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Served throughout Mexico and the U.S, this well-known egg dish is popular for breakfast and brunch and even as a quick-to-fix lunch or supper. The Salsa Ranchera or Salsa Frita (fried) is an all-purpose sauce and is good on scrambled eggs and other egg dishes, as well as on chicken and pork. For convenience, you can prepare the salsa ahead of time and reheat it. When time is short, you can also use a bottled salsa but, if you can spare a few extra minutes to make fresh salsa from scratch, you may never want to use the prepared version again.
For a different version of Huevos Rancheros, you can fit each tortilla into a broiler-safe dish, top it with the eggs, sauce and grated Chihuahua cheese and broil until the cheese melts. To make yet another authentic version from the Yucatan, cover a tortilla with refried beans, top with a fried egg and another tortilla, sprinkle with a bit of chopped ham and cooked peas, then add the salsa and cheese.
- For the Sauce:
- 1 to 2 small serrano chilies or other chili picante, seeds and veins removed, quartered
- 1 clove garlic, halved
- 2 cups peeled and chopped ripe tomatoes with juice (1 pound) or 1 can (14 1/2-ounce) diced tomatoes*, undrained
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt*
- For the Eggs:
- Cooking spray
- 4 eggs
- 4 corn tortillas (6-inch), warmed
- 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco, queso anejo or feta cheese
- Avocado slices, optional
- Cilantro leaves, optional
Place chilies and garlic in blender container. Cover and blend briefly, until coarsely chopped.
Add tomatoes. Cover and blend at medium speed, until finely chopped but not pureed, about 5 to 10 seconds. Set aside.
In medium saucepan or skillet over medium heat, heat oil until just hot enough to sizzle a drop of water. Add onion and cumin. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is just tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add reserved tomato mixture and salt. Bring to boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to simmering. To blend flavors, cook, uncovered, 5 to 10 minutes, until slightly thickened. Keep warm while preparing eggs.
With spray, evenly coat 10-inch nonstick omelet pan or skillet. Over medium-high heat, heat pan until just hot enough to sizzle a drop of water. Break and slip eggs into pan. Immediately reduce heat to low. Cook slowly until egg whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but are not hard, covering with lid or turning eggs to cook both sides.
Place 1 tortilla on each of 4 warmed serving plates. With pancake turner, place 1 egg on each tortilla.
Spoon reserved sauce around eggs. Sprinkle with cheese. Garnish with avocado slices and cilantro, if desired.
* When using canned tomatoes, omit salt.
Recipe reprinted by permission of American Egg Board. All rights reserved.
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