Huevos Rancheros Recipe

Weekends are a great time for big breakfasts.  I’m a huge fan of breakfast, especially big, tasty breakfasts. A couple of weeks ago I made huevos rancheros for Jeremy and me, and we loved it!  Nothing like a tasty Southwestern meal topped with eggs.  Perfect!  I typically order huevos rancheros when I see it on a menu, it’s one of my favorite breakfast dishes.

Huevos Rancheros

I’ll start with this: overall, this dish is fairly easy to make, but it does require 5 different components:  Spanish rice, refried beans, ranchero sauce, fried tortillas and sunny-side up eggs.  It also requires a full hour of active cooking time.  BUT don’t let that scare you off. All of the dishes are very easy to make, and the end result is so tasty, it will be worth the effort.  Promise, cross my heart.

So as I said, we have five separate components.  Let’s look at each one and see how it all plays together in the end.  You’ll want to prepare the items in the order I’ve listed below in the directions because that way everything’s ready when it’s supposed to be and nothing sits waiting too long.

Huevos Rancheros

This recipe starts with Spanish rice.  I’ve devised a clever way of preparing in a rice cooker and have never gone back to doing it stove top again.  A few ingredients like celery, onion and cilantro need to be chopped but after that, the rice cooker does the rest of the work.  As you can see below, it produces a lovely rice.  I should point out that I used brown rice here, but you can use white if you prefer.  It won’t take as long to cook, but be sure to rinse white rice really well or your Spanish rice will be very starchy and sticky.

Spanish Rice

While the Spanish rice is doing its thing in the rice cooker, you can get started on the ranchero sauce.  This is the red sauce that you see over the eggs. It’s a tasty sauce of tomatoes, chiles, and onions. I consulted many recipes for this, and it seemed like they were all a more complicated version of what I did: a can of Rotel and fresh red onions. After you sauté the onions to soften them, add the Rotel and simmer to meld flavors.  A quick whir of the immersion blender, and you’ve got an easy and tasty ranchero sauce. You do have an immersion blender, right?  I’ve been harping on you for years about that! Get one!

Ranchero Sauce

I took an über short cut with the refried beans: I used canned refried beans.  Remember I said this was an easy recipe, just lots of steps?  Case in point, skimp where you can.  I used the Whole Foods 365 brand of refried beans, and they tasted really good.  I added a little salt, pepper and water, but that was it.  Totally worked for this dish.  Feel free to throw some cheddar cheese in there if you want to make it creamier.

Refried Beans

While the other three dishes are simmering away, now comes the “messy” part – frying tortillas. Sure you can just heat them in the microwave or oven BUT taking the time to fry the tortillas really takes this dish to another level.  When fried, the tortillas are crispy and chewy at the same time.  This was the first time I’d taken the time to fry them, and I’m going to continue to do so.  Remember though that you can’t really fry them if you want to make tacos.  Frying is better for dishes like this one and tostadas where the tortilla remains flat.

Fried Corn Tortillas

So finally, after all those other dishes are done, then and only then, do you start on the sunny-side up eggs.  As you know, eggs do not hold so it’s best to do these last.  I just used the oil from my tortillas to cook the eggs. It’s a great amount of oil for basting the eggs, which is the key to perfect sunny-side up eggs.  Carefully cook in batches if needed, unless you can cook up to 8 eggs at once…. which is really only advisable for professionals!

Huevos Rancheros

There you have it, huevos rancheros.  Seeing it all in print makes me realize all the work that goes into the dishes you get a Mexican restaurants.  So many components.  But that’s what makes them so tasty – the complexity and layers of flavors.  Really, the key to all good cooking.

On to the recipe!

Yield: 4 servings

Huevos Rancheros Recipe

Huevos Rancheros is a hearty and delicious breakfast option. Or you could buck the trend and have it for lunch or dinner one day!

Ingredients:

Spanish Rice:
  • 1 tablespoon light olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup brown rice, rinsed very well
  • 1-10 ounce can Rotel tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Easy Ranchero Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1-28 ounce can Rotel tomatoes (do not drain)
Refried Beans:
  • 1-15 ounce can of refried beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 cup water
Fried Tortillas:
  • 8 tortillas
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt for sprinkling
Sunny-side up Eggs:
  • 8 eggs + left over vegetable oil from frying tortillas
Garnishes:
  • 2 avocados, thinly sliced
  • 4 lime wedges
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

Method:

Spanish Rice Method:
  1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add the celery, red onion and half a teaspoon of kosher salt. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until both the onion and celery are softened.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to rice cooker and once celery and onions are done, add those too.
  3. Stir ingredients well and set rice cooker to cook. This should take about 45 minutes with brown rice.
  4. In the meantime, move on to preparing the remaining dishes.
Ranchero Sauce Method:
  1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add the onion. Cook about 5 minutes until softened.
  2. Add the can of Rotel then simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Transfer to a mixing bowl and use an immersion blender to puree the sauce. Set aside until ready to plate up.
Refried Beans Method:
  1. Heat the beans in a small pot over low heat. Add the salt, pepper and water and stir well to incorporate.
  2. Once heated, cover the pot and allow beans to sit until ready to plate up.
Fried Tortillas Method:
  1. In a shallow skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook one tortilla at a time - add the corn tortilla to the hot oil and allow to cook for 25 seconds on the first side.
  3. Flip over the tortilla and allow to cook another 10 seconds on the second side.
  4. Remove with tongs and set to drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
  5. Sprinkle with kosher salt while still hot.
  6. Continue with remaining tortillas until done. You can stack them with a paper towel between each layer.
  7. Once done cooking all the tortillas, transfer them to plates. Slightly overlap two tortillas per plate.
Sunny-side Up Eggs:
  1. While the oil is still warm from frying tortillas, proceed to cook the eggs. However, turn fire to medium.
  2. Cook the eggs two at a time. Allow the eggs to cook for about a minute, all the time basting the eggs with the oil from the pan.
  3. Once the white part has set, remove the eggs and place them atop the tortillas on the serving plates.
Final Plate Up of the Huevos Rancheros:
  1. By now each plate should have two tortillas topped with two eggs. Top that with about 1/4 cup ranchero sauce.
  2. Divide the Spanish rice, refried beans, avocado and lime wedges between the four plates.
  3. Finish each plate with a sprinkling of chopped cilantro.

The prep and cooking times are combined because it's impossible to separate the two.

Prep:1 hour

Total:1 hour

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