Sue has long had a fondness for huevos rancheros. A few years ago, I managed to divert her away from the unimaginative restaurant varieties by suggesting that we could do much better at home. Since then I have witnessed an amazing evolution of her perception of this classical southwest dish into a fresh new creation we now call “Huevos Internacional.”
The journey was rather arduous in the beginning. After sampling every available bottled chili sauce we could find, Sue rejected them all and began making her own. Despite the few hiccups along the way, today she regularly delights me with the current incarnation. As with most things in our lives, it steadily improves.
As usual, our favorites tend to evolve toward balance, ingredients which support our constitutions, and flavors born from sheer inspiration. Since we generally shy away from extremes, the dish is fairly mild, in terms of heat. After you’ve tried Sue’s version, please let your own inspiration take the recipe in whatever direction you’re guided. Isn’t that half the fun of cooking — or most of the fun of doing anything?
Any bottled chili sauce will do a severe injustice to the flavors in this recipe. Buckle down and make it from scratch:
Bring the ghee to a mild heat, stir in the chili powder. Add enough flour for a roux. Quickly stir in the salt, cumin, & garlic, and quench with the chicken broth and water. Dissolve kudzu in room temperature water, pour into the sauce, and simmer for fifteen minutes.
This sauce keeps in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for about ten days, or you can freeze one meal sized amounts for longer storage.
Getting hungry? Saute in the ghee: zucchini, white bok choy stalks (reserve the green leaves), and onion. Add garlic, dulse, salt, and cumin to taste. Cover the bottom of a casserole dish with red chili sauce. Lay in a stack of two tortillas for each serving — a stack of two per person. Add more chili sauce. Spread the sauted vegetables on top. Arrange uncooked bok choy leaves around the perimeter of the tortillas, making a small hollow so the eggs won’t run out. Break two eggs into each of the “egg corrals.” Sprinkle with bits of feta and dollops of kalamata olive paste. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes, or until eggs have arrived at your preferred consistency.
Transferring each serving intact onto hot plates has become the duty of a great pancake spatula (six inches across) we picked up at Sur La Table. The spatula does a perfect job, but it’s really a two-person operation. If you’re cooking, don’t worry. Eager hands will show up to help you serve.
Sorry, I can’t help myself. When I say tortilla, I wouldn’t want you to think I meant these horrid wheat things found everywhere today. As far as allergens go, corn and wheat are neck-and-neck at the top of the list of substances to which Americans are most allergic. But when it comes to flavor, equality vanishes. Tortillas, thankfully, are, and always have been, made of corn.
These wheat things are a white boy’s invention — and they taste like it. Would you eat a wheat chip with your salsa? Would you sit in the morning sun outside the local tortillaria and consume a quarter kilo of fresh, warm wheat tortillas? Without being ill, that is.
Indulge in these pasty, tasteless, gooey discs if you must, but please know that you are not eating a tortilla.
Now that my prejudice is thoroughly exposed, it’s probably best to admit that lovers of Tex-Mex may be disappointed in this recipe. Be forewarned: this is not Tex-Mex. But it is delicious food and we hope you’ll consider trying it!
And since I've mentioned allergies, tortillas made exclusively with sprouted grains (of any variety) are less likely to induce an inflammatory response in those who are sensitive to the unsprouted grain. And the sprouting process enhances not only flavor, but nutrient content and accessibility as well.
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