Author Notes: I learned this technique from a fantastic cook in Tepoztlan, Mexico. It’s traditional to make tortillas on a well seasoned comal, but a griddle is a suitable alternative.
- 1.5 cups masa harina
- 1.5 cups (scant) nearly boiling water
- Whisk the water into the masa. Note that masa and water behave differently depending on the weather. You want a soft dough. Add more water if you need to. The softer the better, as those are the ones that puff up. Set aside for 10 minutes, to allow the masa to absorb the water.
- Knead gently and form into a disk. Wrap loosely in plastic to rest for an hour.
Chili Arbol Sauce & Hidden Eggs
- 8-12 dried arbol chilis, depending on heat preference
- 8 roma tomatoes
- 1 small onion, halved horizontally
- 8 large (very fresh) eggs
- Chopped Cilantro
- Salt & Pepper
- Gently toast the chilis on the heated comal until they change color to a toasty red. Be careful, they burn easily. Toss the toasted chilis into the blender.
- Char the tomatoes on the comal until the skin blisters. Char and toast the cut side of the onion on the comal, too.
- Coarsely chop the tomatoes and onion and toss them into the blender. Puree.
- Pour the puree into a skillet and gently simmer to reduce by 1/2. This will take 10-15 min. and can be done in advance.
- Cut the Masa Dough into 12 pieces and form each into a ball. Press in a tortilla press lined with plastic on each side of the press. As the tortillas are pressed, peel off the plastic and place on the comal to cook, continuing to press and cook until all the tortillas are formed.
- Watch carefully. The tortilla will start to cook, blistering and toasting, and suddenly, it will puff up. Here’s the hidden part - grab the tortilla with your asbestos fingers, slit the edge and slip in a whole egg. I’ve used a little pyrex cup measure for this as the spout is helpful.
- Carefully put the tortilla back on the comal, having flipped it in the process. Let the egg cook inside the tortilla for three to five minutes, depending on how firm you like the yolk.*
- Puddle some arbol sauce on a warm plate. Slip the hidden egg/tortilla off the comal and gently place it on the plate. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with chunky homemade guacamole, fresh salsa, crema, lime wedges, and extra tortillas to mop up the egg and sauce.
- For brunch, serve these with black or pinto beans on the side, ice cold Sangrita and tequila.
- *If this seems like too much to tackle in the morning, just make the tortillas, stacking them in a towel to keep warm. Once they’re done, fry the eggs on the comal in a little butter, and plate sauce, tortilla, egg, tortilla, in a stack. Either way, they’re a real crowd pleaser.