato sauce), add a little more water. Cook for 5 minutes.

With the sauce at a boil, carefully crack eggs into the sauce. When the whites start to turn opaque, using a spoon, “bathe” each egg with some of the sauce, to help cook the top and then cover the pot with a lid. Cook eggs until desired consistency – soft or hard boiled.

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You can make the sauce a day ahead of time and then heat it up when you are ready to poach the eggs.

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