I can admit that I’ve never been a huge fan of breakfast. I love eggs, I like bacon, but it’s just not the most rousing meal category in my opinion. But when I was in college, brunch started to become a “thing”. Traditional restaurants all over D.C began offering a trendy and unexpected twist, served from noon until three- a mix of breakfast and lunch in one specialized menu. Exciting! Brunch is perfect for kids who partied until three a.m., and couldn’t possibly make it to breakfast on time (me in college). Or the slow moving, late people, who plan to arrive someplace at three, and arrive casually around four (me pre-baby). It’s also perfect for somewhat authoritarian moms, with a kid who takes a mandated, no-excuses four-hour midday nap (me right now).
Besides timing, brunch is awesome because there’s so many options! Pancakes and french toast are cool, but sometimes you’d rather have something more savory. Or spicy. Or Mexican! That’s where these huevos rancheros come in. I ordered them once at a reputable restaurant, and hated them. This defied logic. I adore all Mexican food, I adore brunch, and I adore said restaurant. For these reasons, I decided that I must actually just hate huevos rancheros. Years passed before I considered them again.
One of my favorite celebrity chefs, Bobby Flay, brought them back into my realm of consciousness. While changing a dirty diaper and passively watching Brunch @ Bobby’s, I remembered my experience, and my interest in huevos rancheros was peaked again. Bobby made a homemade enchilada sauce as a base, a quick homemade pico de gallo, and used chorizo. The end result of his meal was different enough from my initial experience that I was inspired to try them again- but this time, at home. Success! I keep at least a little homemade enchilada sauce in my fridge at all times, so I can throw together this dish whenever I feel the urge. Thanks Bobby!
What you’ll need:
For the Sauce:
An 8 oz can of tomato sauce
A tablespoon or minced garlic
One small diced onion (optional but awesome)
A tablespoon of cumin
A tablespoon of adobo chili powder
Two teaspoons of sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
A dash of red pepper flakes (optional, but also awesome)
For the Pico de Gallo:
One medium roma or ** tomato, seeded and diced
About a quarter cup of red onion, diced
A small jalapeno, diced
The juice of one lime
Chopped frehs cilantro to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
A light sprinkling of sugar, about half a teaspoon
For the Huevos Rancheros:
Canola or vegetable oil
Two or three corn or flour tortillas (I prefer flour)
Two or three eggs (you’ll need the same number of eggs as tortillas)
Shredded cheese (Monterey jack, or whatever you prefer)
What You’ll Do:
Heat a small saucepan to about medium heat. Drizzle in enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan, and add your cumin, adobo chili powder, and optional red pepper flakes. Let them work for a couple minutes in the pan before adding your diced onion, minced garlic. Cook until soft. Add your can of tomato sauce and sprinkling of sugar and mix well. Allow to come to a soft boil, and then turn it to low. Those flavors will get to know each other while you work on the other pieces of the recipe.
Now for the pico! Add all the pico ingredients together in a small bowl and mix well. Done. Set aside.
Heat about a cup of canola or vegetable oil over medium high heat in a sauté pan. A cup might seem like a lot, but we want to make sure our tortillas get good and crispy! Once the oil is heated, give drop your tortillas in, one by one. Flip them after about thirty seconds on each side. They should puff up a little and be golden brown and gorgeous. Allow to drain on paper towel, then transfer to a plate.
In the same pan (or a different one simultaneously, if you’re up for it), cook your eggs to your liking. I prefer sunny side up, but I’ve seen them poached and fried. It’s up to you!
Set your oven to a low broil, and begin building your beautiful mountain of brunch deliciousness. Place a small amount of the enchilada sauce on the plate, then the fried tortillas. Top the tortillas with more sauce (I go crazy here, but it’s all about personal preference). Sprinkle with some cheese, and toss them under the broiler for a couple seconds until it gets all melty.. Remove and top with your eggs and pico. From here, I really go crazy. Sour cream, mashed avocado, hot sauce, green onion, cilantro garnish. Do what makes you feel good!
You can make this as spicy or non-spicy as you want! Be careful of red pepper flakes and the jalapeno (especially the jalapeno seeds)- this is where the spice really comes in. If you’re cooking for small kids, you might want to leave these out.
This is one of those recipes that comes together very quickly. Having your sauce complete and pico prepared are good first steps, but make sure your have your tortillas, eggs, and other ingredients handy to keep a pretty quick pace. You don’t want your tortillas getting cold or eggs getting stiff on you.