As many of you know, being a FoodBuzz Featured Published comes with occasional perks of new items to try for free. Most recently that item was Egglands Best Eggs. Listen, you know all things being equal I prefer local, free-roaming eggs. But not everyone has access to local eggs and even those of us who do run out before market time occasionally. Eggland’s Best has always been a brand I will buy because they have roaming, cage-free options (and organic if you are wondering) and their eggs taste good. So I signed myself up and got my free, cage-free eggs!
Originally I had grand plans for a chocolate dish requiring tons of eggs–and I am still eyeballing that for the future, when we are all well enough to cook John a proper birthday dinner (yes the kids are still sick but I am tired of discussing bodily fluids–enough said). In the meantime, almost all of the Eggland’s Best eggs disappeared in the name of Weekday Chilaquiles (this was before the kids got sick–but John was already sick, ergo no birthday dessert).
Chilaquiles have appeared in many forms already on this blog. They have always been a fallback for me when dealing with Southwestern or Mexican flavored leftovers. They are also a great way to make a stew, soup or sauce less spicy, muting its flavor with cheese, chips, sour cream and sometimes scrambled eggs. But recently I had started ordering the Chilaquiles Verde from my favorite Mexican taqueria (Taqueria Mercado, for SW Ohioans who are wondering, in Fairfield), where thick, homemade, crispy tortilla chips are simmered in the sauce (something I rarely do because you truly need homemade chips for it–storebought will quickly go soggy) and then topped with a fried egg. The dish is something out of this world.
So I decided to try making a quick weekday lunch for the girls and me with a fried egg on top of chilaquiles. As usual, since I am working with storebought chips, I wanted to make a sauce full of health veggies and then ladle it over the chips and serve immediately, so that I could use storebought chips. The sauce is very simple–if you have time, you can make it totally from scratch with canned tomatoes and dried chile powder; if you are pressed for time, just dump a bottle of salsa in.
Sammy and John like this; I love it. Alex? Well she literally groans while she eats it. I think you might say it is one of her favorite things that I make, especially if I get the yolk runny (please be aware however that if you’re yolk is runny it is not cooked through–whether you want to chance that is up to you). She loves eggs, and this dish is definitely a great way to show off an egg.
1-2 T olive oil
1 onion, sliced or chopped, your preference
1 heaping T minced garlic (I use jarred unapologetically for weekday lunches)
1 sweet bell pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, diced (or any summer squash)
1-2 T red wine vinegar (or cider vinegar)
1 15-20 oz jar of tomato-based salsa OR 1 15-oz can chopped tomatoes plus 2 t New Mexico chile powder
1 heaping t ground cumin
1/2 t Mexican oregano
1 t ancho powder
1 heaping t New Mexico chile powder
pinch (to taste–is hot) chipotle powder
shredded monterey jack cheese
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat with the olive oil in it. When it is hot add the onions with a inch of salt and cook untill starting to brown and caramelize, 10 minutes. Add the bell pepper and zucchini and cook another 5 minutes. Then add the minced garlic plus the spices and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Deglaze with the vinegar, scraping at any stuck bits. Then add the tomatoes or the salsa. If adding salsa, the dish will be ready within 5 minutes or so. If using tomatoes, you will want to cook longer, to blend the tomato flavor in with the rest of the dish. I have done it both ways. When it is done, taste for salt, pepper, and chipotle powder. Set to very low heat and keep warm while you cook the eggs.
I have no words of wisdom for cooking fried eggs, as I am pretty new to it. occasionally I mess up–all I can say is go by feel. I like to start with a very hot oiled nonstick skillet, but I will turn the heat down if the whites are not cooking before they burn (i.e., if the tops of the whites are runny and cannot be flipped before the undersides burn). Alex would tell you it is paramount to aim for a runny egg (see undercooked egg warning above). I usually flip the egg over, but I did leave one sunny side up, as you can see, since I thought it might make for a more striking picture.
Plate the dish by placing a handful of toertilla chips on a dish. Cover them with the chunky sauce, followed by the cheese and then the egg. Top these with sour cream and any garnishes that need to stay fresh and uncooked, like cilantro.