Huevos Benedictinos on Sopes and Chorizo with Poblano Chile Sauce
This chile pepper is often mislabeled ‘Pasilla’, which is a different pepper entirely.It is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico and has won the appreciation of many a chef worldwide because of the superior flavor it has over regular bell peppers.
They have a tough outer skin that usually requires roasting and peeling before use. These very large chile peppers are most popular in chiles rellenos recipes, but cooking with these as a substitute for bell peppers in any recipe will enhance the flavor.
For the sopes:
2 cups masa harina
4 Tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
Oil for coating skillet
For the Poblano Chile Sauce:
1 large fresh poblano chile, roasted, skinned, seeded, and chopped
1/2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp white onion, finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup milk, whole
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
For the Chorizo:
1 lb chorizo
For the Poached Eggs:
8 large fresh eggs
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp white vinegar
For the assembly:
1 large, ripe tomato, finely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
For the Sopes:
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Slowly add the warm water while stirring with a mixing spoon.Now it’s time to go hands on. Kneed the dough until it is thoroughly mixed.
Traditionally, sopes are formed by taking a walnut-size ball and flattening it between a folded-over piece of plastic wrap to about ¼ inch (.64 cm.) thickness. (You can use a tortilla press too.)
Keep covered with a slightly damp towel while you form the remainder.
An alternate and quicker method involves rolling out the dough on a lightly floured surface and using a round cookie cutter to cut out the sopes.
Gather up the scrap dough and re-roll for more sopes. You will immediately notice that the sopes are delicate and prone to damage. No worries, just carefully repair any breaks.
Heat a large cast iron skillet until moderately hot then brush lightly with some oil. Carefully place the sopes in the hot skillet and cook until lightly browned in spots, about 1-2 minutes per side. Remove to a warm platter and keep warm.
For the poblano chile sauce:
Roast the poblano directly over a gas flame on your stove. If you have only an electric range, your option is your oven or outdoor grill. A charcoal grill is excellent as it imparts a smoky flavor to the chiles. Your goal is to char the exterior of the chiles so they will peel easily.
My method for doing this quickly is roasting on the stove top flame along with the aid of a blowtorch—not one of those petite crème brûlée torches- the kind you have around the house to thaw frozen pipes. This is very helpful for charring any deep crevices and the end of the chile where the stem is attached.
When the chile is completely charred, place in a bowl with some scalding hot water and cover to let the chile steam for about 20-30 minutes.
Don your latex or vinyl gloves to protect your hands while you peel, seed and chop the chiles.
To peel it, hold the chile by one hand on a cutting board and scrape the charred peel away from you. It should come off with ease.
Remove the stem end, cut the chile open and begin scraping away the seeds and any membranes.Chop finely.
Melt the butter in a small, heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for a few minutes. Add the chopped chile and continue sautéing for a couple of minutes. Add the cream and milk while whisking constantly.
Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for a few minutes until it thickens and is reduced to about 1 cup. Season with the salt and white pepper.
Transfer the sauce to a blender and purée until smooth. (Be extra careful when blending hot liquids. I cover the blender lidded jar with a heavy towel and hold it on tightly when I switch on the blender.)
Keep the sauce warm until ready to use.
Note: You could make a hollandaise or a béchamel sauce with the poblano as well. The lightest would be a béchamel made with just milk, butter, flour and the poblano.
For the chorizo:
Form the chorizo into 8 patties. Cook until done in a heavy skillet. Set aside and keep warm.
For the poached eggs:
Fill a 12-inch (30 cm.) skillet nearly to rim with water, add the salt and vinegar, and bring mixture to boil over high heat.
Carefully break the eggs into 8 small-handled tea cups.
Lower the lips of 4 of the cups into the water at once: tip the eggs into the boiling water, cover, and remove from the heat.
Poach for 4 minutes for medium-firm yolks. Carefully remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-covered plate. Repeat with the remaining four eggs.
For the assembly:
Place two sopes on each plate. Place a sausage patty on top of the sope. Gently lay an egg on each sausage patty. Spoon some of the poblano chile sauce over all and garnish with the chopped tomato and cilantro.