There has been some well-deserved chatter about Tara'sbook. I'm adding my cheers and high-fives and big hugs because it is remarkable and sincere and just dang good. You see, Tara and I were working on our books at the same time, and I felt like I had a pal struggling along side. Thousands of miles away she may be. But I knew then, in those texts, that this girl cared far too much to be producing anything less than wonderful. She took this project seriously and it comes through on each and every page. It's not just that the recipes are unique, but she writes head notes and directions more beautifully and thorough than any I've seen. I feel like I can hear her talking me through it - anticipating my questions. That is what makes a great cookbook author. I skimmed through the book soon as it came and am currently spending evenings doting over every word because I just love how she writes. I'm throwing down a good amount of praise but this book deserves it. I have made the raspberry rhubarb rye crumble twice now, subbing strawberries in for the raspberries on her forewarning that it is quite tart and I wanted to reign that in a bit. This may be her debut in the cookbook world but it sure doesn't read like it's Tara's first rodeo by any stretch.
I can make a breakfast tostada. I know my way around an egg and a good sauce but these! These were just really special and have me jonesing to host a backyard brunch. I generally don't go futzing with charred vegetable sauces and fresh salsas first thing, but think these are the perfect to make the night before. Even a few days prior. You can't shortcut this step because the sauces are what make these exceptional. I've been thinning out the charred green onion one with more citrus and using it as a green salad dressing and am using some of the salsa for a brothy tortilla soup tomorrow night. I'm just saying they're really great.
So proud of you, Tara. xo
HUEVOS A LA PLAZA DE MERCADO // Serves 4
The sauces took a bit more time than I would spend on an average morning breakfast but are worth every moment. Consider making one or both the evening before and this dish will come together in minutes.
- / RED SAUCE /
- Small bunch of cilantro, leaves and tender stems
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- 1 jalapeno, mostly seeded and chopped
- 1 can (15 oz) whole, fire roasted tomatoes
- (4-6 ounces chorizo or sausage - this is included in Tara's recipe but we skipped the meat here)
- Salt and pepper, as needed
- / CHARRED GREEN ONION DRESSING /
- 6 green onions
- 2 serrano or jalapeno chiles
- generous pinch of smoked paprika
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt, not nonfat
- 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise (or more greek yogurt but the mayonnaise makes for great texture)
- small bunch of cilantro, leaves and tender stems
- zest and juice of one lime
- 1 Tbsp. agave nectar
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- / EGGS + TOPPINGS /
- mild olive oil or ghee for cooking the tortillas and egg
- 8 small corn tortillas
- 4-8 eggs
- 2 avocados pitted and diced small
- baby tomatoes, halved
- 4 ounces queso fresco
- Mexican-style hot sauce
- 2 limes, cut in wedges
To make the red sauce, in a blender, combine the cilantro, shallots, garlic, jalapeno, tomatoes and their liquid and buzz to make a puree.
Tip the tomato puree into a hot pot with a generous pinch of salt and pepper and bring it to a gentle boil. Cook, stirring regularly, until the sauce is thickened and tastes cooked. Around 30 minutes. Check for seasoning and keep warm.
For the green onion dressing, heat a large, cast-iron skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Cook the green onions and chiles, turning often, until charred all over. About 10 minutes. Let the vegetables cool on a plate. Trim the roots off the onions, as well as any leathery parts of the green end. Stem the chiles and remove some, most or all of the seeds depending on your spice preference.
In a blender or food processor, buzz the green onions, chiles, paprika, yogurt, mayonnaise, cilantro, lime zest and juice, agave and oil until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Chill for at least an hour for flavors to develop.
Heat a touch of oil in a large cast-iron skillet. Working in batches, warm the tortillas (or over an open flame if you prefer). Keep the tortillas warm in a preheated oven. Cook your eggs to order. Assemble your eggs over a warm tortillas with some of the red sauce, avocado, sliced baby tomatoes, queso fresco and some fresh cilantro. Drizzle on the green onion sauce and hot sauce if using. Tara suggests throwing them under the broiler for a quick minute just to give everything one last char. Serve the eggs right away with lime wedges on the side.
The sauces can be kept covered in the fridge for a week.