Fried Eggs with Two Salsas
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Huevos divorciados ('Divorced Eggs') is a classic Mexican breakfast composed of two fried eggs served with tortillas and separate red and green salsas. With refried beans and a little queso fresco, you've got a stand-out meal that only takes a few minutes to put together.
How do you like your eggs? Are you picky about them, or a little more easy-going? Can you let someone make eggs for you, or do you need to be the one tending the frying pan? Can you compromise on the accoutrements, or are you destined for an eggy confrontation?
While I tend to subscribe to the 'different strokes for different folks' attitude, I think we'll all admit that there are certain foods we can be a little particular about. If you're cooking for one, it's no big deal, but when it comes time to share a meal things can get a bit testy at times. Sometimes there's a compromise to be had, though. In this case, that compromise is divorce.
The cheekily named huevos divorciados (Spanish for "divorced eggs") is a delightful Mexican breakfast standard. A play off of the ever-popular huevos rancheros, the recipe is notable for the use of two salsas served separately with two eggs - i.e., divorced. The eggs, it seems, couldn't quite decide on which salsa made the best accompaniment, leaving the chef with no choice but to divide things right down the middle. Like a child with two Christmases, the lucky diner gets to enjoy double the festivities. Indecisive breakfast fans dining solo will enjoy the fact that you get two rather different flavours on one plate, while those inclined towards sharing might find that they end up with a little more of one side of the plate than the other. Hopefully the split can be handled amicably. At least if you make it at home you don't have to deal with the bill.
Huevos divorciados are wonderfully, almost unbelievably easy to make. If you can fry an egg, you can make huevos divorciados. Now, that being said, I've got a couple of tips - because I always have a couple of tips. Read on - or jump right in by heading to the recipe card below.
Getting the Eggs Right
There's a pretty good chance that you already know exactly how you like your eggs done, in which case... just ignore me and move on. But if you're a little on the fence about how best to cook the eggs for this recipe, allow me to make a suggestion.
When it comes to a frying eggs, we tend to pay the most attention to the yolk - i.e. whether or not it's left runny. This is an important choice of course, but there's another factor that gets left out of the conversation all-too-often: crispiness. You can fry an egg at relatively low heat for a soft, uniform look, or fry it at high heat with extra oil to really crisp it up. Some will insist that fried eggs should be delicate and soft, but I personally live for the crispy bits, and I think they're awesome with tortillas. Crispy-bottomed fried eggs have the added advantage of being easier and faster to make too.
Unless you want your eggs flipped (i.e. over easy/medium/hard), I recommend frying the eggs with a skillet that has a lid, as it will help us to properly set the whites. Preheat a skillet over high heat and add vegetable oil. Don't be afraid to be generous with the oil, especially if your pan isn't non-stick. Let the oil get very hot, then add an egg (cooking one at a time is easiest, but if you're feeling daring you can do multiples). Reduce the heat to medium and fry until the edges are looking browned and nicely crispy, then put the lid on the pan. This will trap heat in the pan and allow the whites to set - the longer you leave the pan on, the firmer the egg will be. The eggs you see in the pictures here were covered for about a minute.
If you don't have a lid for your frying pan, you can simply flip the eggs and cook them to your desired level of doneness. That being said, you might have a lid whether you know it or not; a domed lid from a medium-sized pot or pan can be placed right into the frying pan to cover the egg itself, rather than the whole pan.
Salsas: Home-made vs. Store-bought
I honestly didn't realize how much salt was added to store-bought salsa before I made this recipe. This is going to vary from brand to brand, but as a general rule, shelf-stable pre-made salsa has a fair bit of salt added (and much more than homemade). If you're looking to keep your sodium intake down, I strongly recommend either making your own salsa, or looking for a low-salt salsa in stores. Try looking in the refrigerated section for fresh salsas, as these will often have less added salt (which is part of why the reason they're refrigerated).
If you want to make your own salsas, there are plenty of recipes out there. For salsa verde, I love Pati Jinich's recipe. Red salsas are really variable, so don't be afraid to experiment. I like a simple charred tomato salsa - this one from Good Housekeeping is a great starting point, and you can omit the cilantro if it's not your thing. Charred veggie salsas are fantastic and very easy, with a flavour that's generally way better than anything you'll find in stores. I char my ingredients on my barbecue, which is wonderfully quick, and ideal in the summer, but you can use the oven too.
Beans, Queso Fresco, Etc.
Add or subtract from the this meal as you see fit. I like refried beans (black or pinto) a lot here, but if you don't have/like them you can leave them out. I love cilantro so it's a natural fit for me, but if you're in the "it tastes like soap" camp, you can swap it for parsley or just leave it out. Queso fresco is a nice little touch, but if it's hard to find you could use a little goat cheese, sour cream, or just omit it (sensing a trend?). Avocado, red onion, and lime wouldn't be out of place either.
Corn tortillas are 100% the go-to standard for huevos divorciados and other Mexican egg breakfasts. You could use small flour tortillas, but unless you have a particularly compelling reason to do so, I wouldn't both to make the swap. If you do use flour tortillas, it's worth being aware that they are higher in fat and calories than their corny compatriots. They're also not gluten-free, but hopefully you already knew that.
Healthy! Huevos divorciados is low carb, high protein, nutrient dense, and filling. Basically, it's a perfect breakfast. The added refried beans also add more protein and fiber to the recipe, plus they help fill you up.
Two eggs in one serving makes for a high cholesterol count, but this is less important than the saturated fat levels, which are fairly low in this recipe. Note that using butter or lard instead of vegetable oil, or adding a LOT of queso fresco will increasing the saturated fat levels substantially.
The nutritional information uses 'standard' values for store-bought salsas, and these numbers are obscenely high in sodium. I used homemade salsa, with WAY less salt. If you're using store-bought salsa, pay attention to the labels, and look for a good quality brand without a lot of added salt. Try looking for freshly made refrigerated salsas, as these tend not to lean so heavily on using salt as a preservative.
- 2 large eggs
- 2 corn tortillas
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- pinch salt
- 2 tbsp salsa roja (red salsa) homemade or store-bought
- 2 tbsp salsa verde (green salsa) homemade or store-bought
- 1/4 cup refried beans (optional)
- cotija or queso fresco (optional)
- cilantro chopped (optional)
- Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Add a tortilla and fry one side for 30-45 seconds, or until it's a little toasted and nicely flexible. Flip the tortilla and fry for another 20 seconds, then set it aside on the serving plate and repeat the process with the second tortilla.
- Increase the heat to high and add the vegetable oil. Add the eggs to the hot pan, season with salt, and fry to desired doneness. For this recipe, I like a soft yolk and firm whites, so I let the bottoms crisp up in the oil, then cover the pan with a lid for 30 seconds or so to finish firming up the whites.
- Plate the finished eggs on the tortillas. Top one egg with salsa roja, and one with salsa verde. If you're using refried beans, you can serve them on the side, or make a little partition between the two eggs for added drama. Top with cotija or queso fresco and a sprinkling of cilantro.
More Mexican on Diversivore
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