Posts Tagged With: Eggs

Huevos Rancheros with Mole

 

Hello, Amy here, full from a hardy brunch. Earlier this week my friend invited me to lunch at the Tucson Botanical Garden, where we enjoyed a lamb empanada, calabacitas tamal and huevos rancheros made with mole, black tepary beans and queso fresco. It was ALL soooo good, but I think you can guess my favorite!

Café Botanica is delicious, adorable (the old adobe Friends’ House, inside or on the patio) has really nice staff, and is open 8am-2pm daily. You do have to pay admission or be a member to get to the café, so we wandered, looking at plants in the shade and a gallery or two after our meal. Perfect afternoon.

I had never heard of huevos rancheros with mole, and I had to make it at home, often! Since I was only making brunch for two, I used dry corn tortilla meal I had on hand instead of buying or making a batch of highly perishable fresh masa. Maseca is a common brand name in Tucson grocery stores, or online.

Café Botanica used parsley in their masa for flavor and color, so I chopped a few leaves of quelites (young amaranth greens) raw and mixed them into the masa. This of course is optional, but quelites are so prolific this year with our above average rainfall this summer. Recently Carolyn used amaranth seed her in corn tortillas.

Add enough water to make a soft dough. Mix about a quarter cup meal to a few tablespoons water and adjust as necessary. If it is too dry, it will crack. If it is too wet, it will stick to your hands. Form into two balls, cover, and let rest for a few minutes. Then reassess the moisture.

Place the ball in a plastic bag and flatten with a tortilla press, a dinner plate or a rolling pin.

Thoroughly heat a comal (a dry cast iron griddle) over medium heat and put tortilla to cook. Flip a few times until both sides are covered with brown spots. No need to keep them hot, they’ll be fried!

Next I made a small amount of Mano y Metate Mole Dulce with oil and veggie broth. Other varieties of mole would work, and any broth you like. Since the dish was vegetarian, I decided to keep with the theme.

Café Botanica used black tepary beans, but I used a summer squash from the Tucson CSA. I had never heard of Tromboncino before this year, and we love the taste and its trombone shapes! As a mature, winter squash, it resembles its relative the butternut. Even as a baby, it is slightly yellow on the inside with tender skin and really nice flavor. I sautéed it with onion, salt and pepper.

Next fry the tortillas in a little bit of oil until beautiful brown and fragrant.

Fry eggs over medium, or to taste. These eggs were from a friend of a friend. The deep color of the yolk is due to the hen’s diet and I bet these birds eat plenty of fresh greenery and insects.

Assemble the dish: tortilla, squash, egg. You could melt some cheese over the tortilla if you want.

Finally, top with the Mole Dulce and I’itoi onion tops. My new favorite.

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Categories: Cooking, Mexican Food, Sonoran herb, Sonoran Native, Southwest Food | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fu Yung with Local Veggies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No matter how beautiful local veggies are, dreaming up something new and exciting to make with the same characters over and over again can be a challenge. Amy here with my latest attempt to use beautiful Tucson CSA napa cabbage (Sleeping Frog Farm) and summer squash (Crooked Sky Farm). And what to do when you have only ONE tiny ear of sweet corn? I also had ripe serrano chiles from a friend and a handful of blanched tender Foothills Palo Verde seeds. See Martha’s post for more on desert legumes.

This week’s inspiration came from my mom, who remembered the Fu Yung we used to make in our family Chinese feasts. Aunts, uncles and cousins would cook all day to make complicated meals from many world cuisines. I’ve been attempting recipes in this book since I was in high school. Following and diverting from this and a handful of other recipes is how I learned to cook.

I also had lots of eggs from watching the neighbor’s chickens. Perfect!

The first step to not skip in this recipe is to marinate thinly sliced meat in soy sauce, rice wine and cornstarch for at least 15 minutes. It calls for beef but I used half that amount of pork.

Instead of meat, strongly flavored dried Chinese mushrooms are excellent. Just soak in water, cut in tiny strips and add them with the rest of the veggies. Save the mushroom soaking liquid to make the sauce. Yum!

Cut all the veggies. This is not the dish to start cooking the longer cooking items before you cut the others. The original recipe called for spring onion and a little fresh ginger. I used carrot, cabbage, golden zucchini, young onion tops and bottoms, sweet corn and tender blanched palo verde seeds. For spice, I used garlic, ripe serrano and lots of ginger.

Then beat eggs, cornstarch and a splash of water. Next time I’ll mix the cornstarch and water before the eggs to prevent difficult to remove lumps.

In a small saucepan, measure all the sauce ingredients and set aside: chicken or mushroom broth, oyster sauce (or mushroom sauce), rice wine, sesame oil and cornstarch.

Bring everything close to the stove.

In place of a wok, I use a very large skillet on high to cook the meat in a little oil. When browned but not necessarily cooked through, remove from the pan and set aside.

Add a little more oil and cook the garlic, ginger and chile. Add the veggies and stir fry for just a minute!

Gently heat a well seasoned cast iron or nonstick pan with low or rounded sides. Splash on a bit of cooking oil and toasted sesame oil. Add the meat and veggies in an even layer and pour the eggs over all. Cook gently until almost set and browning on the bottom. Slide onto a plate. Cover with a another plate and invert. Slide back onto the pan and cook through. If there are more veggies than the eggs can hold together, it will be messy. The book suggests cutting in wedges and flipping each, but it is not as pretty.

