Eggs Poached in an Achiote-Pepper Sauce
I wouldn't claim for a second that this is a Mexican recipe... it can't be! Because I don't know how to cook Mexican food... and apart from that- I just made it up this evening!
And yet, it is simple, delicious, and packed with the great flavor of Achiote, which I decided to try out in combination with eggs this evening... and I am so glad that I did!
This is basically "eggs in purgatory"- although I made them rather spicy, with plenty of chili flakes... so that if I had made them a little more spicy, I could almost have called them "eggs in hell"- haha!
It didn't take much, to make a great meal! 2 eggs, 1 red pepper, 1 onion, 3-4 cherry tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of achiote powder, 1 tablespoon of oregano, chili flakes to taste, a little fresh parsley and a little fresh thyme.
So rich and tasty- but immediately made milder as soon as the egg yolk mingles with the sauce! There are not many egg dishes that can compare to this- it is pretty egg-citing stuff!
Have some crusty bread or as I did some tortillas at the ready to soak up all of that saucy goodness!
All you need to do is to chop up your vegetables- I decided to leave mine a little chunkier for a little more texture.
Start off with the onion, achiote, oregano and chili and fry until it becomes translucent.
See what a wonderful color it becomes? I absolutely love this stuff!
Add the peppers and tomato, salt and pepper and give them a good sizzle for the next 3-4 minutes.
Cover well with boiling water, add thyme and allow to simmer gently for the next 15-20 minutes.
As you can see, after 20 minutes, a lot of the the water has evaporated away and it has rendered the tomato, pepper and achiote down into a nice sauce. If yours is still too liquid- fear not- simply add a little tomato paste... although, fortunately for me, mine wasn't- hehe! I wanted to avoid having too much of a tomato flavor, as I wanted my dish to taste different to regular "eggs in purgatory"... and speaking of eggs, the next step was to gently drop the eggs into the sauce.
Crack the eggs into a small cup or bowl and drop them in gently, close to the surface of the sauce, so that they do not spread out too much. Allow them to simmer in the sauce for 6-7 minutes, depending on how firm you prefer the yolk. Basically, I left mine in until all of the egg whites were completely opaque... nobody wants to eat runny egg-whites!
I put the lid on my saucepan to trap in the heat and make sure they cooked nicely from above, through the trapped steam... this makes them cook more quickly but will make the yolks "cloud over" a little... So I guess how you choose to cook yours will depend on how much of an aesthete you are and in how much of a hurry you are to eat!
But the bottom line is... that by the time you DO sit down to eat... you will be a very happy person! Because you will be enjoying THIS!