THE CANNY COOK: Huevos rancheros
Who doesn’t have a cupboard full of unused kitchen equipment? Mine includes a pasta machine and a juicer, with which I had a summer dalliance three years ago.
There are, however, a few bits of kit that I couldn’t be without. I love my Nutribullet (£49.99, robertdyas.co.uk) for making super-smooth hummus, grinding spices and blending knockout dressings (try combining fresh herbs, Greek yogurt and a smidge of garlic to serve with barbecued meat, fish and veg). Then there’s the razor-sharp Microplane grater/zester (£16.99, kochkochin.com) that deserves a place in every kitchen. It’s great for citrus zest, creating clouds of parmesan and for finely grating ginger or garlic.
I’m also rather fond of my Oxo Good Grips julienne peeler (£8.99, johnlewis.com) which makes light work of paring strips of carrot, courgette, cucumber and broccoli stalks, all of which find their way into summer slaws.
Finally, one utensil that I’m using more and more is a simple slotted spoon or spider strainer (£6.99, amazon.co.uk). If, say, I’m boiling eggs, broccoli and new potatoes, I’ll use one large pan of water and scoop out ingredients as I go rather than boiling separate pans, so it’s a nifty energy-saver, too.
Tip a 400g can chopped tomatoes into a small blender with 1 garlic clove, 1 tsp ground cumin, a drizzle of honey and a pinch of chilli flakes and salt. Whiz until it’s a smooth salsa, then tip into a large frying or sauté pan with a splash of olive oil.
Bring the salsa to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until slightly thickened.
With a wooden spoon, make four indents in the sauce. Crack an egg into each and cook for 4-5 minutes until the whites are just set but the yolks are still soft.
TIP With a fork, drag any uncooked egg white into the sauce to help it cook quicker.
While the eggs cook, heat the tortillas – you can lightly toast them over a naked flame on the hob, dry-toast them in a hot frying pan, or pop in a 200C/180C fan/gas 6 oven for 2-3 minutes.
Place 2 tortillas on each plate and spoon over the eggs and salsa. Slice 1 small avocado and arrange on top. Some grated cheddar or crumbled feta goes nicely, too.