Ok, let’s face it, I’m culturally deprived. Here I am, I’ve lived in Los Angeles since 1972, where there are more Mexican restaurants per capita second only to Mexico itself and I have never eaten Huevos Rancheros. Can you believe it? Everyone I know has eaten it, if not made it themselves and every blogger on the planet has it on their website. Where have I been?
So I decided to remedy this deplorable situation and make some for myself. I had a rough idea what the ingredients were, but I must have looked at 100 recipes on line, and every one was a little different. True, they all included tortillas and eggs, mostly with a red sauce of some kind, which were the minimalist version, and then there were the kitchen sink version, with every thing you could think of on it. Well, I favored the KSV, but I had a couple of things I wanted on mine that I thought would make it perfect. Not only fresh tomato salsa, of course, but enchilada sauce made from scratch from real guajillo chiles, and chorizo, so nice and spicy. Oh, and melted cheddar cheese on a thin spread of refried beans. My fantasy was getting better and better.
I am not claiming that these are “authentic” huevos rancheros, which would never have any kind of yellow cheese on it, only white Mexican cheese like queso fresco. But my choice of cheese goes back in the day when I would go to a local joint and order enchiladas, and they would come with a big pile of red rice and a huge mess of refried beans with melted cheddar on top. I would sprinkle it with salt and fork off the melted cheese with as little of the beans sticking to it as possible. Oh so good.
The more I researched and thought about this dish, the more impatient I became to make it. So instead of making the guajillo chile sauce from scratch, I happened to have some Ralphs Kroger Chipotle Enchilada Sauce on hand, which is really amazing spicy good. In fact, I had everything to make huevos rancheros, even the Mulay’s chorizo. The only place I can find Mulay’s is at Whole Foods, and because sometimes they don’t have it, the last time I went there I bought two pounds and froze it in little quarter pound patties. I am so prepared.
I assembled all my ingredients, fried my egg in that silly perfect little nonstick pan with the plastic chicken face on the handle, fried the chorizo, assembled the whole dish and took my first bite. OMG!! All these years and I could have been eating this astoundingly delicious dish. The first day I made one egg on one tortilla for lunch and was so disappointed when I got to the last bite. So the next night I made two eggs and two tortillas for dinner. Oh yes. So satisfied.
Vegetable oil for frying tortillas
Cheddar cheese, grated
Enchilada sauce, preferably with chipotle
Eggs, fried or poached
Tomato Pico de Gallo salsa
Choriso sausage, crumbled, fried (preferably Mulays)
Cilantro, rough chop
Additional options: avocado slices, lime slices to squeeze, sliced black olives, guacamole, sour cream, shredded iceberg lettuce, salsa verde, black beans, queso fresco
1. Warm tortilla in about 1 teaspoon oil in nonstick pan. Do not brown or crisp. Drain on paper towel. Place on sheet pan.
2. Spread tortilla with thin layer of refried beans and top with grated cheddar. Place under broiler until cheese is melted. Watch cheese melt under broiler. Do not walk away or it will burn. Or place tortilla on dinner plate and microwave until cheese is melted, about 20 seconds.
3. Place one or two tortillas with beans and cheese on dinner plate. Slather several spoonfuls of enchilada sauce across melted cheese and onto plate. Place fried egg on top. Dollop several spoonfuls of tomato salsa on egg and around tortilla.
4. Sprinkle egg and tortilla with crumbled chorizo. If rancheros are not warmed through, microwave for about 30 seconds. Sprinkle with cilantro and chives. Serve with additional enchilada sauce on side.