Huevos Rancheros

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So, my love of Mexican food has been documented here and here, and I’m sure it will continue to pop up at random (well, more like frequent) times while I share my recipes on this blog – I’ve already shared a Mexican dish this week. So sorry, so can’t help it. These huevos rancheros could be considered one of my favorites… (next to chilaquiles, chile colorado, chile rellenos…) OKAY, OKAY, so I can’t honestly pick a favorite!

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On my 21st birthday, my Mom, Aunt, one of my mom’s best friends, and my cousin all went to Tahoe to celebrate. We had such a great time. But the real star of the show was the breakfast we found at a little casino off the main drag. We stumbled upon it and pretty much hit the proverbial jackpot.

We all looked at the menu in a sort of confusion. They had the regular breakfast offerings; pancakes, waffles, two eggs your way…but on the other side of the menu they had Mexican offerings. We all (save for my mom…she loves Mexican as much as the rest of us, but she wanted traditional fare and I was told even THAT was amazing) ordered something off that menu. When they came to the table we all were stunned. Absolutely, beyond a doubt, the BEST Mexican breakfast I may have ever, and will ever have. I’m pretty sure we all cleaned our plates.IMG_1099

We actually went back again during that short trip just for the breakfast -my mom even got something Mexican that time. I haven’t had a breakfast like that in…well, forever really. The surprise that this little casino offerred up such creative and delicious Mexican breakfast fare was enough in itself to put it far above the rest. I would kill to go back there (wish I could remember the name!), but for now, I have to re-imagine that breakfast on my own.

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Huevos Rancheros

(adapted and inspired by Serious Eats)

Salsa Verde
2 poblanos
4 tomatillos
½ large white onion
Vegetable oil
5 cloves of garlic
1-2 reconstituted chile d’arbol dried peppers
3 tsps ground cumin
1 bunch of cilantro leaves
1 lime
Salt and pepper

Refried Beans
2 cans of pinto beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup of finely diced white onion
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp of paprika
1/4 tsp of cayenne
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper

For Serving
8 corn tortillas
8 fried eggs
1-2 avocados, sliced
A few white onion slices, for garnish
A few sprigs of cilantro, chopped, for garnish

For the salsa:

Begin by reconstituting your chile d’arbol peppers in boiling water. It should take about 10 minutes. While waiting, pre-heat your broiler and cut the tomatillos in half. Place them cut-side down on a baking sheet along with the poblanos. Broil the vegetables and keep a close eye –as soon as the poblanos have blackened, flip them over and continue cooking until all sides are black. Take the peppers and tomatillos and place in a brown paper bag or a bowl with plastic wrap and let steam.

Next, slice the onion and garlic thinly and add that to a pan with vegetable oil that has been heating over medium heat. Cook until softened, at which point add the cumin and cook for about 30 seconds, being careful not to burn the spice. Transfer the mixture to a blender.

Peel the skins off of the poblanos, cut the stems off and remove the ribs/seeds thoroughly, and rough chop and add to the blender. Add tomatillos, cilantro, the chile d’arbols, and the juice from the lime. Pulse until all ingredients are well-blended and add water –about 2 tablespoons at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until needed.

For the beans:

Take cans of pinto beans and drain and reserve the liquid.

Put olive oil in skillet and heat over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until tender. Add red pepper flakes, paprika, cayenne, and bay leaf and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add beans and about 2 tablespoons of liquid, adding more if the mixture becomes too dry. Stirring occasionally, heat the beans until fully warmed through, about 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf and smash with immersion blender or a big fork. Place the bay leaf back in the mixture and place on low heat for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

To assemble:

Heat up a cast iron skillet to medium high heat. Working 1 tortilla at a time, dip in a bowl of cold water and heat the tortillas about 30 seconds a side. Wrap in a towel while working on the others.

Transfer tortillas to individual serving plates. Spread each tortilla with refried beans and top them with the fried eggs. Spoon the salsa verde over the eggs and garnish with avocado slices, onions, and cilantro. Serve immediately.

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