Southwest Basted Eggs

This recipe came about one morning after we had a “taco night” the evening prior, and I had leftovers. The liquid I used for the basting was part of a margarita that was still on the counter next to the stove. A little hair of the dog, so to speak, and it worked fine.

This dish has spawned many variations. The ingredients change, but the method remains the same. Think of regions and pair your ingredients: olives and artichoke hearts and garlic; chilies and chorizo; diced potatoes, sausage and cheddar. You get the idea. The amounts of garnish are guidelines.


4 eggs
2 teaspoons butter
2 teaspoons oil or oil
Pinch of Chef Andrew’s Southwest Four Spice OR 1/4 teaspoon each of ground cumin and coriander seed (optional)
3 tablespoon shredded cheese (something like a Jack cheese.)
2 tablespoon sliced black olives
2 tablespoon diced roasted green chiles
2 tablespoon finely sliced green onions or chives
1-2 oz. water (or a shot of tequila), more if needed
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoon picked cilantro leaves
Fresh lime, quartered
1 cup cooked black beans
Optional: Flavored Crema – add a little chipotle sauce or red chile sauce to 1 cup of sour cream or thick (Greek style) yogurt, and place in a squeeze bottle. Squeeze a decorative squiggle of sauce on dish after plating.


Heat the black beans separately and keep warm.

Heat a nonstick or well-seasoned 8-10 inch frying pan that has a tight fitting lid over high heat. Add butter and oil.

When the fat is warm, add a pinch of Southwest Four Spice (or cumin and coriander) and cook just until fragrant.

When hot, carefully break eggs into the pan.

When the eggs begin to set around the edge, add water (or tequila) to the pan, pouring it around the edge of the eggs. Make sure the liquid comes in contact with the pan.

Cover pan tightly with the lid.

Check in 30 seconds. The whites should be setting. Add the cheese, chiles, and olives, and scallions if using. Re-cover the pan, adding more liquid if the pan is dry.

When eggs are done (the whites are completely set, and the yolks are still soft but covered with white), transfer beans to two plates, and slide eggs onto the beans, and garnish with cilantro, and chives if using.

Finish plate with lime and tortillas or toast.

If using a chipotle or red chile crema, add to eggs before garnishing with herbs. I like to use a squeeze bottle to make patterns over the eggs before adding the herbs.

YIELD: Serves 2.

Chef Andrew E Cohen

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