Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Recipe of the Week: Huevos Rancheros

Brunch Ideas

The next few weeks I’ll be taking a look at “international” brunch dishes in anticipation of Christmas (ideas for Christmas brunch). I’ve been hungry for Huevos Rancheros for a few weeks now so I thought this would be a perfect place to start!

Huevos rancheros (Ranch Eggs) is a classic Mexican breakfast dish which has become popular throughout much of the world. Huevos rancheros means "eggs ranch-style" or "eggs country-style" in Spanish. The dish traditionally was served at the large mid-morning breakfast, or almuerzo, on rural farms where workers had a much smaller meal at dawn.

The basic version of huevos rancheros consists of corn tortilla fried lightly, and fried eggs (although I see a lot of recipes using poached) with a tomato-chili sauce over refried beans (frijoles refritos), slices of avocado, olives, and extra chili peppers are common accompaniments. Scrambled eggs can be used instead of fried eggs.

As the popularity of the dish has spread beyond Mexico, variations have inevitably cropped up. The U.S. food writer, Clementine Paddleford found a version in the 50’s based out of Texas that called for the eggs to be poached in a tomato-bacon sauce, and served over toast or biscuits. More commonly, the variations involve flour tortillas instead of corn; pure chili sauce (or enchilada sauce) and garnishes of fresh tomatoes, sour cream and lettuce. The use of pre-made salsa and packaged tortillas makes huevos rancheros considerably less labor-intensive.

I’ve found two unique versions and am looking forward to cooking up one this weekend as we venture out to find the perfect Christmas trees.



Huevos rancheros
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2002

Ranchero Sauce:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped white onions
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup chopped tomatoes and their juice
1 cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

To make the Ranchero Sauce:

1. In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and bell peppers, and cook, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Add the cumin, salt, cayenne, jalapeno, and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

3. Add the tomatoes and their juices and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

4. Add the stock and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes.

5. Remove from the heat and add the cilantro. Adjust the seasoning, to taste, and cover to keep warm.

To ensemble the rest of the dish:

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 large corn tortillas
1/2 cup warm refried beans
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups pepper Jack

1. In a large skillet, heat 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.

2. Add 1 tortilla and cook until warmed through and just starting to brown about 30 seconds. Turn and cook on the second side. Remove, cover to keep warm, and repeat with the remaining oil and tortillas.

3. In 2 medium skillets, melt 1 tablespoon of butter each, over medium-high heat. Break eggs into each skillet and fry until beginning to set, about 1 minute.

4. Sprinkle the eggs with the cheese and cover to finish cooking, about 1 1/2 minutes.

5. Place 1 warm tortilla on each of 4 plates and spread each with 2 tablespoons of warm refried beans. Place 2 eggs on top of each tortilla and top with the warm Ranchero Sauce.

Serve immediately.

Black Bean Huevos Rancheros


4 large Anaheim chilies
2 ounces pepper Jack cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)
8 corn tortillas
Vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup drained canned black beans
1/2 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
1 teaspoon chopped chipotle chilies in adobo or chipotle chili sauce
1 tablespoon minced cilantro
4 large eggs
1/2 small avocado, cut into 4 wedges
1/4 cup diced plum tomatoes
4 teaspoons finely diced red onion
2 teaspoons minced jalapeño

1.Preheat the broiler. Roast the chilies under the broiler for 6 to 7 minutes, turning frequently, until charred all over. Transfer them to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let steam for 5 minutes. When the chilies are cool enough to handle, peel and coarsely chop them. In a bowl, mix the chilies with the cheese.

2. Turn the oven to 375°. Very lightly brush the tortillas with oil. Spread the roasted chilies and cheese on half of the tortillas and top with the remaining tortillas. Transfer the filled tortillas to a baking sheet, cover with foil and top with another baking sheet.

3. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a small skillet. Add the garlic and cook over moderately high heat for 1 minute. Add the beans, stock and chopped chipotles and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and keep warm.

4. Bake the tortillas for about 5 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is melted. Meanwhile, in a lightly oiled large skillet, cook the eggs sunny-side up or over easy.

5. Transfer the filled tortillas to plates. Top with the beans and then the eggs. Garnish with the avocado wedges, chopped tomatoes, diced onion and minced jalapeño and serve.

images courtesy of google