I went to bed on Friday dreaming of a breakfast of eggs poached in tomatoes and dripping with yoghurt and readers, that is what I got. Wandering downstairs I found my flatmate frying off onions and peppers, she turned to me and said: “do you fancy huevos rancheros?” Do I?!
Like with my chicken liver chilli, this isn’t a mega-authentic super-researched Mexican dish, but rather something we’ve cobbled together and perfected over many mornings. A proper huevos usually has fried eggs, but poaching them in the tomato sauce lets them absorb all the flavours. The mix of spicy tomato sauce, eggs, and cheese make it the perfect kind of hangover food. I also like to add yoghurt, avocado and coriander to freshen it all up a bit and lighten up the dish.
The best huevos I’ve ever had was at La Pequena in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. They do theirs with refried beans, it’s that little bit of extra sustenance which makes it perfect if you’re ever going to Brooklyn Flea. As I was just in my garden I made do with a bit of defrosted leftover chilli from last week which was excellent.
We’ve got some dried chipotle chillis in the cupoboard, so we soaked one and chucked it in finly minced, along with the water. It adds smokiness but if you don’t have dried chipotles you can chuck in a bit more smoky paprika. The beauty of this dish is you can usually make it with whatever’s in the corner shop, perfect for those bleary-eyed mornings. I like to grate cheese over the tortilla to form a semi-waterproof membrane for the sauce therefore avoiding any sogginess, but you can just, you know, eat it.
Ingredients for Huevos Rancheros (serves 3-4)
Diced red pepper
Two tins of tomatoes
Three finger chillies, sliced, seeds in.
Dried chipotle, soaked in water and finely sliced
Yoghurt and sumac
Fry off the onions and then the peppers, once they are slightly browned chuck in the tomatoes and all your seasonings. Cook down until you get a medium-consistency sauce, you want there to be enough liquid to poach the eggs in. Crack four eggs into the sauce and cook with the lid on until the whites are cooked through and the yolk is still a bit trembly.
Serve on warmed, folded tortilla bread with your choice of accompaniments. Goes well with coffee or it’s more that kind of morning, a beer.
Isabelle O'Carroll: I’m a writer, content designer and consultant with 11+ years’ experience across fashion, food and drink and the arts.