Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year, Old Style

Good evening everyone and happy new year! We're back to cooking in 2013, starting our third year of cooking healthy and delicious recipes. It only seemed proper that my first recipe of 2013 come from the very source that inspired me to start this blog to begin with (and then later coerced Maggie into joining) Jamie Oliver.

Jamie's somewhat recently released cookbook "Jamie's America" focuses on traditional American dishes and adds his classic twists to them. Tonight's dish, while not exactly an "American" classic, is at least an American southwest classic. Let's get cooking!

The Recipe: Mexican Breakfast (Or - classic huevos rancheros)
Original Recipe Found In: Jamie's America

What You'll Need:
(Serves 6)

1 1/2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Small White Onion (Diced)
2 Cloves Garlic (Peeled, diced)
2 Red Bell Peppers (Seeded, diced)
2 Red or Orange Chiles (Seeded, diced)
1 Large Dried Chile
3 Fresh Bay Leaves
14 Ounces Canned Diced Tomatoes
2 Large Tomatoes (Sliced thin)
6 Large Eggs
6 Tortillas (Flour)
6 Ounces Freshly Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Cup Steamed White Rice (Optional)

Begin by placing a large, non stick skillet (preferably one that has a lid) over medium high heat and adding the olive oil to the pan. Add the onion, garlic, peppers, fresh chiles, dried chile, bay leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper to the skillet and allow everything to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables start to caramelize. (The onions will become translucent, then pick up a light yellow hue, the other vegetables will soften significantly).

Next, add the canned tomatoes to the skillet and break up the larger tomato chunks with a spoon or spatula. Bring this mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and allow the mixture to simmer for another 5 minutes. The goal here is to allow the sauce to thicken, we're looking for a stew like consistency - so be sure to allow the sauce to reduce before moving on to the next step.

Once your sauce has thickened, spread your diced tomatoes across the top of the stew and then, using a spoon, make 6 little "wells" into the mixture (around the edges). Now, quickly crack your eggs into each well (as pictured) - try to get all of the eggs in around the same time, that way the cooking time will be about even for each egg. By cracking the eggs into the thick sauce, we're essentially poaching the eggs - with the added bonus of a rich tomato base cooking into each egg. Sprinkle the stew with another pinch of salt and pepper and cover the skillet.

Allow the eggs to cook until they reach your desired level of 'doneness' (around 3 to 5 minutes). Give the eggs a gentle prod with your finger or spatula to make sure they've fully set up.  Pull out the dried chile and bay leaves at this time as well.

Scoop the tomato mixture (with the egg) into a warm tortilla and top with your freshly shredded cheese. If you'd like, you can add some steamed white rice to the recipe and spread that into the tortilla as well (we did). Serve and enjoy!

The Results:

One of my favorite aspects of any of Jamie's recipes is that they allow the food to shine. He doesn't monkey with a lot of spices or complex sauces to dress up a dish, he simply lets the ingredients themselves do the talking.

This adaptation of huevos rancheros is no different. The rich tomato stew truly shines with light hints of bell pepper and chiles adding a nice level of heat (present, but not overwhelming) the eggs bring a nice change of texture and their flavor really shows through as a crisp "burst" amongst the sauce.

Out Of The Culinary started on recipes like this, and it's nice to go back and remind ourselves of our motivation. Fresh food, simple recipes, delicious results. Do yourself a favor and cook up this tasty dish for a weeknight meal or a nice Sunday breakfast. You will not be disappointed.

That's all we have for you this evening. Maggie takes to the kitchen tomorrow night to debut her first recipe of 2013. Until then,


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