Thursday, June 14

Heuvos Rancheros son Muy Deliciosos

Since I live in Southern California, I really should speak Spanish. It’s not like I don’t know any Spanish. I know a few essential phrases, such as Buenas dias. ¿Cómo esta? Muchas gracias. And ¿Puedo tener huevos rancheros, por favor?

It’s not much, but it’s gotten me by so far, especially the last one. Knowing how to ask for huevos rancheros is muy importante since it’s one of my favorite dishes for brunch. So, when Rosa of Rosa’s Yummy Yums tagged me for a brunch meme I knew exactly what to make.

I ate heuvos rancheros for the first time 10 years ago in Chapel Hill, NC. Since then, I’ve eaten heuvos rancheros all over the country, from San Diego, CA to Miami, FL, and I can say two things for certain about them:

1. I’ve never had heuvos rancheros prepared the same way twice.
2. I’ve never had a dish of heuvos rancheros I haven’t liked.

Heuvos rancheros refers to a dish containing eggs and tortillas. It is one of those gloriously laid back dishes that seems to turn out well no matter how much (or little) effort goes into making it and no matter which ingredients are used. As with any regional dish, I’m sure there are many recipes for “the right way” to make them. If so, I don’t have it. I’m always altering the ingredients based on what is available seasonally and what I’m in the mood to eat.

One of the best I’ve ever had was in a diner in Albuquerque, NM, where they served the eggs fried, topped with black beans, and two sauces: a red and a green mole. Despite my efforts to replicate these moles, I never have quite achieved it. That’s ok. I’ll be happy to keep trying.

Regarding the eggs, I’ve had them fried, scrambled, and sunny side up, so it just depends on what you like. Though they’re usually served on soft corn tortillas, I’ve also made them on crispy corn tortilla chips and on whole wheat tortillas as well.

As for toppings? It’s up to you. Black beans are typical, but I like pinto as well as other veggies including peppers, potatoes, corn, and chayote squash. And for the cheese? From sharp cheddar to Jack to Cotija, they’re all good. Sour cream and guacamole are typical, but I like them without. And I’ve had all types of savory sauces: from fiery to sweet moles and various salsas.

For this post, I made one of my favorite (and easiest) versions with a salsa verde (green salsa) since the farmers’ market has just starting selling this season’s fresh crop of tomatillos. If you’re not familiar with tomatillos, pronounced (toh-MAH-tee-YOS), they look like a green tomato, but they’re actually a member of the gooseberry family. They are small, green spherical fruit that are encased in a papery husk and are often used in Mexican and Southwestern cooking. They have a slightly tart flavor, not unlike a Granny Smith apple, and sometimes taste lemony. When buying tomatillos, look for bright green fruits (not yellow or brown, which means they’re old), and make sure the papery husk is smooth and tight on the fruit, not shriveled or blackened. Tomatillos can be eaten raw or cooked.

For this sauce I roast the tomatillos, which mellows their tartness and pair them savory onions, fiery jalapenos, and tangy lime for a sauce with a little kick. The entire dish is pretty low-calorie yet filling, but you can add/substitute ingredients to your liking.

Tell me, do you enjoy heuvos rancheros and make them at home? If so, what’s your favorite way to prepare them? I’m always looking for new ideas.

Heuvos Rancheros with Salsa Verde
Makes 4 servings.
Print recipe only here.

½ cup white onion
1 small jalapeno with seeds
8-10 small tomatillos, husks removed, and quartered
1 tsp canola oil
The juice of ½ lime
1-2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt, to taste
1 (15-oz) can black beans, rinsed

8 eggs
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas

Optional garnishes:
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Sour cream or Mexican crema
Additional fresh cilantro
Diced avocado

To make the salsa, preheat broiler. Place tomatillos, onions, and whole jalapeno in an oven proof dish; add 1 tsp canola oil, and toss to coat. Place under broiler for about 10 minutes, or until brown spots begin to appear on the vegetables. Remove from broiler; let cool for a few minutes. Place in a blender; add lime juice, cilantro, and salt. Blend until coarsely mixed.

Meanwhile, heat black beans on stovetop or in microwave.

Beat eggs in a small bowl; scramble on stovetop for 2-3 minutes, or until at desired doneness. Alternatively, you can pan fry the eggs in a little canola oil. It’s a matter of preference.

To heat tortillas, simply place a tortilla directly over the flame of a stovetop burner. Using a pair of tongs, turn it several times to prevent it from burning, until it’s warmed through but still soft to the touch. Keep tortillas wrapped in foil to stay warm until ready to serve. Alternatively, place tortillas in a warm oven (about 250 degrees) for 8-10 minutes, or until warmed through but still soft to the touch.

