I love huevos rancheros, but I hate lining up with hipsters to overpay for underperformed ones at the various brunch spots in Montreal. So I applied my usual solution: I made it myself.
Before we move on, I should state that there is no one single definition of huevos rancheros (or more specifically, if there is it has been lost to time, evolution, and Americanization). Every restaurant seems to have its own variation, and sometimes the variations are almost beyond recognition. My inclination is that if your variation is too far off the mark, you should call it something else, as is done with huevos motuleños or huevos divorciados. But if it’s essentially just eggs on tortillas with a tomato-chili sauce and some fixings, then you’ve got huevos rancheros.
Note that traditionally, the eggs are either fried, or poached right in the tomato-chili sauce. But I like mine poached separately, so that’s how my recipe works.
First a photo, and then the recipe:
Food porn version here (Flickr members only)
Blork’s Own Huevos Rancheros
- 4 eggs
- 4 corn tortillas
- 3 roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 1/2 red or green sweet pepper, diced
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced (add more if you have a very high tolerance for heat, but be careful because you don’t want to overwhelm the eggs)
- 1/2 cup of beef or chicken stock (or water)
- 1 cup grated Monterrey jack or similar cheese
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Sour cream
- Salsa (fresh made, or from a jar)
- A bit of chopped fresh cilantro
(1) Make the Tomato-chili Sauce
In a saucepan, sauté the onion and sweet peppers in the olive oil for 2 or 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or so.
Add the cumin and stir until fragrant (20-30 seconds).
Add the tomatoes and chipotle pepper, and stir-cook for 1 or 2 minutes.
Add the stock/water and tomato paste, lower the heat and cook for 5 or 10 minutes until thick and fragrant. Season with salt & pepper. Add a bit of water if it gets too thick. (It should be the consistency of a chunky/saucy ketchup.)
(2) Cook the Eggs and Tortillas
Poach the eggs in a large sauce pan with 2-inches of almost-boiling water (with a tsp of white vinegar added). It should take about 3 minutes (longer if you like them less runny).
While the eggs are poaching, warm up the tortillas in a large non-stick pan, moving them around so they don’t dry out and each one has a turn at the bottom of the stack.
Put two tortillas (overlapping) on each plate.
Put a generous couple of spoonfuls of the tomato-chili sauce on top of each pair of tortillas.
Divide the cheese and sprinkle over the warm sauce.
Place two poached eggs on top of each pair of sauced tortillas.
Place a big blob of salsa between the two eggs on each plate.
Add a blob of guacamole and sour cream on the side.
Sprinkle with a bit of chopped fresh cilantro.