For lovers of Mexican food, huevos rancheros are among the best breakfasts ever, especially when served with a salsa (pages 659 to 664), extra beans, avocado slices, shredded lettuce, and/or limes. Mexican crema on the side is a nice touch.
If you have the basic components on hand, this is just a matter of assembly, and since the recipe is easily multiplied, it’s perfect for entertaining.
- 0.25 cup good-quality vegetable oil, plus more as needed
- 4 5-inch corn tortillas
- 0.25 cup Refried Beans (page 460) or any soft, well-seasoned beans
- 4 eggs
- Salt and pepper
- 0.5 cup Salsa Roja or Cooked Tomatillo Salsa (page 662 or 663) or store-bought salsa
- 0.25 cup crumbled queso fresco or grated Monterey Jack or
- cheddar cheese
- 0.25 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish
- Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, fry the tortillas one at a time until softened and heated through, about 3 seconds per side. Make sure they do not crisp. Drain on paper towels.
- Spread 1 tablespoon of the beans in the center of each tortilla. (You can prepare the dish to this point up to an hour or so in advance.) Heat the oven to 350°F. Use a little more oil to fry the eggs sunny side up (in a nonstick skillet, if you like), sprinkling with salt and pepper as they cook and following the directions for Fried Eggs on page 524. Put an egg on top of the beans in the center of each tortilla, then top with 2 tablespoons salsa and 1 tablespoon cheese.
- Carefully transfer the tortillas to a baking dish that holds them snugly. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Garnish with the cilantro and Serve immediately.
- SIMPLEST HUEVOS RANCHEROS Omit the tortillas and beans. Scramble the eggs in oil; as they begin to set in the pan, stir in the salsa and cheese. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and serve.
- HUEVOS RANCHEROS WITH RED MOLE A luxury, but a must if you have leftover sauce: Instead of the salsa, use the Red Mole sauce from the Cheese Enchiladas on page 561. Garnish with chopped tomatoes and scallions, if you like.