The voice on the other end of the phone began, "I'm calling from Sunset Magazine…"
"I'm not interested," said Becky Plummer, and hung up the phone.
Fortunately, the folks at Sunset Magazine called back -- to tell her husband, Ned Plummer, that they were going to publish a recipe he had submitted. Not only that, they were sending him a fat check for $100. The recipe appeared in the December issue.
Mr. Plummer, of Toledo, created the recipe while going to a gun show with a friend. Their arrangement is that when the friend drives, Mr. Plummer does the cooking.
On this particular trip, Mr. Plummer happened to have made some refried beans the night before. When his friend asked to eat something Mexican, he began to get an idea. Knowing that his friend likes eggs, a recipe was born.
"I said, 'why not poach the eggs in the refried beans?'"
It can be a little tricky to pull off, because, as Mr. Plummer put it, "You've got to get the eggs a little bit on the runny side. You have to get the beans a little thin." It is also important to use a pan with a cover, to keep the beans from splattering all over the kitchen. And when putting the cheese and other items over the eggs, he recommends putting them over just the eggs. That way, when it comes time to serve it, you will know where the eggs are, so you don't wind up cutting into a yolk.
The dish is called Mexican Eggs. Even Mr. Plummer is unexcited about the name. If he had given it more thought, he said, he would have called it Huevo Toledo.
Mr. Plummer is now one-for-one in submitting recipes. With a perfect record, some home cooks would rest on their laurels. But he has already made another submission to a different contest. This one uses an assortment of mushrooms to make lobster ravioli.
We can't wait.
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 can (16 oz.) refried beans
2 tablespoons canned chopped green chiles
4 large eggs
1/2 cup shredded jack cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 avocado, chopped
Warm corn tortillas
Brown bacon in a 12-inch frying pan. Drain on a paper towel, leaving 1 tablespoon bacon fat in pan. Cook beans and chiles in the pan over medium heat, stirring often, until simmering.
Make 4 wells in beans with a spoon and crack an egg into each. Cook, covered, just until eggs set, about 4 minutes. Top with cheese, green onions, tomato, cilantro, avocado, and reserved bacon. Serve with tortillas.
Nutritional Information: Calories: 378 (56% from fat), protein, 19 g, fat, 23 g (7.8 g saturated), sodium, 834 mg, cholesterol, 238 mg.
Days of wine
Is it too early to start feeling nostalgic about 2010?
Ah, the good old days. Life was simpler then. Back in 2010, we used to serve a glass of 2006 Chateau Mount Redon from Cotes du Rhone with a course of Molasses-braised Beef Short Ribs with Roasted Fennel and Baked Black Beans. When feeling especially naughty, we would even pair a 2008 Columbia Crest Chardonnay H3 from Washington with an Asparagus Soup with Blue Cheese/Ice Cream Truffle.
On Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., you can relive those halcyon days of 2010 as Manhattan's brings back some of its favorite wine and food pairings from last year's monthly wine dinners.
Along with the aforementioned courses, the restaurant will also serve a nonvintage Maschio Spago Prosecco from Veneto, Italy, with an extravaganza of appetizers (including smoked salmon, craft cheeses, artisan breads, antipasti, and more); a 2009 Jargon Pinot Noir from California with a Warm Goat Cheese and Cold Pear Salad; and an assortment of coffees with a trio of eclairs.
The cost is $65 per person, which includes tax and tips. For reservations, call 419-243-6675.
Saturday seems as good a day as any to learn how to make a Smoky Shrimp and Sweet Potato Chowder, or even a Lemon Blueberry Shake.
And wouldn't you know it? Local chef Roberta Acosta will be at Fresh Market, 3315 West Central Ave., from 1-4 p.m. demonstrating just how to make those items. The demonstrations will be continuous, so you can go at any time to see them. If you're lucky, maybe you can even try a sample.
Here's a head start on the soup:
Smoky Shrimp and Sweet Potato Chowder
2 tablespoons olive oil (preferably extra virgin)
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup white wine (preferably Chardonnay)
2 cups chicken stock
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat for 1-2 minutes; add oil and swirl to coat. Add onions, garlic, sweet potatoes, paprika and chili powder; saute for 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat and add wine, scraping up any brown bits from the pan. Return pot to heat and reduce heat to medium-low. Add chicken stock, cover and simmer for another 5-8 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender. Add shrimp and cream; combine well and simmer until shrimp are just done, approximately 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve with crackers. If desired, garnish with freshly snipped chives.
Source: Fresh Market
Items for Morsels may be submitted up to two weeks in advance of the event to firstname.lastname@example.org.