For each serving, lay two warmed tortillas on plate, top with ¼ scrambled eggs, ¼ heated black beans, ¼ tomatillo salsa, and desired garnishes.

For more on tomatillos, check out this tasty post from Jeff of C for Cooking.

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Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Best huevos rancheros I've ever had was at Tesuque Market, a store/cafe just north of Santa Fe. You can get it with red and green chili -- hot, spicy, and delicious!

Asha said...

OH! I love Mexican food in any any form.Looks delicious.Onion and Jalapeños in there itself makes me drool.Thanks for this:)
I made Tex-Mex Corn bread with spicy Chili last week.YUM!

Anonymous said...

We have a local place that does a mighty fine Huevo. I am like you; I love them and get them a lot but it's never the same twice. That's the beauty of it.

Deborah said...

I was just watching the news this morning and they were featuring a restaurant that had a delicious looking huevos rancheros. I am now craving them!! Looks like I'm going to make my husband take me to breakfast on Saturday! (Or I might just make these for myself....)

foodette said...

That looks fantastic. Sadly, I am allergic to eggs, but I make a similar dish with firm tofu. Seriously, if you all of your seasonings DURING the cooking process, it doesn't taste like tofu at all. Just a thought out there for anyone with the same issues as me :)

Anonymous said...

I like to make a red sauce with chopped tomatoes, onions, garlic, jalapenos, Mexican oregano and anything else that may need to be used up from the refrigerator. After the sauce has simmered and thickened a bit, I place the eggs on top of the sauce, baste them a bit and then cover. After the eggs are cooked, scoop out onto a warm tortilla and top with cojita cheese. Yum.
I'm a lurker and enjoy your blog. I'm also envious of your California growing season though summer in Oregon is the best.

Mishmash ! said...

Susan.,..I always feel the kind of mexican food we get here is just a tip of the iceberg...some cooking shows concentrate on the authentic mexican varieties which I havent seen here in restaurant menus....i have tasted fajita chicken racnheros and i like 'em...but wonder how it tastes when prepared authentically!

P.S hey, I had tagged you...take it up if you have time and havent already played the same the thing :)

Lis said...

I've never had this before.. not sure if I'd like this, but I'd sure be willing to try it. =)


Meeta K. Wolff said...

Oh yes! My fave kind of breakfast. We have a Spanish place not far from where we live. They serve one mean heuvus rancheros for brunch. I love this Susan, I actually think I am gonna do this over the weekend. Brilliant.

Jeanne said...

Oh damn, if only I lived in the southern US!! We had huevos rancheros a couple of times on our trip the the USA and Mexico in 2005 and they were great - I love a recipe with a fluid list of ingredients that you can change according to your mood and grocery cupboard...

J said...

That sounds so mouth watering!! I haven't tried Mexican fod much, but reading the recipes in all these blogs makes me drool !!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Lydia- We had some memorable huevos in Santa Fe too! Different place though.

Asha-I'll give you some huevos if you give me some cornbread. ;)

Kate-It keeps things interesting, doesn't it?

Deborah-It's definitely a sign. ;)

Foodette-Excellent suggestion. I'm a tofu lover and have made them with tofu as well.

Brenda-Well, I appreciate your stopping by. I love Mexican oregano; I find fresh oregano's flavor much more satisfying than dried.

Shn-I've never had them in Mexico, but I'd like to.

Lis-Aw, you've got to try it!

Meeta-Yeh! Glad to hear it.

Jeanne-The Southwest has especially delicious flavor combinations; so keep that in mind for your next US trip.

Jyothsna-I hope you try some soon!

cindy said...

i have not eaten yet this morning and this is making my stomach growl now! mmm...i do love huevos rancheros. i make them rather simply, the tortilla, the fried egg, and salsa fresca on top (or one of my cooked tomato or tomatillo salsas) and refried beans on the side!

Stella said...

I love your picture Susan, the dish looks so great with its beautiful colours!
I wish I lived near you so I could have one of these;)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Thanks for that great post! I will talk about it very soon (30th June)...

I love tortillas and Tex-Mex food, but until now, I haven't eaten any "Huevos Rancheros". Yours looks wonderfully delicious! I'm sure I'd like it...

Anonymous said...

Oh this sounds so yum! I'm always up for new twists on Mexican food. growing up in South Texas, Mexican food was daily. Oh how I miss it!!

sher said...

Argh!! Now I'm really getting a full scale jones for some Heuvos Rancheros! The pictures are gorgeous--can almost taste them! Almost...darn it.

Melting Wok said...

