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Breakfast in Mexico - Divorced Eggs


Mexican cuisine boasts a vast repertoire of eggs dishes, many of them regional, some totally ubiquitous – and the frustrating thing about them is that they are only served at breakfast, “solo en el desayuno”. They are always on the menu and if you are looking for a light lunch or supper, they are an ideal choice, but the answer is invariably that they are not available at this time of the day. I shall be writing about these delicious egg dishes over the next few weeks, and am starting this series with an old friend, whom I had not enjoyed for some time and whose acquaintance I remade recently during a visit to Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific coast of Mexico, and more precisely at the delightful Casa Amorita, a boutique “bed and breakfast” with splendid views over the rooftops of the town, let alone the sun slowly dipping behind the sea, and by far the best food in town.

Templo de Guadalupe, Puerto Vallarta © Philip Hood

The desayuno is served on the lush, bougainvillea-bedecked terrace overlooking the pool and the Templo de Guadalupe, one of Puerto Vallarta’s most famous landmarks. Knowing of my very special interest in Mexican food, Rita Love, the vivacious American owner, and Lisette, her young Mexican cook, treated me to their delicious specialities every morning – and while I loved everything they cooked for me, the flamboyant “Huevos Divorciados” or Divorced Eggs were the stars of the show.


Huevos Divorciados at Casa Amorita © Isabel Hood

These eggs are certainly not a part of historical, traditional Mexican cooking, as the origins of the dish are obviously very present-day! Two eggs sit sullenly atop a lightly fried tortilla on opposite sides of the plate, one cloaked in red chilli sauce and its antagonist bathed in a salsa of green chillies and tomatillos – fun, arty, spicy and very tasty. Refried beans and rice are standard accompaniments, and the Huevos Divorciados at Casa Amorita come with soupy pinto beans sprinkled with a strong cheese, a bright, gutsy guacamole, and rings of sweet white onion – what a way to start the day! If you are short of time or ingredients, the eggs are just as nice with some warm tortillas or even on toast. The sauces are obviously somewhat time-consuming to make but they can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen. And they can actually be made simultaneously, as the procedure is the same for both.

Divorced Eggs – Huevos Divorciados

Serves 2

For the Cooked Tomatillo Sauce or Salsa Verde Cocida:-
500 g/18 oz tomatillos, husked and rinsed
3 mild green chillies
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
30 ml/2 tbsp olive oil
100 g/4 oz onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Cooked Chipotle Chilli Sauce or Salsa de Chipotle Cocida:-
500 g/18 oz tomatoes, halved
8 garlic cloves, unpeeled
45 ml/3 tbsp olive oil
250 g/9 oz onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
15 ml/1 tbsp chipotle chilli sauce or paste
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the eggs:-
100 ml/3 1/2 fl oz vegetable oil
4 corn tortillas
4 eggs
Refried beans, warmed (optional)
Guacamole (optional)
Raw onion rings (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the tomatillo sauce, heat the grill to high. Line the grill pan with foil and arrange the tomatillos, chillies and garlic on it. Grill 10 cm/4 in from the heat for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned, then turn them all over and grill the other side in the same way. Set aside to cool, then peel the garlic, and halve and deseed the chillies. Place them in a food processor with the tomatillos and any juices and process to a chunky purée.

While the vegetables are grilling, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the onions until soft and starting to brown. Add the tomatillo purée and some seasoning, and cook over low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until nice and thick.

Now for the red sauce. Heat the grill to high. Line the grill pan with foil and place the tomato halves, cut side up, and garlic cloves on it. Grill 10 cm/4 in from the heat for about 20 minutes, until soft and slightly blackened, turning the garlic cloves over half way through. Cool, then peel the garlic and place it in a food processor with the tomatoes and any juices. Process to a chunky purée.

While the tomatoes are grilling, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and cook the onions until soft and golden. Add the tomato purée, the chipotle chilli sauce and some seasoning, and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until nice and thick.

When you ready to eat, warm the two sauces in two separate small saucepans and heat the oven to its lowest setting.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan and fry the tortillas briefly on both sides, enough to heat them nicely without becoming too crisp. Remove to a baking tray lined with kitchen paper and keep warm in the oven. Break the eggs into the oil and fry sunny-side up. Divide the tortillas between two warm plates and slide the eggs on top of them. Season the eggs and top one with green sauce and one with red sauce.

Serve immediately with refried beans, guacamole and sliced onions.

Buén provecho!
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Content copyright © 2014 by Isabel Hood. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Isabel Hood. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Isabel Hood for details.

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