Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros... Where have you been all my life?

A few months ago I discovered Huevos Rancheros. I was eating lunch with a friend at Moose & Sadie's when on a whim I ordered their Huevos Rancheros. This is coming from the person who doesn't like runny eggs or melted cheese on my eggs. I also don't like salsa on my eggs. Come to think of it, I don't really like eggs. Yet, there I was: devouring my food like I hadn't eaten in years.

I had forgotten about that meal until last week when my cousins and I met up for lunch at Hell's Kitchen. I didn't order the Huevos Rancheros, but one of my cousins did. She graciously shared a bite of the dish, and I was transported to the land of happiness. Why had I forsaken the Huevos Rancheros for so long?!

The weird thing is that I have been on the biggest egg-kick ever. Remember when I said I didn't really like eggs. Well, over the last week, I've changed my mind. I love eggs. Especially runny eggs. I don't know what happened, but don't you dare try to offer me a hard cooked egg. I won't eat it. I had the Vegetable Benedict at Hell's Kitchen this past weekend and that solidified my love for runny eggs (he he!).

There is some amount of flexibility with this recipe. The most important ingredients to me in this recipe are the peppers, eggs, and tortillas: they have the biggest impact on the recipe's flavor.

For the peppers, I ended up using poblanos and jalapenos that I had roasted and froze this summer during the season of plethora peppers. I liked the roasted aspect of the peppers because they became meltingly soft in the sauce, just oozing their flavor over my huevos. However, you don't need to roast your peppers before adding them to the sauce if you'd like to save some time and effort.

The eggs should be runny. Really runny. This means you have to watch your eggs carefully, cook them slowly, and remove them from the heat a few moments before you think they are done. And finally, the whole wheat tortillas need to be fresh and have a nice nutty flavor.

Also, my Ranchero sauce turned out burn-my-lips spicy because of the cayenne pepper and the heat in my poblanos and jalapeno. It made me nervous. But the sour cream and eggs helped to lessen its heat, so the spice was fine. So, be daring and make the sauce just a tad spicier than you normally would. Your taste buds will thank you!

Huevos Rancheros
2 servings, 35 minutes

Ranchero Sauce
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon cumin, ground
1/2 teaspoon salt (or less depending on your vegetable broth)
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup vegetable broth
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced

4 eggs
1 14 ounce can refried beans (vegetarian)
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons salsa
2 whole wheat tortillas
1 1/2 teaspoons clarified butter

  1. First make the Ranchero sauce. (Note: This recipe makes 4-6 servings of sauce, which is good because then you can just whip up more Huevos and you have a meal in 15 minutes flat.) Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the diced onions and cook for 5-7 minutes or until soft and translucent. You want to avoid browning them.
  2. Stir in the poblano peppers, jalapeno pepper, cumin, salt, and cayenne. Cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add the vegetable broth and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium and simmer vigorously for about 15 minutes or until desired consistency. Before serving, stir in the cilantro. Taste and adjust the seasoning. 
  4. Heat 1/2 teaspoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Place one tortilla in the skillet and brown for a couple of minutes. Flip over and repeat on the second side. Do the same with the second tortilla. Place each crispy tortilla on a plate.
  5. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of butter in the skillet. Be mindful of the temperature. It shouldn't be super hot. You may need to turn the heat down just below medium. Crack each of the eggs into the skillet slowly so that they set without running into each other.
  6. Cook the eggs slowly over medium to medium-low heat until the clear part is white but not completely solid. Sprinkle the eggs with the shredded cheese and cover the pan to melt the cheese and finish cooking the eggs. Be careful not to overcook the eggs. The whole point is to have a deliciously runny mess.
  7. While the eggs are cooking, warm up the refried beans and spread a couple tablespoons of the beans on each of the tortillas. 
  8. When the eggs are done, place two eggs on each bean-covered tortilla. Top each serving with the Ranchero sauce, sour cream and salsa. Devour.
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