As a follow up to my previous two posts, featuring Yucatan Style Longaniza and Cochinita Pibil, this is one more recipe from the Mexican state of Yucatan: Huevos Motuleños. Huevos means eggs, and Motuleños means “from Motul”, a small city and a municipality in the Mexican state of Yucatan. There are two versions of the origin of huevos motuleños; One claims that they were first prepared indeed in Motul especially for Felipe Carrillo Puerto (the state’s governor from 1922 to 1924), José Vasconcelos (writer, philosopher, and politician), and Diego Rivera (prominent painter), amongst other personalities, by chef Carlos Siqueff. The other version states that chef Olegario Katún and Carlos Saidén Isaac improvised the dish for another governor, Álvaro Torres Díaz (in office 1926-1930), in Telchac Puerto, a few kilometres North of Motul. Apparently Saidén Isaac and Siqueff were actually partners at some point, and the allegations from each camp followed their parting ways without settling the provenance of the dish; regardless of where the dish was first concocted, because it was Sequiff who popularized the dish in his restaurant “La Sin Rival”, in Motul, it was ultimately named after Motul. Saidén Isaac always said that the secret of this recipe was to prepare the sauce with fresh ingredients. Nowadays, huevos motuleños are well-known not only in Yucatan, but all around Mexico, and they are very easy to prepare for a weekend brunch at home anywhere, including my kitchen in Canada.
Motul Style Eggs – Huevos motuleños
Ingredients (for two portions)
1 cup refried beans, preferably black (click here for my recipe, or canned)
4 corn tortillas
1 plantain; washed
¼ cup cooking oil
1 cup cubed cooked ham
1 cup cooked peas (fresh, canned or frozen)
1 large tomato; washed
¼ large onion; peeled
1 clove garlic; peeled
1-2 habanero peppers; washed
Salt, to taste
Set up the first four ingredients and half the oil:
The rest of the ingredients are for the sauce:
Fill a small pot with water and bring it to boil over high heat; score a cross on the smooth end of the tomato and place in the boiling water (photo below, left). When the skin starts to separate from the flesh, remove tomato, peel carefully, removing stem end and chopping finely; pour into a bowl, including any juices from the board, and set aside. Pour two tablespoons of oil in a dry pot, and warm up over medium heat; meanwhile, chop onions finely and mince garlic. Sauté onions in the pot just until translucent, then add garlic and reserved tomatoes (photo below, right):
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for five minutes; add the habanero pepper(s), and cover pot (photo below, left). After five more minutes, uncover pot and add cubed ham and cooked peas (photo below, right):
Keep sauce simmering while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
Peel plantain and slice in diagonal. In a large frying pan, warm up one tablespoon of oil over medium heat, and add plantain; allow to cook until golden brown, then flip slices (photo below, left). When brown on the other side, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels (photo below, right):
Reserve plantain. To the same pan, add the last tablespoon of oil, and lightly crisp the corn tortillas, one at a time, for a few seconds on each side (photo below, left). Transfer tortillas, two per serving plate, and spread one quarter of a cup of refried beans on each tortilla (photo below, right):
In the same pan, fry two eggs at a time, done to taste; I like to prepare mine by covering the pan to cook the top without having to flip them (photo below, left). The traditional way to arrange the eggs for motuleños is to place both on top of one of the tortillas, then cover them with the other tortilla, but I was nervous that the egg yolks would break, so I chose to place one egg on top of each tortilla, as shown in the photo below, right:
Finish the plate by topping with half the sauce for each portion, and dividing the plantain slices between them, as well:
As I assembled each platter, I admired in awe how this preparation began to transform into something bigger that the sum of its ingredients. I also liked my choice of keeping both tortillas at the bottom; the eggs were showing nicely through the sauce, with no risk of damaging the yolks or towered ingredients toppling over when the rich sauce was poured on top. Some recipes also call for grated cheese on top and steamed carrots and beets on the side, but I thought it was a very well balanced platter as it was, with each bite full with so much flavour. A glass of fresh orange juice was the perfect complement for this weekend brunch feast.
I am sharing my recipe at Thursday Favourite Things #463, with Bev @ Eclectic Red Barn, Pam @ An Artful Mom, Katherine @ Katherine’s Corner, Amber @ Follow the Yellow Brick Home, Theresa @ Shoestring Elegance and Linda @ Crafts a la Mode.