First of all, I am genuinely astonished that I haven’t told you all about my huevos rancheros. It’s high time that I introduce you to one of my all-time favorite meals, but first, I’ll share a little personal history with the dish.
It took me a long time to give huevos rancheros a chance (24 years, to be exact). Growing up, my dad always ordered huevos rancheros when we ate out at Mexican restaurants. A giant plate would arrive in front him, a mess of refried beans and substances that I didn’t care to identify. Repulsed by the oozing fried egg, I would divert my attention back to my plate, and smother yet another chicken finger in ketchup. (Yes, I was the kid who ordered chicken fingers at every restaurant. Extra ketchup).
That kid didn’t like eggs at all, and the grown-up kid in me has never learned to like fried eggs. Scrambled eggs I can handle, as long as they’re made with a splash of milk and topped with lots of veggies. So when Kathleen waxed poetic about huevos rancheros in quick succession last year, I thought I’d give the dish a chance—but with a scrambled egg instead of a fried egg. I used Smitten Kitchen’s method, but scrambled the egg before pouring it over the tortilla.
Dad, you were right. Huevos rancheros are amazing.
Whether scrambled or fried, huevos rancheros just might be the perfect meal—light, filling, healthy and super fresh. It’s the breakfast that I treat myself to on weekdays and weekends. It’s lunch, when I can’t think of anything I’d rather eat. It’s the meal that I crave after a stressful day at work. If I’m having a lousy day, huevos rancheros make it all better.
My version is a far cry from the traditional Mexican dish, and quite a bit different from the average beige Tex Mex variety. No matter. If you’re a traditionalist and can’t imagine going without the fried egg, think of it as a scrambled egg-topped tostada, or an omelet with a corn tortilla base. Sounds good, right?
- 1 corn tortilla
- 1 egg, scrambled
- dash of milk
- ¼ cup shredded cheese (Monterey Jack, cheddar and mozzarella are all good)
- In a small bowl, scramble your egg with a dash of milk.
- Heat a small pan (I use an 8-inch cast iron skillet) over medium heat. Butter the skillet or spray it with cooking spray.
- Place the tortilla in the pan. Let it warm up on one side, and then flip it. Repeat if you want an extra crispy tortilla.
- Once both sides are hot, sprinkle cheese onto the tortilla. I like to leave the center alone and cover the perimeter with cheese.
- Once the cheese has melted, slowly pour the egg mixture onto the center of the tortilla. It will overflow onto the pan, which is fine. At this point, you’re going to treat it sort of like an omelet, so use a wooden spoon to push the eggs around the perimeter of the pan. Scoot the set pieces to the center of the tortilla.
- Once you’ve redistributed all of the eggs to the tortilla, use a big spatula to flip it over and cook for about twenty seconds. Flip it back onto your plate and top it with whatever your heart desires!
Suggested topping: Salsa Fresca (improvisee with whatever you have on hand)
- 1 roma tomato or a small handful of cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 diced avocado
- 1 tablespoon chopped red onion
- 1 teaspoon chopped jalapeño
- 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
- squeeze of lime juice
Mix up all the ingredients in a small bowl.
Suggested topping: Spicy Black Beans
Warm up about 1/2 cup black beans with a little bit of homemade or store-bought salsa. Use a fork to distribute it on your huevos (you want to avoid getting any extra liquid on your huevos).
The variations on the concept are endless. My favorite Mexican-inspired toppings are pictured here, but others include queso fresco or feta, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, store bought salsa (just try to minimize the juice so your tortilla doesn’t get soggy), and pinto beans instead of black beans. Put a summer garden spin on it with sautéed zucchini, onions and mild cheese. Or hey, try cheddar cheese and ketchup (this big kid will never stop loving ketchup).
P.s. Cookie and Kate is now on Facebook!