Sunday, March 15, 2009
How do you like your eggs? Mexican Style! Huevos Rancheros
I've had a busy morning in my kitchen! I baked Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins and then I did some house cleaning. My stomach got a little hungry for some protein a few hours later-- so I took a peek into my fridge. Hmmmm, I had some thawed, cooked Pinto Beans (with the reserved water) that I had cooked and frozen a few weeks ago...eggs... some pico de gallo that was reaching the end of it's life...some cilantro. I always keep some kind of cheese and sour cream on hand. That's it! Huevos Rancheros!
I've never made Huevos Rancheros before, but I figured it had to be pretty easy to do. In scouring a few food blogs and recipe websites, I saw several recipes for Huevos Rancheros. I decided to improvise, and to hope that my Mexican D.N.A. would lead the way:
I thawed some corn tortillas (I am blessed to have an upright freezer in the garage). I was too hungry to make my own salsa, (and I wanted to use up what I had) though I found a great recipe idea on roasting my own tomatoes for salsa. That will wait until my own homegrown tomatoes start ripening-- in a few months.
So, I heated up the leftover pico de gallo and added a little bit of cumin. I was on to something...
Now, for the beans. This was easier than you can imagine-- and MUCH tastier than refried beans in the can! I know that lard is commonly used to make refried beans. I had bacon, and I figured that would work just as well.
I cooked four slices of bacon, to render the fat. I set aside the bacon for me to nosh on, until my son spied them and swiped them as an appetizer.
Next, I placed the thawed beans and the juice into the bacon fat and heated it up on a medium-high heat. I didn't photograph this step, but the beans looked pretty watery-- at first.
I took a potato masher to break down the beans, and then let the beans cook for a good 5 minutes or so. In no time at all, the beans thickened and looked great. After tasting the beans, I felt that they needed salt, so I added sea salt (a little at a time), tasting it until it was seasoned just right. Hmmm, I felt I needed something else... ah, a pinch of cumin...and they were good to go.
I decided to brush the corn tortillas with a little olive oil and I baked them, at 350F, for 5 minutes and set them aside.
In a non-stick skillet, I brushed some olive oil and then cracked four eggs. I added a splash of water and covered them for just a minute, or two. I wanted t eggs to be a little undercooked. One recipe version that I found (America's Test Kitchen)-- that I might try another time, suggests that you make four "wells" in a pan of cooked salsa to poach the eggs. I thought that was brilliant, but I didn't have the time, nor enough salsa-- as you can see:
To pull the the Huevos Rancheros together, I spread some beans on a corn tortilla.
Then I added some salsa, then an egg. At the last moment, I decided to add cheese and place
this under the broiler for a minute (to melt the cheese). That's why I needed to under cook the eggs.
I garnished the Huevos Rancheros with sour cream, fresh cilantro and a lime wedge. I love lime!
This was delicious! The next time I make these, I will make my own salsa and garnish with some fresh avocado. I wish I had more salsa, so that I could have added more.
Making your own refried beans is so simple. I'll try to photograph how to do it, another time.
In the meantime, I am reposting how to cook pinto beans, Cowgirl style (or Cowboy, if you prefer). These are inexpensive to make, and it's great to freeze them. I find that making my own beans is cheaper than buying beans in a can (and there's nothing wrong with that, by the way), and I like controlling what goes into them. I have never learned to like canned refried beans. There is nothing easier and tastier than stove top refried beans, from scratch! I especially love refried beans with hot, fresh tortillas.