Monday, November 08, 2010

Huevos Rancheros (My Way)

I flirted with giving this recipe another name, since calling it huevos rancheros will cause me to lose serious cred with a certain demographic. So by way of disclaimer, I'm aware it's likely nothing resembling this dish has ever gone by this name in Mexico. Or New Mexico. Or Texas. But man is it good.

This particular creation was born after a glut of leftover salsa, and is in the tradition of the breakfast all-star shakshouka, or the invitingly-named eggs in purgatory. Instead of following the usual huevos rancheros policy of frying up eggs and topping them with salsa, eggs are poached directly in the salsa. You just warm up an inch or so in a pan, crack in as many eggs as needed, and cover the pan until they're cooked to your runny-or-not liking. This move is brilliant for several reasons:

1. The eggs sop up the salsa, becoming infused with its spicy flavor
2. You can cook up a whole pan of eggs at the same time, making it ideal brunch-party fare

We fed six adults at a recent brunch, and it was ridiculously easy -- I prepped the fixings ahead of time, then just cracked the eggs into a large pot of salsa, covered them, and rejoined my guests for another cup of coffee until they were done. Breakfast burrito coma ensued. After your eggs are cooked, where you go next is up to you. I tend to toss them in a warmed corn tortilla with a slick of refried beans (the vegetarian version of these are my guilty pleasure), cilantro, guacamole, sour cream (or its house substitute, yogurt), and maybe some radishes or chopped red onions if I'm feeling fancy. Who needs authenticity when you could be having this for brunch?

Huevos Rancheros

serves 2, but take this as a rough template and adjust to your taste/crowd size

3/4 - 1 cup salsa, depending on your pan size (I'm especially fond of this, and buy ridiculous amounts when it goes on sale)
4 eggs
4 small corn tortillas
3/4 cup refried beans, warmed
1/2 cup guacamole, or 1/2 avocado, diced
2 radishes, thinly-sliced
1/3 cup crumbled Mexican white cheese (such as queso fresco), or creamy French- or Israeli-style feta
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
additional hot sauce and lime wedges for serving

Pour the salsa in a pan large enough to accommodate 4 eggs, and warm over medium heat until it's just simmering. Crack the eggs into the pan, cover, and keep the heat just high enough to maintain a simmer. Cook until the eggs are done to your liking (I go for somewhere between runny and set, ~7 minutes). While the eggs are cooking, you can assemble your topping ingredients and warm the beans.

When the eggs are almost done, heat the tortillas directly over a burner to warm and soften them (a small amount of char is fine withe me as well). Ladle an egg into a warmed tortilla, top with whatever other ingredients you desire, and enjoy.


  1. I love this! I've never cooked eggs in a tomato sauce, but I think I'd like this way better...and with corn tortillas too. Mmm, my next weekend breakfast is now in the works. Thanks!

  2. I misread that as chopped red *orphans*. Was just about to leave this site in horror. But I'm glad I looked again!

  3. There they are! I think I'll make this for supper tonight... With lots of fresh homemade yogurt. That's my house substitution as well!

  4. Kickpleat: Let me know how it turns out for you! I'm fond of all variations of eggs-poached-in-flavorful-sauce. And your comment redirected me to your lovely blog, which I'd checked out before and somehow forgot to bookmark. Now I want your apple and sour cherry pie for my breakfast.

    Martristan: Ha! Delicious orphans...

    RCakewalk: We sometimes call yogurt "hippie sour cream." Sadly ours isn't homemade -- then it truly wears the title.

  5. Yum! :) I'll totally have to make this for breakfast.

  6. Is this what you made for Laurel's brunch???it was amazing! but I thought you baked it in the oven? if so at what temp and how long?

  7. Adi: Yep, we baked them for the brunch -- much easier en masse. The proportions will vary depending upon the size of your dish, but I'd say we used about a jar of the frontera salsa and about a dozen eggs per dish, and baked them uncovered at 375 until they set (~25 minutes). I find that cracking the eggs into the pan with a bit of force helps make sure they kind of nestle into the salsa, instead of sitting on top of it. Enjoy!