I’ve been rediscovering corn tortillas.Â When I was growing up, we never heated or fried them, so I thought of corn tortillas as these horrible crumbly things that tasted like styrofoam.Â Last month I made a fun Diana Kennedy recipe (she credits Sra. Josefina VelÃ¡squez de LeÃ³n), Indios Vestidos (if that link works, it’s the second search result, pp 93-94), a sort of chile-relleno-without-the-chile, and had leftover tortillas and salsa, which led to the above-pictured breakfast item.
The one time I did enjoy corn tortillas as a kid was when my dad made what my mom called “Eggs Montoya” — essentially eggs scrambled with torn-up tortillas; ideally with some green Hatch chile mixed in (I recently fell back on a Poblano, and it was totally adequate).
The morning after the Indios Vestidos, then, I remembered one of my favorite breakfasts in the world, from a beloved restaurant in Chicago; I re-created it with what I had at hand, and now I’ve been making it more than once a week.
Huevos Diablos/Montoya Juniores, after the Handlebar and my dad.
â€¢ 1/2 or maybe 1 whole white/yellow onion
â€¢ 2 canned Chipotle peppers in adobo; add a little more adobo sauce from the can.
â€¢ 1 1/4 lb roasted tomatoes; either broil them yourself or use e.g. the canned Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes — but don’t use the whole can, or if you do, add another chipotle.
Fry the onions in the oil until they are soft & translucent.
Puree the tomatoes with the chipotles until they are smooth/uniform.
Dump the puree into the pan with the onions; reduce for 5 min or so, and season.Â Keep warm while you make the rest:
If you’re making a bunch of these, warm the oven so the plated tortillas will stay warm as you cook the eggs.
â€¢ Eggs: 1-2 per person (or tofu, see below)
â€¢ Corn Tortillas — 3 per egg.
â€¢ Melty grating cheese: jack, muenster, havarti; chile pepper adulteration would not be inappropriate here.
â€¢ Some oil.
â€¢ Cotija cheese for crumbling on top
â€¢ 1/2 avocado per person (optional)
Heat less than a teaspoon of oil in a cast-iron pan until it is hot but not smoking.
Drop a tortilla on the pan, and move the tortilla around for five seconds or so, then flip it and fry for five seconds more.Â Put it on a plate and grate a skimpy layer of cheese on top.Â Repeat this process until you have a stack of three tortillas with cheese between each layer.Â You will need to add more oil as the pan dries out. Make as many of these stacks as you want to serve: 1 is enough for me to eat, but S prefers two.
Fry the eggs to your liking; I like the way a runny yolk mixes with the salsa.
Spoon a generous helping (1/2 cup?) of the salsa onto each tortilla pile, then put the egg on top; crumble some cotija cheese onto the whole.Â Avocado slices, lightly sprinkled with salt, make a perfect companion.
Notwithstanding my runny-yolk predilection, this is at least as good, if not better, with tofu instead of eggs.Â I like large, thin slices — slice off <1/4 inch pieces from the end of the block of tofu as if it were a loaf of bread, and then fry in a couple tablespoons of peanut oil until brown; flip and fry on the other side.