Serve the prettiest side up, you decide. Sometime while waiting for the eggs to set, heat the sauce while whisking, until thick. Keep warm.

Cut in wedges with a pizza cutter and serve with the sauce. Of course it is best right away, but it makes a great cold breakfast or lunch. Enjoy!

Veggie and Pork (or Chinese Mushroom) Fu Yung

 

1 1/2 oz thinly sliced pork or dried, soaked Chinese mushrooms

 

Marinate for at least 15 minutes in:

2 teaspoons light soy sauce

1 teaspoon rice wine or dry sherry

1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch

 

Veggies:

Your choice! About 1 cup after stir frying

Fresh ginger, garlic and green onion to taste

 

Egg mixture:

5 large eggs

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon water

 

Sauce:

1/4 cup chicken broth or mushroom soaking liquid from above

2 teaspoons light soy sauce

1 tablespoon oyster (or mushroom) sauce

1 teaspoon rice wine or dry sherry

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

 

For frying:

Mild cooking oil, like canola or peanut

Toasted sesame oil

 

Categories: Cooking, Sonoran Native, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cracks and Creation: “How the Light Gets In” Tea Eggs

Cracks and Creation: “How the Light Gets In Tea Eggs”

Tia Linda:   Spring seems to be arriving early in the desert, again, this year and egg laying is increasing significantly among my birds.  It is less a function of temperature than it is the increase in light to the pituitary glad that increases egg laying. And my hens are broody,  feeling strongly the impulse to sit upon and incubate eggs.  Broodiness is a trait to be cherished in your birds. This is a great time of year (here in the Southwest) for the poultry aficionado to begin preparing for a new batch of chicks. In fact, it is not too early to have a eggs under a hen or in your incubator already.

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For me, eggs have properties that go beyond being beautiful and nutritious.  I feel more whole when I am collecting eggs; more in touch with Cycles.  Aesthetically, they arrive in surprising varieties of oval shapes, sizes and colors. Nutritionally, they are chock full of minerals, are good for eyesight, and are a great source of (affordable) protein.  In Michael Pollan’s book COOKED, he cites research from 2011, that states “ninety percent of a cooked egg is digested, where as only 65 percent of a raw egg” (Page 61n).   Whether or not you are raising chicks, today’s recipe is a fun way to cook your eggs to get the most nutrition – and beauty-  out of them.

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But, before we get to the recipe.

Many cultures across time and space celebrate the egg.  A few (painfully truncated) myths that include the egg show this.

*** The Universe began as an egg and a god (Pangu) born inside the egg broke the egg in two halves – the upper becoming the sky while the lower half became the earth. (Chinese).    ***The concept of the universe as an Egg-shaped Cosmos, arose in Vedic thought. And so in Sanskrit, the term for it is Brahmanda.  “Brahm” meaning ‘Cosmos’ or ‘expanding’ and “Anda” meaning EGG.  In one version, the Golden Womb/Golden Fetus of the universe floated around in emptiness for a time, and them broke in two halves, forming heaven and earth. (Vedic). *** Another myth from Europe reveals the world being created from fragments of an egg laid by a diving duck perched on the knee of Ilmatar, a goddess of the air. (Finnish)

I sense a theme arising here.  Cracks.  And Creation.     They seem to have something to do with one another.

Whether or not your believe myths to be literal or metaphorical, an explanation of mystery or a reflection of the human psyche, is yours to decide. Regardless, we can act as creators within our own pots and kitchens, and enjoy where the cracks take us.  In our lives, “the cracks” are often involuntary and unasked for.  Often, it is only later that we realize that it is these very cracks that allow some needed shift or change to occur.

With this recipe we can actively crack some shells.  Let in some flavor.  Some color. Create some beauty, all while being nourished.

The Recipe:

Put 8-10 eggs in a pot and begin to hard boil them.

While you are doing this, begin making a tea/spice bath for the eggs to go into after boiling. I use a handful of whatever tea I particularly like at the moment (or 3-4 teabags if you prefer). Lately I have been using black tea, but have also experimented with oolong and green teas. Experimentation is the key, and you, being the creator, can shift and change your recipe as you like. To the tea, I add about three tablespoons of Chinese Five Spice.  This is the basic recipe.

To this basic recipe you can add, fresh ginger (chopped) and/or some chile (I use chiltepin).  Whatever spices that want to play on our tongue are the ones to use. Remember you are the creator, and the choice of spices and how you use, is completely up to you.

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When the eggs are just boiled, cool them enough to handle them, and crack the shells.      (above)

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The tea and spice mixture, dry.

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Place the tea and spice mixture in another pot, and add enough water to just cover the cracked eggs.

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Simmer the eggs in the spice bath, for a good half an hour. Then turn off the heat, and let them sit for at least another hour. Do not rush this; steeping-time is needed to really absorb the flavor and color. Check the eggs while still in the bath; the membrane right under the shell will have a deeper color than that on the egg itself. (above)

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Peel and enjoy both their beauty and flavor.  I included this photo to inspire you, as well as to show that if you peel off chunks of the shell you can create darker patterns (and deeper flavor), as in the egg top left.

These also make a great egg salad, as they impart a great flavor.

If you do not eat them all right away, store the eggs in a glass jar, in the tea bath water (strain out the spices/tea), in the refrigerator.

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