Mucho gracias, Susan :) This looks mucho2 bueno !! haha, that's it, my espanol language vocabulary. Who cares, your Huevos Rancheros looks finger-licking good !:)

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I don't speak Spanish, but I'd certainly learn to ask for your heuvos rancheros! I love the flavor of tomatillos.

Susan said...

Mexican never gets old with me. I like the use of black beans rather than refried; the texture, flavor and visual appeal are so much better.

Scribbit said...

I'm always interested in how people take the photos they use for their blogs, yours are always so professional looking. Always outside? That green plate really tops off the picture.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Cinderelly-Simple is best.

Valentina-I'd he happy to share!

Rosa-You're welcome; they're really delicious.

Mama Mia-I hear you!

Sher-Ooh, thanks!

Shirley-Muchas gracias!

T.W.-The tomatillos add a light, citrusy flavor that I just adore.

Susan-I do too.

Michelle-How nice of you to say. Yes, I take most of them outside.

Judy said...

I've never had huevos rancheros, but now I want to!

Anonymous said...

I love huevos rancheros. I've never made it at home though. I'm going to have to try this soon!

wheresmymind said...

I tried the CooksIllustrated Huevos Rancheros and was one happy monkay!

Toni said...

I adore huevos rancheros, and absolutely love, love, love tomatillo sauce! These are right up my alley!

Abby said...

Where in Chapel Hill?!I went to UNC, and I live about 80 miles away in Winston-Salem. Crook's Corner, maybe? Or even El Rodeo ... or Elmo's. Or maybe it was someone's home. But now I have to know and try them, too, if the place still stands.

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan! Wow this looks like a wonderful way to start the day! I can't believe I've never made them before - that will have to change ASAP!

Anonymous said...

The spicier the better!

Anonymous said...

ha, i lnow it's so pitiful i don't speak a lick of spanish eaither except some cussin' thanks to my coworkers :)

mmmm, huevos rancheros looks delicious. next time we go to our favorite downtown place for carnitas (el taurino) i'll get some. armed guards outside but the worlds best tacos inside!!

Anonymous said...

Oh man, I've heard of this dish and I even have a recipe for it, but I've never actually tasted it before! Reading this post makes me want to give my recipe a try!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Judy-Oh, I hope that changes soon!

Kristen-I'm sure yours would be delicious!

Jeff-See what I mean?

Toni-I figured you would love the flavor combination!

Abby-It was Elmo's! Oh, how I loved that place!

Gilly-It would even make a Monday better. ;)

Aria-They're probably guarding the huevos rancheros.;)

Sandi-A girl after my own heart.

Ellie-You're seriously missing out! Hurry and make them! ;)

s'kat said...

I don't know that I've ever had huevos ranchos, but I certainly love me some breakfast burritos! Cilantro is a must.

Passionate Eater said...

You said you've never had huevos rancheros that you didn't like. I agree, and after I make your recipe, I am sure I'll say that I found a recipe huevos rancheros that I love (not just like)!

Anonymous said...

My favorite way to make huevos rancheros is to mix it all together and call it migas. But the photos aren't nearly this pretty.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

S'kat-They're in the same family, so I'm sure you'd like them.

Passionate eater-That's so sweet of you to say!

Christine-Oh, thanks!

Pip said...

I've never tried huevos rancheros, but they look so yummy, I must give it a try! I don't know if I can find tomatillo in Italy, do you think I could try with green tomatoes?

Stella said...

I've never tried these before, the only time I had mexican food was about a year ago & I so miss it! Your dish sounds fantabulous!
There's also no tortillas here, what I can I use to replace them Susan? would crepes do?

Lynne Daley said...

I love huevos rancheros! The best I had were in Maui years ago at a restaurant I can't remember the name. There was a chipotle vinaigrette poured over it-way before chipotle became a culinary household word.

Anonymous said...

huevos rancheros is something I always order during brunch! There is just something about it that is so tasty! I have not tried them with tomatillos though...

cmoore said...

More beautiful photos! Growing up on the west coast I was spoiled by all the fantastic (and authentic) Mexican food -- Philly just doesn't do huevos rancheros justice in my book. That said, when I'm cooking at home I like to use corn tortillas, refried beans, eggs over easy, and either Amish jalapeno hot sauce or (and?) pureed chipotle salsa. When I found canned chipotles in adobo on this coast I nearly fainted...

Anonymous said...

I have never blogged before, but wanted to comment as this looks absolutely wonderful.

My son (now grown and living in NY) called recently and asked me for his favorite Sunday breakfast recipe - his momma's Huevos Rancheros. Would be glad to share it with you all but don't know how . . .