Grilling isn’t typically an early morning activity, but Grilled Eggs with Mexican Chorizo might change that. Of course, just because eggs are involved you don’t have to serve this tasty meal for breakfast. It’s also great as a side or main dish for dinner.
The method for grilling eggs is simple but ingenious: crack a raw egg into a bell pepper half and then grill until set. Cradled in the pepper, the egg cooks perfectly and the pepper is roasted by the flames, taking on a smoky, charred flavor. Fantastic as-is, you can bump the flavor up another notch by adding Mexican chorizo, a type of pork sausage that’s intensely seasoned with dried chiles, herbs and spices.
Unlike Spanish chorizo, which is cured and more similar to salami, Mexican chorizo is raw and needs to be cooked before eating. It’s sometimes sold in links, but often cooked as loose ground meat. If you’ve tasted Mexican chorizo before, you know how addictive the earthy, smoky, spicy flavor is. The flavor is so rich and complex that you might be surprised by how easy chorizo is to make at home.
Most of the seasonings you need are probably already in your spice rack: chile powder, paprika, dried oregano, cumin and cinnamon. The last, and most important, seasoning is dried chiles (either ancho or guajillo are most common) that have been re-hydrated and blended into a thick paste. Many grocery stores sell dried chiles and you can also buy them at Hispanic markets or from online spice stores.
The exact blend of spices in Mexican chorizo varies widely, depending on who’s making it. This recipe has a really nice balance of flavor; it’s neither too smoky or spicy. You can add another dried chile or some cayenne pepper to make it hotter; throw in allspice or cloves for a gentler, sweeter flavor.
Mexican chorizo tastes especially good with eggs, but can also be sautéed with dark leafy greens or tossed cold into a salad. You might even find yourself plucking pieces directly out of the skillet – it’s that good. In this recipe, though, the grilled eggs really steal the spotlight. The soft, creamy texture of the egg is amazing with the roasted pepper. Serve grilled eggs with a cup of coffee for breakfast or eat grilled eggs for dinner, either way you’re gonna love ‘em.
Makes 4 Grilled Eggs
2 dried chiles, either ancho or guajillo
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 pound of ground pork
1 teaspoon chile powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large bell peppers
Use a paring knife or kitchen shears to cut the stem off the dried chiles, cut the chiles open and scrape out the seeds. (If you want spicier sausage, keep some of the seeds in the pepper.)
In a dry skillet or pot heated on high, toast the chiles on each side for about 25 seconds so they start to blister and puff up a bit. Add a few cups of water; leave the heat on until the water begins to boil and then turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let chiles soak until soft, about 30 minutes.
Drain the water and combine the chiles and vinegar in a blender. Blend until a smooth paste forms.
In a large bowl, use your hands to mix the chile paste with the ground pork and the next 7 ingredients until well combined.
Cook the chorizo in a skillet over medium heat, breaking up the meat into small pieces as it cooks. It should be cooked through and slightly browned on the outside, which will take about 8-10 minutes.
Heat the grill to high.
Cut the bell peppers in half through the stem. Scrape out the seeds and cut out the white membrane.
Crack an egg into each half of bell pepper. Sprinkle a handful of the chorizo inside the pepper.
Place the filled peppers over the hottest part of the grill – charring the skin gives it a nice smoky flavor.
Close the grill, checking on the egg’s progress once or twice as it cooks. Grille for 8-10 minutes for a soft yolk. Sprinkle with sea salt and enjoy.