Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fried Egg with Squash and Tomatillo

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Fried Egg with Squash and Tomatillo
Serves: 4
Fried Egg with Squash and Tomatillo 
Tomatillos are also called "tomate verde" in Mexico (which means green tomato) and are considered a staple in Mexican cooking. Tomatillo is a member of the nightshade family, related to tomatoes. It now grows everywhere in the Western Hemisphere. An inedible paper-like husk formed from the calyx surrounds the tomatillo fruit. As the fruit matures, it fills the husk and can split it open by harvest. The freshness and greenness of the husk are key criteria for quality. Fruit should be firm and bright green, as the green color and tart flavor are the main culinary contributions of the fruit. To prepare, peel the husk by hand and wash them thoroughly in cold water to remove sticky residue from the surface. Fresh tomatillos can be used raw and cooked in recipes.
The taste explosion of this entrée comes as a surprise – the tangy tomatillo sauce creates the bed for the caramelized squash with the egg providing both a protein source and sauce to bathe the dish. The recipe is surprisingly simple, taking less than 40 minutes to prepare – add a green salad, some bread and you are done. It will serve 4 and provide an elegant entrée.
  • 1-2 jalapenos
  • ½ lb tomatillos
  • 2 peeled garlic cloves
  • 5 Tb olive oil (divided use)
  • 4½ C diced yellow and green squash (about 1½ lbs.)
  • 5 sprigs and 3 Tb chopped cilantro
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 large eggs

Turn on the broiler.  Place 1-2 jalapenos halved lengthwise, ½ lb tomatillos and 2 small peeled garlic cloves in an ovenproof dish and broil until the tomatillos are charred, about 7-10 minutes.
Broiled tomatillos
Swirl 2 Tb olive oil in a large skillet, heat. Add 4½ C one inch diced yellow and green squash.  Add squash in a single layer in skillet – if necessary do 2 batches. Salt and cook 4-5 minutes or until caramelized and tender. Remove from heat; stir in 3 Tb chopped fresh cilantro. Season, as needed, with additional salt. Cover to keep warm.
Squash before...and after (below)

Transfer tomatillo, jalapenos and garlic from broiler to blender with 5 sprigs of cilantro. Blend on high.  Slowly add 1½ Tb olive oil to blender until mixture smooth. Season to taste with salt and 2 tsp fresh lime juice.  Set aside, cover to keep warm.

Using a nonstick frying pan, add 1½ Tb olive oil and heat.  One at a time, crack 4 eggs into a small bowl. Tip the bowl gently, sliding one egg into the heated pan. Repeat with all 4 eggs.  Keep the heat low so you can control the cooking. Season with salt and fry 3-4 minutes, or until the whites are cooked and the yolks just begin to set (if you cook too long, you lose the “sauce” for the dish). It is sometimes useful to put a lid on the pan to encourage the whites to set up.

To serve, spoon 4-5 Tb warm tomatillo sauce in 4 shallow dishes. Mound roasted squash in center. Top with fried egg. Garnish with cilantro sprig and lime wedge and serve immediately. A wonderful light white wine would be perfect. The tomatillo sauce is a bit tangy so you would want to blend and not compete with that. I would serve with a Riesling or a wonderful Sauvignon Blanc. If you prefer a red wine – Syrah would be ideal. A beer would also be nice. Next, sit back and take in the praise.  Really.
The finished product, this time with the egg cut.
Bon Appetit!


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