Sunday, July 27, 2008

huevos rancheros

huevos rancheros

I wasn’t even going to mention this dish. I’ve got no expertise in the realm of Tex-Mex cooking and generally think it’s best left to those who know what they’re talking about. Furthermore, despite the fact that I had eggs exactly this way daily when we were at a resort in Mexico last year, I suspect this isn’t the most authentic thing out there.

But it makes no difference because these ad-libbed and hodge-podged huevos rancheros and the smitten kitchen are at something of a standstill. They were dinner last Tuesday. They were dinner on Thursday. They were brunch today. And if this site is indeed a reflection of what goes on in our kitchen, well, then obviously it’s time to share them with you.

Also, because they’re awesome.

huevos rancheros

First, let me get my “semi-homemade” moment out of the way and I start by opening a can of beans, but by “beans” I mean Goya’s black bean soup, and no, I don’t feel bad about it. This is my favorite-est shortcut–these guys are so perfect right out of the can–with just the right amount of liquid–I see no reason to trouble myself with cooking and seasoning my own. Or at least not when I have a quick meal in mind.

salsa fresca mise

Next I make a quick salsa fresca with diced tomatoes, some red onion, a minced jalapeno, salt and a good squeeze or two of lime juice. If you’re the cilantro type, you can mix that in as well. With tomatoes in high season right now, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven.

salsa fresca

Now, the egg is where this gets ugly, and I do mean that literally. This is one dish where the best taste makes for the fugliest tortilla and I suggest that you just run with it, because it’s quite simple.

corn tortillas, 5.5"

First you heat a 6-inch corn tortilla in an oiled pan.

half-fry tortilla

When it is golden brown underneath, flip it over. (Don’t worry, you’ll brown it a bit more in a moment.)

flip the tortilla

Sprikle some shredded cheddar over the browned side and let it melt a bit. I like to use about half an ounce per tortilla.

sprinkle with cheese

Break a single egg over the melting cheese.

add an egg

Don’t worry if it rolls over the edges, that’s all part of the tasty mess of it. Season it with salt and pepper.

don't worry if it rolls off

When the white is about halfway set (i.e., the edges and some of the egg on the tortilla), flip the whole thing over. For me, this is when the mess always strikes as the yolk is just itching to run off the spatula as I flip it.

flip the tortilla and egg together

Cook it for a few minutes on the other side, flip it back onto a plate and you’re done. All there is left to do is decorate.

If you’re Alex, that means a tidy arrangement of salsa fresca, beans, cilantro when we have it, salsa from a jar, extra and several shakes of Tabasco. For me, this means a scattered mess of salsa fresca, beans and sour cream, everything muddling together in a glorious tangle of things that are delicious…

Hey hon, guess what’s for dinner tomorrow?!

huevos rancheros


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