Continuing with the brunch theme on this President’s Day, I bring you a ridiculously good huevos rancheros recipe. See, I have this problem. I absolutely love eggs, especially fried eggs, on top of just about anything. On top of pasta? Sure, why not. Oh, an egg comes on that pizza? Well, don’t mind if I do. Smothered on this grilled cheese sandwich? Yes, please! (The lucky ones in NYC can enjoy croque madame deliciousness here).
I know some people get creeped out by runny eggs, so for those of you with this issue, you may want to skip this recipe. But the salsa is still yummy and so are the “refried” black beans, a healthier take on the traditional lard-infused Mexican refried beans. And while this recipe may look a bit labor intensive for a morning meal, let me assure you that it is worth all of the effort. The salsa can be made ahead of time, and the beans come together in a snap. You can also try mashing them to make it even easier (though I personally prefer the creamy texture of the pureed). This is perfect for a lazy Saturday or Sunday morning when you don’t mind eating breakfast for lunch. Or do something even better and have it for dinner (because who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner?).
The Best Huevos Rancheros
4 corn tortillas (assuming everyone wants two per person; halve this if you are just hungry for one)
4 farm fresh, large eggs
Salsa Rojas/Ranchero Sauce (see below for recipe)
“Refried” Black Beans (see below for recipe)
Vegetable/Grapeseed Oil (I really like using grapeseed oil these days. Read more about it here.)
Sour Cream or Mexican Crema
Monterey Jack Cheese
Prepare Salsa Rojas and “Refried” Black Beans.
Heat oil in a small pan over medium-high heat (cover the bottom by about 1-2 inches). Place a paper towel over a large plate to “drain” tortillas. Once oil is hot (about 325 degrees), place one corn tortilla in skillet. Let tortilla cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes, then flip. Both sides should be golden brown. Place tortilla on plate with paper towel and repeat with the other 3 tortillas.
Heat butter or cooking spray in another medium pan. Crack 4 eggs into skillet and let cook for about 1-2 minutes until whites begin to set. Cover pan and cook for another 2 minutes until egg whites are set but yolk is still very runny. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
Dip the tortillas into the salsa roja while still hot, using tongs, and then transfer to serving plates. Top each tortilla with a good spoonful of refried black beans and then arrange a sunny side up fried egg on top of the beans.
Garnish with crema (or sour cream), cilantro, avocado, pickled jalapenos, shredded monterey jack cheese, or more salsa roja.
Salsa Rojas/ Red Sauce
5 plum tomatoes, quartered
1/2 red onion, sliced
2 jalapeno peppers, quartered (remove seeds if you don’t want much heat)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1-2 chipotle chilis in adobo sauce (remove seeds if you don’t want heat)
1 teaspoon adobo sauce (from chilis)
1/2 cup water or chicken stock
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 sprigs cilantro
pinch of sugar
1/2 lime, juiced
Preheat broiler. Place tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro, and jalapenos on a large sheet tray. Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. Broil veggies for about 10 minutes until blistered and black in some places. After 10 minutes, keep a close eye on the veggies. You don’t want to burn them but a few black spots creates a ton of flavor.
Take veggies out of oven and carefully place in a blender. Add cumin, coriander, oregano, chipotle chilis and water or chicken stock. Puree until smooth.
Heat about one tablespoon oil in a medium pot. Pour salsa carefully into a pot and cook over low heat about 5 minutes. Add more water or chicken broth if too thick. Add pinch of sugar, cilantro, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
(Can be made 2 days ahead. Rewarm gently).
“Refried” Black Beans
2 tablespoons oil of choice (I like grapeseed but you can also use canola or vegetable)
1/2 red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 15-oz can black beans
1 bay leaf
1 cup water or chicken stock
Heat oil in a cast-iron skillet or other medium skillet. Saute red onions over medium heat until translucent and slightly caramelized, about 10-15 minutes. Add garlic and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add black beans, with liquid, bay leaf, and chicken stock (or water) to onions and garlic. Let cook for another 10 minutes or so. Season with salt and pepper.
Discard bay leaf and carefully pour black bean mixture into blender/food processor. Blend until smooth. Wipe out your pan (no need to wash) and add additional oil if needed. Carefully pour bean mixture back into back and cook until thickened to your desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and add more salt/pepper if needed.
Alternatively, you could also mash beans with a masher into a course puree.