Huevos Rancheros hold a special place down deep in my gut. Growing up, when dad wasn’t at work on weekend mornings, we’d wake up early to surf the Cliffs, then he’d take me to Georges Mexican Food right by our house in Huntington Beach for breakfast. Every time the order was the same: two orders of huevos rancheros and one black coffee. $6.01 later, we were filling bellies with the perfect after-surf food: cheap, fatty, full of protein—the best Mexican food. And sips off dad’s tar-like coffee was my first exposure to that black beverage we all drink daily. Those weekend mornings were everything.
These days, I live 2,620 miles from Georges so weekend breakfasts there are distance prohibitive, but you better believe I’ve since learned to make my own Huevos Rancheros. I can’t make them like Georges and won’t ever try, but I learned a method from the very unMexican Jamie Oliver that I love nearly equally. It’s a red sauce (not green like Georges) that’s simmered with chilis and other good stuff until eggs get cracked into it and you’re able to spoon it over hot tortillas. And the prep is really easy, a trait I appreciate after a morning surf.
In the spirit of last week’s column, don’t feel anchored to this recipe. If you don’t like meat, skip the sausage. Missing an ingredient? Then sub in something similar. You won’t be tested on this, you’ll be fine.—Paul Brewer
Half an onion
Chili Peppers (whichever ones you can grab… I’ve used fresh and dried)
3 garlic cloves
4 tablespoons cooking oil
1- 16 ounce can of tomatoes (crushed, or whole ones you crush with your hands)
Chili powder (as much as you like spiciness)
4 flour tortillas
Chorizo or some smoky sausage, chopped or ripped into pieces.
Eggs (I do 2 per person)
Shredded Monterey Jack or Colby Cheese
Refried Beans (optional)
– Chop onion and fresh chili peppers (the dry ones I just add into he sauce whole). Mince garlic.
– Heat 2 tablespoons cooking oil in a small frying pan on low to medium heat. If using, fry the sausage. Add tomatoes, onion, garlic, chili powder and chilis. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
– Taste the sauce. Are you happy? Add more chili, salt or pepper as needed.
– In the sauce, make little holes or wells to crack eggs into. Spacing them out, crack them in then spoon a little sauce over the top. Cover, and check often. It’s best when the whites are fully cooked but the yokes are still runny.
As soon as the eggs are done, bring the whole pan out to the table dig in. I like to serve it communal as a big pot in the middle so everyone can dive in and make their own wraps with the hot tortillas. You should be eating this outside preferably.
Serve with refried beans and warm tortillas. And, of course, a black coffee.