Huevos Habaneros Recipe

My family owned a farm just outside of Havana in Bejucal.

We would always travel to “the country” to celebrate holidays. I vividly remember one time that we were going to be meeting the rest of the family on the farm to celebrate Easter.

When we arrived at Finca Luzita (named after my mom, and the sign is still there today, but that's not important right now), we were greeted by hundreds of chirping baby chicks. Of course, this being Cuba, the sound they made was "pio, pio, pio."

To our absolute delight, they had been dyed in a rainbow of pastel colors. Seriously? Dyed baby chicks? Somebody call PETA!

Yes, dyed. It was non-toxic food coloring and I know it didn’t cause permanent damage because the little colored chicks (am I allowed to say “colored?”) grew up to be normal-colored chickens.

But oh, what an amazing psychedelic sight it was to have hundreds of the little colorful bundles of fluff running around. That memory is still vivid for me today.

When my kids were little, we would invariably have Easter egg hunts using the plastic eggs filled with treats. I always felt kind of sorry for them. Plastic eggs are nothing in comparison to that randomly moving noisy ocean of color swirling around your ankles.

After the fun of chasing the little pollitos around, we would have some kind of Easter brunch that included farm-fresh eggs cooked in a sofrito. Of course, it wasn’t called any formal name. I think, in fact, they just called it something very obvious like “Huevos en Sofrito.” (Most folks call them Huevos Habaneros - meaning from the Cuban city of La Habana, not to be confused with the impossibly spicy pepper.)

My childhood memories of Cuba B.C. are wonderful and magical and noisy and yes, maybe a little psychedelic.

Happy Easter!

Huevos Habaneros Recipe

For the sofrito:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 small onion – finely diced
  • 1 small pepper – red or green, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic – finely diced
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 small jar diced pimientos – drained
  • 3 Tbsp. Dry white wine

For the eggs:

  • 8 large eggs
  • 4 Tbsp. Melted butter
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil (twice around the pan) and make the sofrito: onion, pepper, garlic sautéed until the onion is soft and translucent – about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato sauce, pimientos, and wine.
  4. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
  5. Lightly oil 4 small oven-proof ramekins or small bowls.
  6. Spoon the sofrito into each one, filling it half-way.

        7. Break 2 eggs into a bowl and slide them over the sofrito.  I break them into a separate bowl first to make sure they don’t break and will look pretty.

        8. Drizzle the melted butter over the eggs.

        9. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the whites are set and the yolks are still slightly soft.

        10. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and parsley.

        11. Serve immediately with a side of fresh chorizo and hot Cuban bread.

        12. A variation is to cook the eggs in a greased muffin tin, turn them out and pour the sofrito over them.

(A version of my Huevos Habaneros recipe appears on Babalú blog March, 2008.)