Saturday, January 26, 2013

Recipe: Huevodillas

The ideal pre-ride breakfast...explained.

A friend of mine showed me how to make this simple morning concoction a while back, and it quickly became my standard breakfast on bike ride mornings. Don't bother Googling "huevodilla" because all you'll find is a bunch of overly complex, overthought, over-engineered contrivances that frankly violate the spirit of the name: huevodilla, as in huevo (egg) in a tortilla, just as quesadilla means queso (cheese) in a tortilla. (And as for "huevadilla" with an a, that's apparently Spanish slang for persons and/or behaviors some might find offensive, so best to avoid that term.)

Now I'm not a chemist or a dietitian, so I don't know why the huevodilla turns out to be such a fantastic fuel-up for a day of road cycling. All I know is, two of these babies in the morning, and I'm slammin' up Montebello Road like Lance Armstrong on sterioids (which is to say, like Lance Armstrong).

The huevodilla, like the quesadilla, can be augmented with additional ingredients (think of chicken quesadillas): I have a friend who makes his huevodillas with a bit of ham added, and another who adds chorizo, and so on. My particular favorite is the huevodilla con queso, with just a bit of cheddar cheese added.

These are the ingredients, and it's hard to imagine anything so flavorful and at the same time so simple:

Ingredients for 2 Huevodillas con Queso

  • One large egg
  • One soft-taco-size corn tortilla
  • One teaspoon of your favorite salsa
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For the con queso version, 1/2 ounce shredded cheddar cheese
Because the huevodilla takes less than 5 minutes to prepare, I recommend arranging all of your ingredients for easy access before starting, as shown in the photo above.

The tools you'll need are simple as well:
  • A small non-stick skillet
  • A silicone or other non-stick-friendly spatula
To prepare the huevodilla, do this:

Heat a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in the skillet. Heat should be medium-high, as you would normally use for frying an egg.

Once the oil is hot, roll the pan around to spread it evenly, then crack one of the eggs into the middle of the pan. (If the egg yolk rides up onto the sides of the pan, you can have problems later.) The egg should sizzle when it hits the pan.

Immediately after cracking the egg into the pan, puncture the yolk with the corner of your spatula.

Immediately after puncturing the yolk, place the tortilla over the top of the egg. You want to do this before the egg cooks at all so that the egg will adhere to tortilla.

Let the egg cook with the tortilla over it for about 2 minutes, or to whatever your taste is for fried eggs. I like mine over easy, and 1-2 minutes usually does the trick for me.

At this point you should be able to pick up the skillet and slide the cooking huevodilla around on the oil. If you're a pro chef, you can flip the huevodilla like an omelet, but if you're a poser like me, you'll want to slide your spatula under the egg and flip it so the tortilla side is down, then immediately season with salt...

...and some fresh-ground pepper.

Place the grated cheese onto the egg, slightly off to one side. (You'll be folding the tortilla in half in a few seconds.)

Spoon the salsa in on top of the cheese.

With your spatula, fold the egg-only side of the tortilla over onto the cheese-and-salsa side.

And you're done. Cooking the huevodilla for another 30-60 seconds is fine, but there's enough heat in there at this point to melt the cheese, so it's not necessary to do that.

If you're smart like me, you'll serve this one to your wife while you make a couple for yourself.

These are great served with cold orange juice to take the sting off the hot salsa, and make sure you've got some paper towels handy, because these can be some messy eating. (Think of La Fiesta soft tacos.)