We (me and my former flatmate Seil, in our little EX-council flat in Bethnal Green, with deck chairs in the sitting room, a rocking dinosaur, and a garden overgrown with weeds no matter how many hours we spent trying to conquer it) first discovered it in the Sunday Times Style, a Jamie Oliver recipe from Jamie’s American Road Trip. http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/style/food/Eating_In/article183451.ece. Since then it has evolved, and this is the result.This is for two or three, with some mix left over to put in the freezer so that you can impress people at a minute’s notice. Give me a couple of minutes and I’ll just whip you up a Ranchero/Enchilada/amazing pasta sauce/on toast with melted cheese/on a bed of spinach with a poached egg on top for a carb-free mid-week supper, and look like a Domestic Goddess. I have a log of biscuit mix in my freezer too, so that I can have freshly baked biscuits on the table in 10 minutes. Makes you look fancy even when you don’t feel it.Ingredients
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 packet mature cheddar cheese
1 bunch coriander
1 packet of the big tortillas
2 red peppers
1 red onion
1 clove garlic
Chilli flakes or 1 fresh red chilli (or one from the freezer if you’ve been clever and done that, in a jam jar, next to the jam jar of breadcrumbs)
Seasoning – some Herbes de Provence, sugar, Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
A frying pan with a lid
1 Slice the red peppers, start softening them in a big frying pan – it’ll take about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the red onion, then add that, and cook until they’re both softened. Add a hefty sprinkling of chilli flakes (just under a heaped teaspoonful if you’re feeling brave) or the 1 red chilli.
2 Crush the garlic (get one of these, I hate stinky fingers http://amzn.to/11kz8sb), add that, and be careful not to let it burn. Cook for just a couple of minutes, then add the chopped tomatoes. Turn it up, and bubble bubble bubble. At some point, add a teaspoon or so of sugar until it loses that harsh tinned tomato taste, plenty of sea salt and ground pepper, and a shake of Herbes de Provence/Mixed Herbs/Oregano/Whatever you have that’s dried and green, within reason. Thyme won’t work, nor will Rosemary).
3 While it’s bubbling, make Bloody Marys/coffee/tea/shandies.
4 Grate the cheese, chop the coriander, warm the tortillas in the microwave or in foil in the oven at 180 for about 5 mins (1 tortilla each)
5 When the red pepper sauce has all bubbled down to a thick consistency, YOU NEED TO PUT ASIDE ALL DISTRACTIONS, GRAB A FRIEND, AND CONCENTRATE.
6 Make egg-sized wells in the red sauce – 1 for each egg. Get the lid ready. Get the eggs ready. Turn the heat to medium.
7 Crack an egg into each hole, then salt from a height. This is very important but I don’t know why, so just do it. Jamie says so. QUICKLY, put the lid on, step back, say Phew, and then hover near it for 2 minutes.
8 After 2-3 minutes, when the eggs have finished poaching in the red spicy juices, they will be ready. Quickly lift the lid up to check after 1 minute. If they’re cooked too much on the bottom, and none on the top, the heat is too high. If they’re still completely clear, it’s too low. They are ready when just cooked, maybe even a tiny bit still wobbly as they’ll carry on cooking while you’re building the wrap.
9 Tortilla on the plate. Spicy sauce with red peppers on top. Then the egg. Then an absolute crap-load of cheese (see picture). Then the coriander. Fold the bottom over first, then the sides – it is imperative to get the bottom folded over (for some reason men are really bad at remembering – maybe they’re too excited) so that the egg doesn’t spill out of the bottom.
10 At some point while eating your Ranchero, your perfectly cooked yolk will suddenly go ppppffffffffssshhhwwwwwww and dribble all over the cheese, which will have slightly melted. I sometimes keep stuffing more cheese on top as I go.
11 If you have a ripe avocado in your fridge, or any sour cream, they are also delicious additions.
12 Holy crap, I love Mexico.
Picture caption: on the left is Philly, on the right is Pascoe.