Cheap Recipe: Huevos Rancheros

7 May

Huevos rancheros hit the trifecta: cheap, easy, and tasty.

There are a million reasons to love New Mexico, but few of them can be replicated in my kitchen. Huevos rancheros — which appear on the breakfast menu at virtually every diner on Route 66 from Tucumcari to Gallup — are on the short list.

The tortillas should be warm but not crispy.

Huevos rancheros — Spanish for “ranch eggs” — are nothing more than fried corn tortillas topped with fried eggs and doused with spicy sauce. I like to make mine with red enchilada sauce, but I’ve eaten at restaurants that used picante sauce, salsa, chile verde, or thick ranchero sauce, with equal success, so whatever you have on hand will work fine.

Start by heating a little vegetable oil in a heavy skillet. When the oil is hot, fry a corn tortilla (the kind used for enchiladas) very lightly on both sides. You don’t want it to be crispy; just cook it long enough to heat it up and get a little oil on it. Use tongs or a spatula to transfer the tortilla to a plate. Repeat as needed until you have one tortilla for every egg you plan to cook. Plate them up before you start messing with the eggs.

Fried eggs bore me. Add a dash of New Mexico, and I'm all in.

Dump a can of enchilada sauce (or a similar amount of salsa, picante, or whatever Mexican sauce you prefer) into a microwave-safe dish and nuke it for two minutes to warm it up while you cook the eggs.

Make the eggs the way you like them. My husband prefers his over-easy; I like mine over-hard. Scrambled, sunny-side-up, and over-medium are also perfectly acceptable. Do whatever floats your boat.

Place each cooked egg on a tortilla and pour enchilada sauce over the whole mess. Serve alone or with pinto beans and warm flour tortillas for a hearty way to start your morning or a quick, easy dinner on a busy evening.

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