Only better. I’ve modified this recipe to suit my own taste. No relatives are allowed to complain about these changes unless they’ve tried it. Consider that either an invitation or a threat.
So. “Huevos Rancheros” is Spanish for “Ranch Eggs”. That’s all. It means different things in different regions, and this version comes from my great-grandmother, Isidra Ybarra y de Valle, of Sabinas Hidalgo in the state of Nuevo Leon, in northern Mexico. I think she made it up, though – per family report, she had no domestic skills at all until the family moved to the United States in 1915 and, apparently, did not bring their cook with them.
- 6 tomatoes
- 1 sweet yellow onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 5 guerito chiles, bottled in vinegar
- olive oil
- 4 cups water
- shredded Mexican cheese (cheddar, jack, asadero blend)
In a large skillet, heat oil. Add diced onions and garlic, sautee until clear and soft. Add diced tomatoes, sliced guerito chiles. Cook on medium heat for about five minutes. Pour some of the liquid from the bottle of gueritos into the skillet, add four cups of water. Bring to a full boil, then reduce to a medium heat. Add cumin and oregano. Reduce to a fresh vegetable soup consistency – brothy and chunky, but not thick! When your kitchen is steamy and smells of chiles and vinegar, drop the eggs in the broth and poach them. Spoon the warm broth, the tomatoes and chiles over the eggs to seal in the heat while poaching. Turn gently once for a fully poached egg white.
Heat corn tortillas in skillet. When warm and soft, place tortilla(s) in a pasta bowl, spoon the eggs and huevos over the tortillas. Top with cheese, and pour the rest of the soup over the eggs.
This is a very spicy version of Huevos Rancheros; the gueritos are sharp and quite delicious, if you like heat and you like vinegar. They can be found in many grocery stores in the Mexican food section or sometimes in the condiments aisle.
The changes I’ve made have included taking the time to reduce the broth, and the cheese is an addition that complements the chiles and restrains the heat just slightly. For some reason, my mom has always served this with rye krisps instead of tortillas. This makes no sense to me, and I can’t imagine what she was thinking. Corn tortillas – that’s the way it ought to be done. This recipe makes 2-4 servings.
Try it, let me know what you think. I assume I will not be sent to family recipe hell for my changes, or at least not for long.