started serving up chilaquiles — strips of tortilla sauteed with salsa verde and chorizo then topped with an egg — from a 36-foot Airstream trailer he namedPort Fonda
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in the summer of 2011.
Last June he opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant of the same name in Westport. Even though he elevated and expanded his menu, he still serves chilaquiles.
“When you have your own restaurant, you can only hope for a signature dish that successfully connects with people,” Ryan says. “Chilaquiles aren’t usually found on local restaurant menus, but are Mexican soul food that can be eaten anytime of the day or night.”
Ryan prepares his version of Mexican cuisine using tricks of the trade he learned from Hispanic cooks when he worked the line at his first food job at Jalapenos Mexican Restaurant in Stanley, in Johnson County, when he was 15. After attending the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Ryan channeled his love for Mexican cuisine into his work with chef Rick Bayless at Chicago’s Frontera Grill and Topolobampo.
From the beginning, Port Fonda’s food seemed destined for success. “Before I even moved back to Kansas City, I wanted to have a place named Port Fonda because that was one of the names rejected for our city when it was being incorporated in the 1800s,” he says. “The funny thing is that John McCoy — the father of Kansas City — wanted the settlement around his Westport Landing to be named Port Fonda, which is where the restaurant is located.”Chilaquiles
In a large sauté pan, fry sausage over medium-high heat until cooked through. Add tortilla chips and salsa to pan and stir until all ingredients are hot. Tortilla chips should be soft, but not mushy. Turn heat down to low to keep warm.
In a separate skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Crack eggs into pan and fry sunny-side up, spooning butter over top of each egg as it fries.
Assemble dish by evenly dividing sausage/tortilla mixture onto two plates. Place each egg atop the mixture. Garnish each plate with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkling of cilantro leaves and diced onion. Sprinkle powdered chile de arbol over all.Note:
Recipe can be easily doubled to serve 4. Cooked, shredded chicken can also be substituted for chorizo.Per serving: 622 calories (67 percent from fat), 45 grams total fat (18 grams saturated), 293 milligrams cholesterol, 29 grams carbohydrates, 21 grams protein, 1,773 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber.