Huevos Rancheros or “Ranch Eggs” Cooked Two Ways – One cooked on the stove top the other baked in the oven.
Everything I know about Mexican cooking, I learned from my ex-mother-in-law: homemade flour tortillas, salsa, Mexican rice, enchiladas, tostadas, guacamole – a real fiesta! She was a patient teacher, and I was a willing student.
She made huevos rancheros one morning served with rice, beans and warm tortillas – an incredible treat, and so different than other egg breakfast dishes in my Midwest history. Tomatoes and eggs are an awesome flavor combination. The sweet, warm, spicy tomatoes combined with runny egg yolks we scooped up with our fingers using a torn piece of tortilla as our utensil.
Her recipe was simple: onions, jalapenos, tomatoes, tomato sauce. Saute the veggies, add the tomatoes and sauce, break the eggs into the skillet, and poach until the eggs were done.
Throughout their childhood, my children loved this classic. We would often make it the next morning after a Mexican dinner, when we had leftover rice and beans. Often, we would throw in a homemade tamale – now, that’s hearty!
In an effort to prepare a more modest breakfast, I leave out the tamale (sigh . . .), and serve with rice or beans, not both. Or, go ahead, splurge!
Basically, you’re cooking the eggs in a fresh salsa.
For either recipe, begin with a hot skillet. Add a Tablespoon or two of vegetable oil, or lard, if you’re adventurous, and appreciate a more authentic taste. Add a small onion or half of a big one – yellow, white or red, diced, and one jalapeno pepper in a small dice. Saute for 1-2 minutes, until the veggies are softened. If jalapenos are too hot for your taste, add a small can of chopped green chilies.
Now, you can go a couple of ways. I always add chopped fresh tomatoes, whatever fresh tomatoes you have on hand, along with either a 4oz can of tomato sauce or a 15oz can of petite diced tomatoes, undrained.
Saute the tomatoes and veggies.
Until the sauce is slightly cooked down. You don’t want it too dry, or the eggs won’t have enough liquid in which to cook. If the salsa is too dry, add a little water or chicken stock.
Make a little hole in the salsa, and break in the eggs one at a time. Sprinkle the eggs with salt and pepper.
Stovetop Method: Poach the eggs, ladling some of the salsa over the top of the eggs to poach.
Oven Method: Place skillet in a 400°F oven for 10 minutes, until the whites of the eggs are set. Keep a close eye on the eggs. If they’re in the oven for too long, you’ll end up with hard-cooked eggs, which may be OK for some folks. It’s up to you.
Serve over Mexican rice with warm flour tortillas.
Or serve with refried beans and warm flour tortillas.
The recipe I’ve just described will serve two, with 2 eggs per person. Or four, with one egg per person. I use a non-stick 12″ skillet for stove-top prep, or a 10″ cast iron skillet for oven prep.
Either way you go, top the eggs with shredded Jack cheese and/or crumbled Queso Fresco, or Queso Cojita. Either cheeses are commonly found in Mexican groceries.
Some folks prefer corn tortillas, and others flour. I prefer flour, because they’re easy to make at home and more pliable when warming up to serving temperature. After all, I was taught to make flour tortillas, so that’s what I prefer.
Buena Salud – Mimi
- 4 extra large eggs, at room temperature
- 3 cups fresh tomatoes, diced with their liquid
- 1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes OR 1 4 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 small OR ½ large onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, small dice (optional)
- 1 3oz can chopped green chilies
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Monterrey Jack, shredded, OR crumbled Queso Fresco or Queso Cojita to sprinkle on top before serving
- 6-12 flour tortillas, warmed
- Refried beans or Mexican rice, to serve along side
- If you prefer the stove top method, use a 12" non-stick skillet.
- If using the oven method, preheat the oven to 400 degreed F, and use a 10-12" cast iron skillet.
- Heat the skillet to medium high. Add the oil. When hot, add the onions and peppers. Saute for 1-2 minutes, until the vegetables are just tender. Add the garlic, and stir for 30 seconds, until you can smell the garlic.
- Add the fresh tomatoes, and whichever addition you choose: petite diced tomatoes OR tomato sauce.
- Stir the tomato mixture