Adventures in Eating: Yucatan Tomato Sauce

The saga of Vikki and Bruce’s wedding continues. Since they are WOM Club members, I could not resist passing on some housekeeping advice to newlyweds taken from the “Buckeye Cookery” (1898).

“There is no luck in housekeeping, how­ever it may seem. Even by exact rule, and even with thorough knowledge, eternal vig­ilance is the price of success. There must be a place for everything and everything in its place, a time for everything and everything in its time, and “patience, patience” must be written in glowing capitals all over the walls. The reward is sure. Your husband may admire your grace and ease in society, your wit, your school-day accomplish­ments of music and painting, but all in per­fection will not atone for an ill-ordered kitchen, sour bread, muddy coffee, tough meats, unpalatable vegetables, indigestible pastry, and the whole train of horrors that result from bad housekeeping; on the other hand, success wins gratitude and attach­ment in the home circle, and adds luster to the most brilliant intellectual accomplish­ments.” Wow!

Now to the entrée for her bridal luncheon continued from last month. Do not despair as you read the description. The compo­nents are do-aheads.

The entree is called Eggs Motul, prepared as follows: a fried corn tortilla, spread with black beans, topped with a sunnyside egg, covered with Yucatan Tomato Sauce, and then sprinkled with chopped sauteed ham and cooked peas. It is a fabulous dish. The layers of flavors surprise the taste buds. You all know how to fry a corn tortilla! So let’s start with this special tomato sauce:


4 dried Ancho or New Mexico chilies

2/3 cup boiling water

6 lge tomatoes; peeled, seeded, chopped

4 to 6 fresh or canned hot green chili peppers; seeds and stems removed (start with 4)

2 medium onions; cut into quarters

1 lge clove garlic; crushed

2 tb olive or vegetable oil

2 tb orange juice

1 tb cider vinegar

1 tb lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1.) Remove stems, seeds and veins of chilies while rinsing under cold water. Cut chilies into 1-inch pieces; place in 2/3 cup boiling water. Let stand 45 minutes. (Do not touch eyes while working with chilies; wash hands immediately after preparing them.)

2.) Place chilies and water in blender con­tainer with tomatoes, green chili peppers, onions and garlic; cover. Purée until smooth. Heat oil in 10 inch skillet over me­dium heat; add tomato mixture. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Stir in re­maining ingredients. Simmer until raw taste disappears, about 30 minutes. Add water if sauce becomes too thick.

Tips: For best flavor prepare and refrigerate 2-3 weeks ahead. Sauce should be the con­sistency of a salsa. I added a 1/2 cup of to­mato sauce while it simmered, and a 1/2 teaspoon of crushed oregano.

In the following issues I will give you the black bean recipe and easy way to handle the other ingredients that we used.

More next month, compadres.

– Rosemarie

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