The Best Huevos Rancheros
Start your weekend with Huevos!
Monday is sometimes my Sunday, if you know what I mean. I work an odd schedule at a hospital and when my 'Sunday' rolls around, I like to savor a cup of coffee in bed with the newspaper, then get up and make my favorite breakfast, huevos rancheros.
I don't remember when I first had 'huevos'. Could have been at that hippie restaurant I ate at when I was going to school in Eugene, could have been at a friend's house. Some of the best 'huevos' I ever had were made by my ex-husband's Uncle Chet. He lived in Mexico during his youth and although he tells me some of those days were ill spent, the day he learned how to make this amazing dish, were not. For twenty-seven years I saw him every Fourth of July, and for each and every one of those years, I looked forward to walking down to the beach cabin where breakfast was in progress and I just had to wait my turn for a steaming plate of corn tortilla, refried beans, egg and salsa.
When your marriage is over, no matter the good intentions, you drift away from your ex's family because it's just the right thing to do as you build a new life. Good memories, though, never leave. In my heart, and through my palate, whenever I cook 'huevos', I will always think of Uncle Chet. I think this version would make him proud.
'Huevos Rancheros' is a simple dish and can be made many different ways. The most important thing when cooking any simple dish is to choose good ingredients. My Aunt Julie liked to make homemade refried beans. In the interest of saving time, I use canned, but always organic and always vegetarian. Fresh salsa is a must. My very favorite is made just up the street from where I live, "Hot Mama Salsa, Salsa Del Papa Loco." Yes, it's crazy hot, the best kind. When you buy fresh salsa, or make your own, plan to use it that week. I also use canned whole green chilies, which I cut in thin slivers to lay over my basted egg. The following recipe is for two. If you don't plan on using corn tortillas in the next few days after you make this dish, slip them into a baggie and freeze them because the best corn tortillas don't have preservatives.
Huevos Rancheros (for four)
8 corn tortillas
15 oz. can of refried beans
8 green onions
1 small can of whole green chiles
8 ounces of cheddar cheese
Heat refried beans and set aside. Heat corn tortillas in microwave for 20 seconds or heat them in pan for 1 minute. Chop green onions, slice green chiles into slivers, and chop avocados into small pieces (the easiest way to do this is halve the avocado, remove pit, then cross-hatch while still in skin and remove with spoon), and grate cheese.
I like to baste my eggs, but poaching or cooking sunny side up works as well. To baste, spray non-stick pan with olive oil and heat it to medium high. Crack eggs into pan and after one minute pour in two tablespoons of water and place clear lid on top. When the white starts to film over the yolk immediately remove from heat.
Spread refried beans on tortillas and top with cheddar cheese. Place egg on each tortilla and put remaining ingredients on top. Serve with salsa and sour cream if you desire.