A hearty protein-packed weekend brunch recipe, a bean and tomato sauce studded with crispy corn tortillas and sautéed onion and pepper, topped with cheese and 'huevos', eggs.
HIM, making conversation: “So we’re off to Mexico next week, can’t wait to spend a day in the Seasons of My Heart cooking school in Oaxaca.”
HER, with enthusiasm: “Lucky you! I just love quesadillas.”
HIM, gently. “Quesadillas aren’t really Mexican food.”
HER, displaying an intimate relationship with the Taco Bell menu. “Oh yes they are. I just love the chicken quesadillas. And the chalupa baja. And the ranchero soft taco.”
HIM, recognizing futility. “See you when we get back. We’ll give you a full report.”
This is a protein-packed hearty breakfast, my own adaptation of Huevos Cuauhtemoc (Emperor Cuauhtemoc’s Eggs) and a crowd favorite for a make-it-now or mostly make-ahead brunch. The protein is a welcome change from the high-carb and high-calorie bready stratas so typical of make-ahead brunch recipes.
REFRIED BEANS Did you know? Refried beans aren’t twice-fried beans. It’s a translation error, ‘rijoles refritos’ became refried beans instead of well-fried beans. Language aside, in this easy egg dish, I love how the puréed beans and tomatoes thicken into a mixture reminiscent of refried beans, just without all the fat and unnecessary calories!
REFRIED BEAN SAUCE with
EGGS ON TOP
Time to table: 50-60 minutes
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 corn tortillas, cut in strips
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 poblano pepper or 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 15 ounces canned red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (see TIPS)
- 16 ounces canned tomato sauce
- 6 eggs
- 3 ounces grated cheese, ‘Chihuahua’ or 'cotija' cheese if available, otherwise ‘three-cheese Mexican’, cheddar, American or another good melting cheese
- Fresh cilantro, chopped
Preheat oven to 375F.
In a small skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil until shimmery, fry the tortilla strips until crispy, set aside.
In a large, oven-safe skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil til shimmery, add the onion and peppers as prepped and cook until just soft. Set aside, keep warm.
Meanwhile, purée the beans and tomato sauce in a blender until smooth. (Be sure to rinse the blender, this stuff dries like adobe!) Transfer to the skillet and cook on medium high, stirring often, until thick but don’t let turn into a gummy paste (see TIPS). If making in advance, stop here and refrigerate separately; rewarm the bean-tomato mixture before proceeding.
Stir in the tortillas and onion/pepper mixture. (At this stage, two skillets may be needed for there to be enough room for all six eggs. If so, transfer half the mixture to a second skillet.) With a spoon, create six ‘cradles’ in the mixture, sprinkle the top with cheese, then drop an egg into each depression. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the eggs are cooked. Sprinkle with cilantro, serve with additional corn tortillas and savor!
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