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Oct 31, 2007 09:11 AM

Huevos Rancheros

I just recently developed a strangely huge obsession with huevos rancheros. I've had it at two different restaurants now, but I have a feeling they weren't really authentic, even though they were amazingly delicious. Does anyone know what "traditional" huevos rancheros consists of?
One place I went to had a huge pile of tortilla chips covered in a plain egg omelette topped with beans, salsa, chili sauce, cheese, and sour cream. The other restaurant I went to had one large, crisp tortilla at the bottom of a cast iron dish and whisked some eggs, poured it on top of the tortilla, added beans, cheese, and salsa, broiled it and then topped it off with a lime wedge and some pickled red onions (a particularly lovely, unique touch).
So any recipe suggestions? I was thinking of winging one myself, but I'm curious as to what would constitute an authentic rendition of huevos rancheros.

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  1. The traditional recipe is corn tortillas fried lightly (just to soften), topped by fried or poached eggs, topped in turn by a cooked tomato-based salsa. I do it in two skillets; in one, slowly cook the eggs sunny side up. In the other, fry the tortillas in lard, move them to a warm plate, then fry the salsa until it thickens. Slide the eggs onto the tortillas and pour the salsa over the eggs. Toppings and sides can include chopped onions, radishes, and frijoles.

    2 Replies
    1. re: alanbarnes

      How should it be eaten? Do you use a knife and fork or just fold the tortilla and pick it up?

      1. re: Antilope

        Knife and fork. Extra tortillas on the side to mop up runny egg yolk and salsa.

    2. Boy, is this gonna stir up some debates.

      Basically, when you get right down to it, huevos rancheros is any combination of eggs and a ranchero sauce, which is a cooked sauce with fresh tomatoes, chiles and stock. Preparation of eggs doesn't enter into it, and most diners in the southwest will cook your eggs to spec. Personally, what I expect to see in a proper plate of huevos rancheros is a fried-to-pliable corn tortilla or two topped with a couple eggs (over easy for me, thanks) and a generous ladle of sauce, with a side of beans and a couple more warm tortillas. Maybe a light dusting of cheese, but that's not at all necessary.

      5 Replies
      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

        I agree BFP on the question of tradition. I think that traditionally, people would fry their own tortillas, but I buy mine from the store pre-made. Is it non-traditional? Or just easier. I start was hard, flat tortillas as a base (they soften with the other fixens), layer on some black beans, refried black beans or a combination of both. Then I begin to layer other basic mexican indredients on top of that. Cheese, another layer of tortilla, sour cream, scallions, etc. Even a little cilantro if I have it. For me, how I cook the eggs is my secret. I take a jar of salsa, or fresh if I'm making a batch, and get it simmering in a skillet. Then I take a spoon and make a little pocket in the salsa, and drop an egg in. Let the salsa simmer and poach the egg. When you are ready to serve, just scoop the egg and salsa combination on top of your plate, and let the egg break and ooze all over. I'm making it tonight and can't wait!

        1. re: egbluesuede

          that sounds more like a delicious mexican brekfast casserole or skillet! MM!

          1. re: egbluesuede

            Seems like the poaching is a traditional method of cooking the eggs. I've gotta try it sometime soon.

          2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

            Agreed that the debate will be stirred up.

            My sister and I spent a year we lived in Mexico taste-testing various versions of Huevos Rancheros, and it is a subject near and dear to my heart. First of all, anything with tortilla chips (and sour cream for that matter) is not Huevos, IMHO. And I don't consider it "any combination of eggs and a ranchero sauce."

            In Mexico, your description of the "fried-to-pliable corn tortilla topped with a couple of eggs and the generous ladle of ranchero sauce" (ranchero sauce is a mild red sauce) is accurate. The tortillas are not deep-fried, btw, but rather pan-fried in a little lard or oil. That is typical of how they are served in Mexico. There might be a sprinkle of queso blanco but certainly not a gooey layer of cheese. And true Huevos are sunny-side up, IMO. (Or at the very least poached or over-easy, but with runny yolks. Definitely NOT scrambled!) The whole idea is that the yolks are runny and mix with the sauce for a rich deliciousness. Fresh, warm corn tortillas on the side are a must (use them to wipe up every last drop of sauce/yolk....)

            1. re: janetofreno

              What I usually do is fry my tortillas in a separate pan, then in the egg pan I dump tomatoes and chiles and I make little wells in that and drop my eggs into them. Then I put the cover on and let them steam/cook in the tomatoes and chiles. I don't usually serve them runny that way, though. I spoon the eggs and sauce onto the tortillas when it's ready. No cheese necessary :)

          3. whe 2 main things needed in huevos rancheros, is eggs, and sauce.

            the sauce is tomatoey and flavorful, not really hot.

            as far as the tortilla underneath, i believe it should either be soft and pliable, and just about disintegrate into the egg and sauce mass byt the time you get it, or it shouldnt even be there at all...

            but that's just because i like to have my tortillas on the side and eat the eggs and sauce (and beans and rice) with the tortillas..

            MMM...peasant food...

            1. I make Huevos rancheros according to a recipe I saw a long time ago by poaching the egg in the rachero sauce....From what I can tell, real heuvos are basically poached in the liquid suace their served with....If i'm lazy, I'll us canned salsa with a little water added. I heat it up in a little frying pan with a touch of oil.Once this comes up to a simmer, I gently crack the eggs in it, cover the pan, then let it cook until the whites are opaque. I carefully place the egg and sauce over tortillas softened directly over my gas flame (which sometimes I have placed beans on, sometimes not).
              Top with green onions.

              2 Replies
              1. re: sixelagogo

                That's how I make them too - basically a Mexican version of eggs in purgatory... yum...

                1. re: sixelagogo

                  By the way, thanks for that last tip: I heated some corn tortillas to go with tonight's enormous pot of chili and it took about one-quarter the time on a direct flame than it usually does on one of the Lodge griddles, and they had some lovely charred bits as well.

                2. A restaurant where I live (Northampton, MA) serves extremely unauthentic huevos--big pieces of grilled cornbread (the sweet kind) with plain black beans, eggs (over easy but I prefer scrambled), cheddar, and pico de gallo.

                  When I make it at home it's with leftover vegan chili, cornbread, and scrambled eggs. With hot sauce. mmmmmmmmmmm, eggs and beans.