Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mexican - hold the cheese

When most people think of Mexican food, lard and a heavy layer of cheese often come to mind. While that may be true of Tex-Mex, and even to a certain extent popular Cali-Mex dishes, a lot of dishes from the interior of Mexico make use of neither ingredient.

Papadzules is one such dish. It comes from the Yucatan, and it doesn't use meat, either, but eggs. I published a recipe for this enchilada-like dish a couple of years ago, but here's a version that's easier to make and takes less than 30 minutes. We had them last night and they were oh-so-good.

The pumpkin-seed sauce tastes best if you toast the pumpkin seeds before processing them, but using the raw seeds is fine, too.

Lori K's easy papadzules
Serves 2

8 paper towels
8 corn tortillas
1 can of Rotel tomatoes with cilantro and lime
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup boiling water
Salt to taste
4 eggs, hardboiled and quartered lengthwise (see note below)

Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in an iron skillet that's not much larger than your tortillas until it is medium hot. When you toss a crumb in and it sizzles, it's ready. Put a paper towel on a heat-proof plate, pick up a corn tortilla with tongs, submerge it in the oil about 10 seconds each side, drain over the oil briefly, then put on the paper towel. Fold it over the hot tortilla and put another paper towel over it. Repeat for all 8 tortillas, then flip the stack over.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Open and drain the tomatoes.
Put the toasted pumpkin seeds in a food processor and turn it on. Add the water slowly and purée until smooth. Salt to taste.
On each tortilla, put two quarters of egg, end to end, and put some of the tomato in the middle. Roll up tightly and put in an 8x8 baking pan. It will be easier to serve if you put 7 across and 1 to the side. Top with the pumpkin seed sauce.
Bake for 15 minutes and serve.

Hardboiled eggs note: To get hardboiled eggs that won't get gray around the yolks when chilled, put four in a small enameled iron saucepan. Cover with cold water, add a little vinegar and salt, and bring to a FULL rolling boil. Turn off the heat and cover with a lid. After 25 minutes, drain and rinse in cold water. Peel just before using.