So there was this café in Oaxaca where my husband and I would have breakfast every morning during one of our visits. I have written about this café in the past, as our morning meals there are a cherished vignette of our travels early in our marriage, before school and work schedules (and cartel unrest on the Mexican highways) became overwhelming.
Our Morning Routine
Our order was always the same: Café con rompope (coffee with a locally make alcoholic egg nog) and a plate of huevos con mole (eggs with mole sauce). I imagine these menu selections were assembled with bits and pieces left from the restaurant/bar fare from the night before. A tablespoon of mole sauce and a tablespoon of liqueur made us loyal breakfast customers.
The locally made mole was rich with freshly ground chocolate, and smoked dried chiles, both from the village harvest. A fresh avocado always accompanied the plate, matured to the perfect level of ripeness: not too soft, not to firm. Crisp tostadas were plentiful in the basket nearby.
Part of the Community
My husband and I would watch the townspeople setting up for the day around the square as we enjoyed our breakfast. Delivery trucks would pull up to the plaza, engulfing us in diesel smoke, which was only mildly unpleasant. The traffic, bustle, and smells never dissuaded us. Our breakfast became a routine during our stay, and we momentarily became part of the village panorama.
Anyone can recreate this fond food memory at home, which is easy enough if you have some good mole set aside in the cupboard or freezer. Just a tablespoon of mole sauce can change your regular morning eggs, and transport you to my café in Oaxaca.
In retrospect, the veil of diesel smoke that hovered overhead made me feel part of the town, part of the day that was playing out in front of me. Given half a chance, I would go back.
Oaxacan Breakfast with Eggs in Mole Recipe
- 1 cup vegetable oil for frying
- 4 corn tortillas, cut into triangles
- 4 eggs
- 2 tbsp. prepared mole sauce
- 2-3 tbsp. water
- 1 cup refried beans, heated
- 1 ripe avocado, cut in half
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- Queso fresco for garnish
Heat the vegetable oil in a 9” skillet. Line a dish or pan with paper towels. Place the tortilla triangles in the hot vegetable oil, and fry in batches until crispy, about 2-3 minutes per batch. Remove the crispy tostadas from the pan and drain on the paper towels.
When finished frying the tortillas, remove the pan from the heat and allow the vegetable oil to cool completely. Once cooled, pour all but 1 tbsp. of the vegetable oil out into a separate container. You may choose to reserve this vegetable oil for another use.
Place the pan back on the stove, and turn on the heat. Break the eggs into a shallow dish. Fry the eggs in the hot pan, or scramble if desired. Once the eggs are cooked, place the eggs on two separate plates.
While the pan is still hot, add the mole sauce and dilute with the water. Stir gently over low heat until the mole sauce is heated throughout. Pour equal portions of the heated mole over the eggs on each plate.
Finish the plates by arranging the heated refried beans, tostadas, and half an avocado on each plate. Garnish the eggs with a sprinkling of sesame seeds, and the beans with crumbled queso fresco. Serve immediately.