I'm a big fan of cooking projects. (Hello from-scratch pie crust and braised octopus!) But I know that even the most adventurous home cook doesn't have the time to pull together a culinary masterpiece at every meal. I definitely don't.
So I'm introducing a new feature here on the blog: Simple Suppers. These are recipes that come together without too much fuss; use fresh, seasonal ingredients and are delicious enough you’ll want to add them to your permanent line-up. They’re the sorts of dishes we eat at my house when I’m not recipe testing or in the mood for a more challenging enterprise.
So without further delay, I give you: Huevos Rancheros! That brunch staple that is oh-so-easy to make, satisfying and infinitely customizable. All of which make it an ideal dinner for one or a fantastic brunch for the whole fam.
I hope you’ll make this simple supper your own. And I’d love to hear back in the comments what exciting variations you come up with!
Huevos Rancheros with Salsa Verde
- 8 medium corn tortillas
- 8 large eggs
- Butter, for frying eggs
- 1 recipe black beans (see below), warmed
- 1 recipe salsa verde (see below), warmed
- Kosher or sea salt
- 4 radishes, very thinly sliced into rounds
- 1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, very thinly sliced into rounds
- Crumbled cotija cheese, to garnish
- Cilantro leaves, to garnish
- Chive blossoms, to garnish (optional)
For the black beans
- 1 tablespoon neutral-tasting oil (I used canola)
- ½ medium onion, diced
- Kosher or sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- Pinch chili flakes
- 1 medium tomato, peeled and diced (canned works fine)
- 1 ½ cups cooked black beans (homemade or canned)
For the salsa verde
- 1 pound fresh tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and quartered (you can use canned when fresh aren't in season)
- 1 fresh serrano chile, roughly chopped (remove the seeds for less heat)
- 1/2 large white onion, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
*Notes: I’m crazy for green sauces with eggs, so my version is topped with a bright, spicy salsa verde (which you should definitely make a double batch of and put on everything you make for the next week!), but a red sauce or even a salsa fresca would be great, too.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to garnishes. Here are a few to try: finely shredded cabbage, sour cream or crema, a melty cheese like pepper jack or sharp cheddar, halved cherry tomatoes, diced onion, sliced green onions or crispy tortilla strips.
I like my huevos rancheros with a fried egg, but poached or scrambled work, too.
Lastly, don't be intimidated by the fact that you need to make beans and salsa for the huevos; they both come together in a snap!
Start by making the beans: Heat the oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to low and cook until the onion has softened and turned golden brown, about 10 minutes.
While the onion is sautéing, make the salsa verde: Place the tomatillos, chile, onion, garlic, water and 1 teaspoon salt in a blender. Process until you have a coarse purée. Transfer the mixture to a large sauté pan and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 10-15 minutes. Add the cilantro. Taste and season with lime juice (you may not need much if your tomatillos are tart like mine were) and salt. Set aside until you're ready to assemble the huevos.
When the onions for the beans are tender, add the cumin and chile flakes. Cook for 1 minute then add the tomato and the beans. Cover and cook until the flavors come together, about 5 minutes.
To assemble the Huevos Rancheros: Heat a large cast iron or carbon steel pan over medium-high heat. When hot, cook the tortillas in batches until warmed through. I like a little char on my tortillas, so I leave them on a little longer. Wrap the heated tortillas tightly in aluminum foil and set aside.
Next fry your eggs. Heat the same pan you used to cook the tortillas over high heat. Add about two teaspoons butter to the pan and swirl. It should melt immediately and start bubbling vigorously, otherwise, your pan isn’t hot enough. Crack 4 eggs into the pan (or as many as your pan will hold) and cook until the edges are lacy and crisp and the whites are completely set, about two minutes. Use a metal spatula to separate the eggs and transfer them to a platter or sheet pan. Repeat the process to fry the rest of the eggs.
When all of the eggs are fried, divide the tortillas among four plates. Top with some of the warm beans. Place two eggs on top of the beans on each plate and season the eggs with a sprinkle of salt. Top the eggs with a generous amount of the warm salsa verde. Garnish with the radishes, sliced chiles, cheese, cilantro and chive blossoms and serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.
Salsa Verde adapted from Gourmet Magazine