Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Huevos del Diablo

Growing up, a favorite camping breakfast was something my dad made called eggs allergervin. He would take a huge skillet (this was obviously car camping, not backpacking), fill it half-full with a tasty tomato sauce, bring it to a boil, and poach eggs in it; the eggs were served on English muffins, preferably toasted on the fire next to the skillet. It was always a hit, a unique dish that I never heard of anywhere else.

First disillusion: going through my mom's recipe file, I discovered that it was actually called eggs a la Gavin; the recipe had come from a friend of theirs named Gavin. OK. It was still an unusual recipe.

Second disillusion: Reading How to Cook a Wolf, by MFK Fisher, I came across a dish called (roughly) eggs al diablo that was exactly like my dad's eggs. So it wasn't an unusual dish, it was fairly well known in post-WWII England. There was also a Mexican version that used salsa instead of tomato sauce.

Adult adjustment to disillusionment: It is still a good recipe, but better for dinner than for breakfast (at least in our household, where two or three kids don't eat breakfast and my husband gets up an hour or so before I do). I made the Mexican version tonight, served on corn tortillas instead of muffins, and it was really good. Even the two extra kids at the table liked it.

Huevos del Diablo
Pour some vegetable oil in a small skillet, heat over high, and fry corn tortillas, about 60 seconds on each side. The tortillas should still be flexible. Set aside.
In a skillet large enough to poach 1-2 eggs per person, pour a moderately thick salsa to 1" deep, more or less. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and crack the eggs in, spacing as widely as possible. Cook until whites are white and yolks are set.
Scoop out each egg with a large spoon and place on a corn tortilla.
Serve with hash browns and pickled onions, or your favorite Mexican side dishes; Mexican rice would be good.

For the English version, substitute a good chunky tomato sauce for the salsa, and English muffins for the tortillas (but toast them instead of frying them).

Pickled Onions
Slice an onion very thin and place loosely in a colander. Heat a tea kettle full of water to a boil and pour the water over the onions. Transfer onion rings to a large bowl filled with 2 C cold water, 2 C white vinegar, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp sugar. Let sit for at least 45 minutes, up to two hours, stirring occasionally. Serve with Mexican food of any type.

No comments: